"Can a Catholic be a Democrat?"

I saw this blog and I thought I should share it with you all so we can have some fun and talk about the things that really make us Catholic. I am publishing it in its entirety. Now, tell me whether you agree with the author or not. And why? This should be interesting. Post a comment at the end of the article. Fire away!
~ Wally arida, Publisher and Editor in chief

Can a Catholic be a Democrat?
January 10, 2007 01:00 PM EST

I was recently given a book called " Can a Catholic be a Democrat?" To tell you the truth, I probably won't read the book (although I hear good things about it), because it's bound to be 220 pages of "no."

Is this a question that really needs asking, "can a devout Catholic be a faithful Democrat?" I think we all know the answer. The Church has 5 non-negotiable issues. Any candidate that supports these issues cannot be supported or voted for by a Catholic, simple as that. To do so would be a sin. What are these five non-negotiable issues? To list them off sounds like one is reading the Democratic platform: embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, and human cloning.

Notice the absence of "war for oil," the death penalty, and tax cuts.

The Dems have continued to support embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that it has yet to show any hint of promise for curing diseases, because it furthers their baby-killing agenda. Life is cheap to liberals, and to create any benefit from the destruction of unborn life is to further prop up their barbaric need for what is ultimately the "right" to promiscuous, risk-free sex (aka, abortion).

The Dems have shown again and again that, against the will of the US public, they will support gay marriage with every ounce of effort they posses. Many feel gay marriage cost John Kerry the 2004 election. Dems have no respect for the institution of marriage and will sell it out to any and every gay, bigamist, or animal lover that will give them a vote.

As far as abortion goes, the Dems have religiously protected this "right" (and that's about the only thing they'll do religiously) since the first woman was "forced" to kill her unborn child with a coat hanger. The Dems put this issue above all else, and will not budge on it. They flat-out support the murder of unborn children.

The Dems showed us all a while back that euthanasia wasn't just a dream of theirs when they had Terri Schiavo starved to death against her mother and father's wishes. Adding to the "can a Democrat be a Catholic" argument, they wouldn't even allow a dieing Schiavo a measly crumb of Holy Eucharist.

Can a Catholic be a Democrat? Sure. But will that Dem be a Catholic in way other than name? Certainly not. The Democratic party's platform is almost in complete contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic faith (with the exception, perhaps, of Catholic Social Teaching, which fits perfectly due to it's heavy borrowing from Socialism). All five of the Catholic church's non-negotiable issues seem to be taken directly from the Democratic party's platform. To vote Democrat is, in almost all cases, wrong and against Church teachings. "Catholic" politicians such as Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) and Jennifer Granholm (D, MI) should be excommunicated for their support of abortion.

Can a devout Catholic be a faithful Democrat? Absolutely not!

Shane Carey is a writer at the conservative news blog,


Anonymous said...

Hey, PW! this guy says, "I'm not going to read the book" It is evident that this individual doesn't have enough intellectual honesty to be taken seriously. Wait until you see my opinion!

Anonymous said...

Yes. I'm a registered Democrat and do not agree with the party's life positions. But I also do not like the position of the Republicans on the war in Iraq. I think both parties have things that are not true to the Church position on things.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Oh. I come from a clan that voted for FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, William Jefferson Clinton (2x), The Global Warming guy with the movie and John Kerry. We all went to parochial schools for all those generations, have two priests and three nuns in the family. We lived through the abolition of the Eucharistic fast and the change of the liturgy from Latin to the vernacular...and we're still Catholics, and no one has had an abortion, my god father was a homosexual and an alcoholic and I had three aunts and uncles who got divorced. Some are dead and some are still alive, and still good Catholics. Some of them even maintain a full fast for the entire six weeks of Lent. If the dear Irish Catholic Conservative who wrote the article can match that, then we can move on to further discussions.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Pelosi was Catholic? Man, she bugs me even more. I'm sad, because I have some older friends who are Catholic and Democrats. Their only grandchild was born out of wedlock, and could have been aborted. He is now the joy of their life, but they still don't see how evil abortion is.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good for you, anonymous. How can a Republican be a Catholic. You're right. Pro-life? 'Scuse me? 3000+ American kids dead; 6000+ invalided; bad armor; making sure that Halliburton gets all the money, even in Louisiana; the lack of concern for the environment; the refusal to assure a raise in the minimum wage; the refusal to pass a law to allow the US government to negotiate with the drug companies for better prices; the refusal to make the health care system work better. I order to be a Catholic in the US, it would be imperative to stay home and recite the rosary all day and hope that God would repeat either a partial deluge or a targeted fire and brimstone calamity.

Retired Bob in Hemet, CA said...

