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I found an interesting blog article from a Roman Catholic deacon in New York called "Obama wins with Catholic vote."  http://www.patheos.com/...

The article quotes a November final Gallup poll estimating that the Catholic vote would go to President Obama by 52 to 45 percent.  I haven't yet located the kind of magisterial cross-tabs that get published by the New York Times or Washington Post, but I suspect the actual number was more like 55 to 42.  One of the main reasons for that is the overwhelming percentage of Latinos who voted for the Democrats.

Catholics make up about one-quarter of the American electorate, and they nearly always vote for the Democrats.

Catholics, of course, are far from a monolithic group.  Older Catholics who regularly go to church, for example, are thought to be generally Republican, although there are many exceptions.

Please note that there is a wingnut site called catholicvote.org.  They're not trustworthy.

I'm posting this because I'm glad to see that a significant majority of American Catholics, once again, were the foundation of a Democratic victory.

And this was true despite the electoral meddling of many of the Catholic bishops in the name of so-called "religious liberty."  As usually happens, the majority of Catholics ignored the bishops and voted their conscience.

There is a lot of anti-Catholic [edit: hierarchy] sentiment among the left wing of the Democrats, but the Obama campaign itself was very careful to reach out to Catholics, who turned out in very high humbers.

I can't research this any more right now, but I'd be grateful if anybody had better data.  I hate to rely on Gallup.  

I can't find anything at the Public Policy Polling site on this.  However, PPP did a poll in February 2012 regarding the birth control controversy:  http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/....  It includes this finding:

There is a major disconnect between the leadership of the Catholic Church and rank and file Catholic voters on this issue. We did an over sample of almost 400 Catholics and found that they support the benefit overall, 53-44, and oppose an exception for Catholic hospitals and universities, 53-45. The Bishops really are not speaking for Catholics as a whole on this issue.
Their report goes on to predict:
Republican agitating on this issue could cause themselves trouble at the polls this year. 40% of voters say Mitt Romney's stance makes them less likely to vote for him, while only 23% consider it a positive.  With the Catholic oversample it's 46% less likely and 28% more likely.
Final observation:  this was the first time both VP candidates were Roman Catholics.  One is a lunch-bucket, working-class, genuinely religious, social-justice Catholic.  The other is a Randian, heretic vampire.

The good guys won.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not Anti-Catholic (8+ / 0-)

    But anti- Catholic hierarchy, a group of dinosaurs who are locked in a death grip with the rich boys in the GOP.

    Catholics in general are very liberal, and favor policies that support the most needy in our society.

  •  Why are you bringing attention to this? (0+ / 0-)

    IMHO this would best be something to sweep under the proverbial rug.

    •  Please get off your high horse. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      I'm Catholic.  You're being offensive.  

      Is there any room for Obama moderates around here?

      by Bagger on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:33:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, what is offensive to me is the (0+ / 0-)

        hundreds of thousands of kids you guys have sexually molested and then covered up.

        Be that a high horse or whatever, it's totally fucked up to me that you continue to get away with it.

        •  I hope you're equally harsh on all Americans (5+ / 0-)

          for our war crimes in Iraq. The use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen (and who knows where else). Our massive effect on global warming. And on and on. Or, perhaps, you can realize that the good and the bad exist in the same group and the struggles of the good can be acknowledged as they work towards a better future? Or not. Your choice.

          Attention rich bastards, this is real important,
          I thought you might want to know
          That $5,000 suits don't hide your 5¢ souls.

          by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:57:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you stop being American and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Knockbally

            end all that?  Really, tell me how?

            By contrast, it is not that difficult to stop enabling the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church . ..  after all, membership is entirely voluntary (quite unlike paying taxes to support the US MIC).

            •  Being American is voluntary (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus, pHunbalanced, Knockbally

              Pack your bags and move. Or work to make America better. But remember, it's often easier to make change from the inside.

              The ball's back in your court.

              To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

              by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:03:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Move where? (0+ / 0-)

                Seriously, not that many countries want Americans.

                I don't really know why you are being deliberately obtuse on this issue, but it is quite frankly difficult to stop being American as compared to stop being a child abuse enabling religious nutcase.

                •  Wrong. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Timaeus, pHunbalanced, Knockbally

                  When you are born and raised in a tradition it is very difficult to leave it behind. Leaving behind your nationality is no less difficult than leaving behind your culture and that includes your religious beliefs.

