The Catholic Vote
Hugh Hewitt points out that the Catholic vote may be critical to McCain in winning this election. This in turn may hinge on whether that vote listens to its clergy about the importance of abortion in making a voting decision. Especially with Obama’s position that goes beyond abortion on demand to abortion at the drop of a hat. Most notable are the public pronouncements on the part of Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia.
Hewitt’s concern is that the Catholic vote will not trend to McCain and that in turn will question the effectiveness of the Catholic clergy in communicating matters of vital moral importance to their respective congregations.
But, communication is a real problem since much of important moral teaching gets lost in the excrement from the pulpit on the subject of “social justice.” No, it tends not to be as bad as some of the mainstream Protestant churches, especially the Episcopalians. But, there’s always been a political liberalism that creeps into what is supposed to pass for church doctrine.
Particularly pernicious is the “seamless garment” doctrine. This merely allows many in the clergy to give their favorite liberal politician a pass on abortion if you hold the correct views taxes, public spending, and the death penalty. It give ammunition to use against a conservative candidate who opposes abortion yet doesn’t support the other issues. Most Catholics have picked up on this and have turned off the white noise from the pulpit. Most Catholics know the difference between fundamental doctrine, abortion is a moral abomination, and political positions that do not reflect Catholic Church doctrine.
If the clergy fails to connect on abortion, then it is the fault of turning off an congregation who already knows that killing unborn innocents is a mortal sin.
But, also know that public social welfare programs are not charity since they all involve forceable takings, via taxes. The politician who proposes such and the taxpayer who pays such neither gain treasure in heaven because one the former spending other people’s money while the latter having “charity” involuntarily enforced.
And, also know that killing the innocent is very different that killing, in the gravest extreme, evil persons who would harm others. Oh, yes, many in the congregation know what “evil” is and are unafraid to call evil such. And, yes you use lethal force to stop such persons. Yes, you even go to war.
The same said congregation also knows that the death penalty is sometimes needed for persons who, through unspeakable evil, cross a line that carries only one punishment.
If the Catholic vote ignores its clergy on the subject of abortion, then maybe the clergy needs to really bone up on what really constitutes Catholic doctrine. And, keep their political opinions to themselves. Frankly, the next time I hear the word “social justice” I’m going to just barf right there and then in the pews.