Can there be a more core issue that defines Catholics in politics than the issue of support for Life - abortion, death penalty, etc? We Republicans are not perfect and yes we waged this Iraq war - reluctantly not with joy. But Democrats hold abortion as a top issue with pride and glee. I'm staying Republican.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Democrats can be good Catholics as long as they are in "communion with the Holy See." They must believe the five basic tenets of the Church just like Catholic Republicans must also. People like Pelosi, Kerry, Kenned's, Governator Arnold, Guilioni (?) and others are not Catholics in good standing yet they go around saying so. They are fraud's. Issues like the war in Iraq do not enter the picture.
P.S. what is wrong with those people who sign off as "anonymous". Afraid to sign your name?

jocase said...

I am a lifelong Catholic and a lifelong registered Democrat.
However, the party has long ago left me.
I do not vote the straight party ticket and usually find myself choosing between the lesser of two evils.

SG in MoVal, CA said...

Let us just say that being a good Democrat, (being for abortion, for same sex marriage, for euthanasia, for human cloning, for embyonic stem cell research), is mutually exclusive from being a good Catholic.

While there will always be variations among individual politicians, good Catholic Democrats and bad Catholic Republicans. I am really referring to the general Democratic party platform. The platform that all members of the Democratic party are asked to support.

In this regard, while I find it possible to support an individual candidate from either party, I would find it hard if not impossible to give general support to a party with a platform so against Catholic teaching.

Anonymous said...

Mr Carrey makes the mistake of believing the right's rhetoric that Republicans are concerned about the wellbeing of the fetus. But actions speak louder than words. The Bush Administration has done nothing to decrease the abortion rate in America, which declined dramatically during the Clinton years and has stagnated since Bush took office.

Criminal law will never meaningfully impact abortion in the US. The abortion rate now is as low as it was before the Roe v Wade ruling, and abortion rates around the world are highest where abortion is illegal.

The only way to decrease abortion is to address those factors that are known determinants of the pregnancy decision: increase the disposable income of poor Americans, provide health coverage for all pregnant women, and make daycare more affordable across the US. By all these criteria, the Democrats are the 'pro-life' party. Even aside from the death issues related to the immoral Bush war in Iraq, the more relevant question is how can a good Catholic support the pro-abortion obstructionism on issues of poverty, healthcare and daycare that are advanced by today's Republican Party?

Claudio Ludovisi said...

I have a real problem with the opinion expressed in the article “Can a Catholic be a Democrat?”, and in particular the closing that says “…Absolutely Not!”.

I appreciate the value of simplicity and the convenience of having a simple opinion, but I think we are all called to think a little harder than that.

YES: Being a Catholic, devout or not, requires supporting Social Justice, which does link politics and religion

YES: Social Justice is about sticking up for those who have less power…for the little guy…and yes, the ultimate little guy is a baby. So, I do agree that to support abortion is not consistent with being a Catholic.

YES: There are other portions of the democratic agenda run counter to the principles of the Catholic Church.

That’s not the point.

In America, we only have two parties, really. To be politically active means to pick one of the two to some extent. JUST AS WE CANNOT SUPPOSED TO BE CAFETERIA CATHOLICS, (UNFORTUNATELY) WE CAN’T BE CAFETERIA PARTISANS EITHER! Politically, at the end of the day you probably just are closer to one party than the other, but it’s insulting, and myopic for anyone to claim that someone can’t be of party or the other and be a devout catholic.

Being a Democrat or being a Republican does not mean you agree with 100% of the policies and the people in the party it means that ON BALANCE you think it’s better to follow one agenda rather than than the other.

I don’t have time this morning, but I’m quite sure that I or anyone– with the help of a staunch democrat – could put together an argument that says the opposite

“Can a republican be a Catholic?” simply because I’m sure there are things that Republicans are pushing which also run counter to the Catholic teachings. (Come on! Is the current republican administration 100% consistent with Catholic principles?).

So at the end of the day, if you are an optimist, it’s about picking the party you THINK will push the agenda which on the balance will be more consistent with your view OF WHAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO. If you are a pessimist, it’s the party which will do less harm.

Let me end with this for today: having brain means being cursed – or blessed – with a life long spiritual struggle to reconcile the two and to try be the best human being and best Catholic you can be.

I believe I fall into that category. Does that make me a cafeteria catholic? No, but for the record,I like my Church Music Latin-supersized and I like my counterception happy mealed.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you all. This is the most intelligent and respectful discussion that I have ever read on the Internet about this subject and many others. I can see a lot of Catholic Democrats going to heaven here. My position lies along the lines of the writer who says that abortion and other immoral issues that drive our political agenda will not be defeated by more legislation or legal decisions. This requires that we citizens do our best to try to identify the most morally active candidates and vote for them in the hope that they will prevail.