                  Look, insult all Catholics as much as you want. That is your right as an American. But I get the sense that it's not me being obtuse that's bothering you on this rather it's the uncomfortable feeling you have that I'm right about it.

                  To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

                  by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:19:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Hey Roadbed Guy, we've got to stop meeting like (6+ / 0-)

      this.  We need to distinguish between the  
      the top-down hierarchical institutional governing body,which is pushing a socially conservative agenda aligned with the right-wing, and a vast numbers of Catholic people and voters inspired by the social justice traditions of many Catholic communities,  which also happen to be an important and large constituency of the Democratic Party and people of our country.

      When critics of the terrible atrocities of the pedophiliac priests fail to make these distinctions and issue blanket castigations of Catholicism and all Catholics as the exclusive cause and responsible parties in pedophilia scandals, or the Holy Wars and Crusades starting a thousand years ago which have no doubt contributed to current tensions in Islamic areas, these critics harm progress towards resolution, as well our Democratic coalition, secular humanism, atheism, and the social fabric of America and the world.

      If we used similarly flawed  logic we could indict all Americans for collective responsibility for Bush Administration war crimes, moral responsibility for civilian deaths in drone strikes, all Moslems responsibly for violent Jihad, all followers of Shinto for atrocity committed by the Japanese in the rape of Nanking, all Jews responsible for injustices to Palestinians, and all Palestinians responsible for terrorists rocket attacks on Israeli border areas, and all modern global citizens responsible for excess consumerism and energy use causing carbon emissions potentially destroying life on earth.  

      And, before you jump in and say this is exactly right, Roadbed Guy and this is why only you and modern "scientifically" oriented supporters of nuclear power are morally pure, let me remind you that we can easily find a large group who would indict you for all future instances of totalitarian police state necessary to keep vast quantities of radioactive wastes out of the hands of terrorist who wish to use existing power plant waste sites vast dirty bombs with drone missal strikes.

      This kind of mind set will infinite perpetrate hostilities, bigotry, prejudice, and side-effect injustices forever, which is one reason the Geneva Conventions makes collective punishment illegal.

      But, this does not mean that all human as part of our global social system do not have a voluntary opportunity to assume collective moral responsibility for all of our collective moral short-comings in an abstract way, in the sense that this perspective may be a first step towards enabling us to transcend them and work together towards building better societies. To me, this is essence of the spirit of secular or scientific humanism - but which has a pre-requisite of granting an entry level of respect to all people and their private religious and spiritual beliefs, ethnicities, and a vast number of other "original sins."    

      I see posts such as this as important contributions to improved collective understanding and effectiveness in developing more sophisticated collective perspectives in our  Party and as people of our country which should also include the essence of a secular Rosetta stone that helps enable a pluralistic peoples to engage more deeply in issues involving values and also "collective responsibility" for our institutional failures and short-comings against aspirational goals.

      To make this more specific, many Catholics including Joe Biden distinguish the social justice mission of Catholicism from the socially conservative agenda of the hierarchy represented by the Vatican and councils of Bishops, who at a very practical level competed for the hearts and minds of Catholic voters who each had to decide whether to vote for Democrats and social justice, or follow the Vatican and vote for the socially conservative anti-abortion and "family values" agenda.

      This excellent post by Timaeus, calls our attention to a job well done by our many Catholic Democrats like Joe Biden who helped keep this towards a 50-50 split.

      Catholic voters displayed a more sophisticated political perspective in being able to tease out these subtle nuances and we should celebrate, elevate, and include their success with ours as fellow respected Democrats.

      Especially, as we are probably about to grabble with our own complex ethical ambiguities as we engage in a "grand compromise" with Republicans to avoid the largely self-made crisis of the "fiscal cliff" but will possible result in Democrats "betraying" Social Security recipients, Government Pensioners, and  Medicare recipients by adopting much of the Simpson-Bowles provisions including these pathetic and dodgy modified cost-of-living  adjustments - which many will consider to also be an atrocity.

      But, will we then denounce all Democrats as just as guilty as all Catholics, and everyone else, for all atrocities committed in our names by our institutions in the inherently humbling engagement with our political system and reality?

      No! I say, let's instead move in the direction of learning, nuance, and subtle distinctions where we tease out how we get more of the good things and less of the bad things out of ourselves and our social groups including religions. And, where we redefine moral responsibility as an empowering opportunity to make the world better, rather than as a convenient black indictment we pull out to automatically blame groups of others for more complex moral failings of human systems.  

      Otherwise, you might risk giving Atheism a bad name and being held morally accountable for single handedly undermining the possibility of cooperation and progress in pluralistic democracies, and others may incorrectly put you in the same indictment box along side pedophiles, war criminals, Republican bigots, and other near-do-wells.  And, this wouldn't be fair, even though it might resonate on certain humorously poignant comic ironies, some might enjoy.  (But, then I would denounce them,and myself with equal fervor, and jump into the indictment box with you.)    

      So Timeaus is moving us in the right direction to notice and celebrate that we owe much gratitude to those Catholics who had the courage and moral sophistication to defy the religious orders of their church hierarchy and use their noble feelings and traditions of their religions social justice mission to chose to vote for Democrats.  We probably could not have won this election without them, and need to include and respect them as a vital part of the Democratic coalition, and also I would hope a larger coalition of secular and non-secular humanists who are trying to find ways to transcend divisions to work together to help create a better world.

      So, in the spirit of brevity, let me say no we should not sweep this under the carpet, but sweep it to the middle of the floor and reveal in it, roll around in it like a cat marking our primary playground.

      And, as alway, Roadbed guy, you know I mean this in the nicest possible way, and as a fellow Democratically, humanist, oriented scientist.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:45:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes we could . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Knockbally
        If we used similarly flawed  logic we could indict all Americans for collective responsibility for Bush Administration war crimes, moral responsibility for civilian deaths in drone strikes, all Moslems responsibly for violent Jihad, all followers of Shinto for atrocity committed by the Japanese in the rape of Nanking, all Jews responsible for injustices to Palestinians, and all Palestinians responsible for terrorists rocket attacks on Israeli border areas, and all modern global citizens responsible for excess consumerism and energy use causing carbon emissions potentially destroying life on earth.
        And that would be fair enough.

        But puzzle me this - as I pointed out above "how do you stop being an American?"  - there is NO trivial answer as compared to how one can stop enabling the child abusing Catholic Church . . .  IOW, one can pretty much instantly decide to no longer be part and parcel of the latter.

        •  Thanks for reading and responding Roadbed Guy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, Roadbed Guy, Knockbally

          I was afraid you might misinterpret my excessively long speech as a snark, just because I put in some self-satirical comic relief for my own, (and your benefit.)

          I knew you were going to like this paragraph, and am so pleased you quoted it, as I deliberately put it in to illustrate I do understand elements of your perspective better than you might think.

          One thing I appreciate about you is you exceptionally long attention span.  And, attention to detail.

          Well, I guess I should say two things I appreciate are you long attention span, and attention to detail, and your intelligence.  ....

          Among your many admirable qualities are attention span, attention to detail and intelligence, which helps soften the your sometimes edgy and provocative cynicism.  (So much for this Monty Python allusion to break the ice.)

          To respond to you excellent point I need to introduce a more complicated mathematical paradigm, I know you must be familiar with as a scientist.

          The choice you identify of being able to renounce our religions but not our nationality implies that this choice is a binary variable and our only possible response to moral failings by the leaders of these groups, and in regard to collective guilt, moral responsibility, and punishment.  

          But, this is a vast oversimplification of several  variables which include the "relative degree of identification with the group (Catholicism or being an American), the perceived relative legitimacy of the group compared to others you might be able to participate in instead, and also the degree of dedication or alignment with such a group for other goals. And, also and unfortunate oversimplification of the longer-term and wider system issues involved in remaining part of a group that engages in, enables, or even allows immoral and criminal behavior.  

          You suggest we should hold Catholics moral responsible for their continued participation in a group  because some of their leadership engaged in pedophilia and many of the top most leaders deliberately covered it up, allowing other children to be molested, and "imply" they could have, and "should have" "easily" left  their church, and when they do not we are correct in holding them to be morally responsible for enabling a criminal organization so are therefore equally morally culpable.

          But, that we should not hold all American equally responsible for potential war crimes committed in our names under the Bush Administration because it would be "inconvenient" for us to move?  Really?  

          First of all, you err in your assessment that it would easier for some deeply religious people to give up their Church and Faith than to move and seek asylum to another country.

          But, what is more surprising, is that you would suggest collective guilt and punishment is legitimate but "inconvenience" in quitting the system should be an excuse that would let folks off the hook.  Those trapped in criminal gangs face much worse "inconvenience" than a rich fellow like you would seeking asylum in another country.