I personally do not declare myself as a member of any party. I have to say that along about election time every voting season I get pangs of conscience because choosing a party somehow seems to be the better thig to do. For one thing it would drive me to be a more believable driver of the moral agenda in the party of my choice. To do that would appear to me to be more Catholic than to to be an aloof onlooker without any real input into the selection process, except my vote.

You know, I've just sermonized myself into registering "Democrat" next week. And it's all your fault. My uncle Léon of dear and fond memory is looking down grinning from ear to ear, slapping my guardian angel on the back and booming, "I win, I win!"

Brian McDooly in Fremont, CA said...

I'm just astounded at what I am hearing from Democrats in this discussion. As a republican, voting a candidate to me is as personal as it gets. And a candidate's opinion on the five issues discussed is as perdsonal as it gets to me. You guys can explaikn all you want about how it is about not getting the government involved in personal issues. But that is where my amazement begins.

I can not in good conscience vote for someone who thinks the issue of whether a person lives or dies is a choice. You guys have simplified Life to a choice. And you argue that it's not even a choice of the person who will live that life. It is someone else's - the mother.

You argue that in the political debate, stem cell research, gay marriage, etc. are all matters of the government not getting involved in the personal lives of people. But you do not argue with conviction that these are morally wrong. Even if you aabsent the teachings of the Catholic church.

The thoughts from the last two Democrat's response argue that these issues are complicated matters. They are. But in when you get to the voting booth, it becomes a persoanl decision and how can you vote for someone, Republican or Democrat, who can not seem to admit to himself that life is more than a choice?

If Jesus was a politician today, what would he do? Do you think he will argue like Ms. Boxer, Mr. Kennedy and Ms. Pelosi?

If Jesus were a voter today, would he complicate his personal thought process and say we should not ban abortion because in places where they have been banned, abortion have gone up and not down? And I even argue these claims.

If Jesus was alive in the US today, what would he do? He probably will not vote straight Democrat or Republican. He wold make indiividual choices based on the most good-least harm argument Mr. Ludovisi espouses. But He will not compromise on the issues of Life.

Go ahead and register Democrat if you wish. But please do not join the herd when the vote comes down to these basic Life issues. They maaybe complicated and complex issues from a party platform point of view. But from a personal declaration of values, they are not negotiable.

I'm sorry, my democratic friends. I am staying Republican.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person that says that we must vote for the candidate that is most supports the morally right issues. I am a life long democrat mainly because my parents had brought me up to believe that the democratic party has always protected and backed the poor and the minority. I am also a devout Catholic and strongly support those issues against abortion, gay marriage and such. I don't believe that those candidates such as Pelosi,Boxer and the Kennedys should sway us away of what we believe in as Catholics . I believe that these so called Catholics as politicians only stand on these platforms because they believe it gets them votes .

Deacon Eric Stoltz said...

There is a fallacy involved when people claim all Democrats are "for abortion." One can be against something and still think that making it illegal will NOT solve the problem. Many Republicans seem to believe that making abortion illegal will end it forever, then they can just put up a "Mission Accomplished" banner and go about their business.

As Prohibition, the "war on drugs" and simplistic answers to many other social problems have shown, making something illegal does not end the problem, it only hands over its management to organized crime. Example: the rate of alcoholism actually ROSE during the Prohibition, and people started using hard liquor instead of the beer that had been predominant before that because it was easier to make bathtub gin.

Furthermore, those who want to make abortion illegal do not seem to have thought about what penalties may be imposed in a society that loves the death penalty. If abortion is murder, will we be executing thousands of women who procure abortions?

Making abortion illegal is treating the symptom rather than the cause. It's like a doctor who only treats the cough of someone with tuberculosis. Why are women considering abortions? Deal with that first, otherwise the problem will not go away with the stroke of a pen.

I am a Democrat and I am not "for abortion." I question the wisdom of a simplistic legal approach that has never worked in the past for other social problems. And while the Republican position does nto make sense to me, I also question the stance of those in my party who say "Just leave it up to the woman" without finding ways to avoid the problem at its root.

I don't know who came up with this list of five non-negotiables. It's not an official list, and the fact that it leaves off something like war is suspicious. But to say that the only way to deal with all of these issues is a secular law is to forget the wisdom of Psalm 146: "Put not your trust in princes."

Bernadette in Irvine, California said...

I'm a passive reader of Parishworld and have never participated in these discussions. But I am glad I stumbled into this one. These are the kinds of forum that challenge us to look into our hearts and discern how we live our lives as Catholics when dealing with real life issues. And this is a true real life issue that is in people's faces everyday.

I am an independent although I admit I lean republican on many issues specifically the five outlined in the article.

The good deacon eric may have been right in mentioning this is not an official Catholic list. However, what is not arguable is the clarity of the Catholic Church teachings on these five issues. The Pope preaches it every week. I read them every week in this!

To minimize these core values - whether officially listed in a list or not - is to me not consistent with being a Catholic.

How can any Catholic justify voting for any candidate who openly promote these five issues? Isn't that what the gentleman named Claudio refered to as being "cafeteria Catholics?"

Yes the republican position isn't the complete solution but at the end of the day it is the one position that teaches the individual female having the abortion at the clinic that it is not right to God to end the life in her womb. The Democratic position will not even preach this.

Teaching the female it is up to your conscience instead of saying it is not right in the eyes of God is not Christian evangelization! I dare speculate that St. Paul the aspostle would take the direct approach and not wander around the bush the semantics of this issue. He would say save the life, woman!

I agree not all Democrats are baby-killers. Not all Republicans are war-mongers and death penaly executioners either. But in the voting booth, we should as Catholics look at every individual candidate and ask ourselves, "Will this guy vote to fund the killing of babies?" or "Will this guy vote to kill death penalty inmates?" No definite anser in sight, abstain your vore on the candidate.

We may be registered to political parties but we should not vote en-bloc. Otherwise, the platform will not change. What we need are more Catholic candidates in the election process - true devout Catholics who announce the faith to be their baromoter for leading - not candidates who use their Catholic affiliation just to get votes.

My answer to the initial question? Yes, you can be Democrat and be Catholic. But you should not sacrifice your personal beliefs in the process. And I hope that those beliefs are the very same beliefs be the one our Church teaches us - whether it is on an official list or not.

Anonymous said...

If you can't be a Democrat and Catholic, the logical follows with the question of whether one can be a good American and Catholic? Being a true American means standing up for diversity and equality, and defending differences, even if those differences go against your religious teachings. Democrats have walked the talk with these issues. If people wish to follow a Catholic theocracy at the expense of other peoples beliefs and equality, they should live at the Vatican, NOT in America.

M. Davis said...

For someone to tell me that I can't be a Catholic and a democrat is the epitome of arrogance. One of the things that makes this a great country is religious freedom, with the separation of church and state. Hurrah for the USA! I have always voted my conscience, and intend to continue to do so. To act as though one party or the other has all the answers is absurd. Are all republicans to be condemned because we are engaged in an unjust and inhumane war? I think not. Nor should all democrats be condemned because some espouse causes the articles author dislikes. Who appointed this person a judge and arbiter? This is a democracy, thank God. And so far, no one can tell me how to vote.

Fred Hernandez, Sr. said...

I wish to comment on the question "Can a Catholic be a Democart"?

Before a person takes a political/social positon his firt responsibility is to be a good. Bona FIde Catholic. Once you define yourself as a Catholic first then your political leanings should fall into place.

Fred Hernandez said...

before choosing a political affilitation one must first be a bona fide Catholic. Once that is defined and committment made the rest falls into its proper place.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know what they say... discussions about politics and religion usually don't end very well. In this case I think that nothing justifies ending the lives of children who aren't born yet. Nothing justifies killing anybody, for that matter. A person is a person, no matter how small, or how sick they are. So can a Catholic be a Democrat?... no. Both Democrats and Republicans have their own negative aspects- like war. So it's hard to really make a decision.

SG in MoVal, CA said...

Someone posted: Making abortion illegal is treating the symptom rather than the cause. It's like a doctor who only treats the cough of someone with tuberculosis. Why are women considering abortions? Deal with that first, otherwise the problem will not go away with the stroke of a pen.

Well here are a few of the facts. (Google, "Abortion demographics") The information is current as of 2005 and the data is from 2000, the latest year available as of the date of the study cited.

The average woman who seeks an abortion is 24 years old, unwed, earns about $25,000 a year, and already is a mother.

81% of all abortions are of women aged 20 and older.

As to the reasons why women have abortions:
1%, Rape or incest
3%, Health of the mother
3%, Fetal abnormalities
8%, Alrady have enough children
11%, Too young and immature to have a child
13%, Relationship problems/unmarried
17%, Life would be changed too much
22%, Not ready for the responsiblility
22%, Inadequate finances

While there is no dominant reason why women choose to have an abortion, there is an overwhelming factor: the pregnancy was unplanned. A modest 10% reduction in unplanned pregnancies would eleminate the need for 130,000 abortions each year.

As to the myth that overturning Roe vs. Wade would make abortion illegal, the truth is that all it would do is turn the abortion issue over to the states. Each state would then be able to decide if an abortion could be legally done within it's borders.

And for those who say that the government shouldn't be sticking it's nose in the abortion issue, remember that Roe vs. Wade is exactly that. The government sticking it nose in the abortion issue and saying that any woman can have an abortion at any time, including the 93% (1,209,000/year) who have them for reasons other than rape, incest, mothers health, or fetal abnormailites.

As to Catholics and political candidates, find me a candidate, from either party, that is against all five issues stated earlier and I will vote for that candidate.

Morgana said...

Well said.