          But, when we look at the bigger picture of the whole causal network of other system variables, and also expand our time frame into a dynamic framework over time we discover that these choices are not just binary "on and off" switches but continuous variables of an infinite number of graduations.

          I'll grant that the amount of work and inconvenience" are important but we need to introduce more variable and a longer time frame -- shall we say "total switching" cost to "move in the direction" of a cost/benefit dynamic  mathematical analysis (of the sort I've tried to use to convert you away from nuclear power to wiser more efficient sustainable energy choices. ) ( Mathematically these two problems may be surprisingly  isomorphic in many ways)

          All Catholics, and Americans, supporters of nuclear power,  and more generally members of groups they were brought up into systems that turn out to have moral side effects not to their liking have many more options than just up and leaving.

          Some choose to remain members to see if they can be a positive force in helping the groups recognize and transcend their pathological components.

          "Membership" in these groups is not simply an either our choice. Many Catholics and Americans identify to large extents with what they perceive to be positive elements of their group, its behavior, and moral consequences, but dis-identify with negative, immoral, and criminal behavior done by errant members in the name of the group.

          One reason I did not leave and renounce my American citizenship with former President Bush violated Geneva Convention, international law, and the American Constitution by falsifying data to lead us into the war in Iraq is that I did not and do not accept the equality of George Bush = America.  

          I remained an American, passionately patriotic and dedicated to our Constitution and the rule of law, and energetically denounced Bush, Cheney, and the yet- to-be indicted co-conspirators for trying to hijack our Country and our redefine our Constitution and identify as Americans with their disgusting and aberrant behavior which harmed many more children with death than all the pedophile priests combined.  (See several hundred posts here in my archives from that time period.)

          I do not excuse myself from collective guilt if the rest of the world could bypass our total domination of the world courts to indict us for war crimes, -- I just don't think realistically that is going to happen, or that may be the most constructive way to maximize collective learning to improve the future behavior for humanity.  But, I'm open minded.  I actually think hearing in the World Court would be better than not, but that's a different topic.

          If we take our excess use of carbon based fuels which is having a catastrophic impact on our atmosphere and the possibly even human, and other life-forms on earth as another example of the same principles we see it not even as much "moral and ethical" issues as much as survival issues.

          For this purpose, and for clarity, and brevity, I oversimplify and use the same cost/benefit type of analysis where survival is just one component of "utility" or "goodness" and collapse of the atmosphere and ecosystems, and vast numbers of human deaths, as a "cost" - a very negative cost.

          But, I suspect I know you well enough that if someone responded to you they should be excused from having to reduce  excess use of carbon based fuels because they have no other planet to go to you would quickly reject this by saying "no, you have another choice which is to stop burning highly carbon emitting coal."  

          In fact do you not use this exact argument to suggest "simple-minded environmentalists" are hypocritical  not to support nuclear power?  I would argue that nuclear power has such cost problems with the generation of problematic nuclear waste which not only kills the cost/benefit ratios when compared to renewables, but also create enormous national security "external cost"  of terrorism, or even just the extremely costly measures we must go through to avoid them including loss of civil liberties as one of costs.

          But, I bring this up only to show that your own espoused belief system, to the extent I am rendering it accurately quickly demolishes the "Catholics are different from American with regard to moral responsibility because they can give up their religion, but we can't conveniently move logic."  

          I hope you will quickly renounce this as an over sight or mis-step, so we can move onto looking at a more valid moral-ethical-cost/benefit paradigm.    

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:33:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess we just fundamentally disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Knockbally

            on this - personally I was raised in a batshit crazy religion and left when I was old enough to get out of under my parent's sway.

            So it CAN be done.   Again, very easily, you just freakin' do it.

            Unlike leaving the country.  There is NO practical way for vast numbers of people to simply pack up and leave no matter how much you care to equate the two scenarios.

            •  You guys (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, Timaeus

              I am so impressed with the level of your discourse it's almost making me misty.  Seriously.

              You disagree with each other, as Roadbed Guy says, in fundamental ways, but you are civil, listen to each other, respond to each other, and don't resort to attacks.  

              As a believer and what I sometimes think of as a "half-assed Catholic", I struggle with my faith.  I have not found it easy just to leave the church, even though I rarely go to Mass.  It's such a part of my upbringing, my history, and even my ethnicity (Irish) that I think I'll always, at some level, consider myself Catholic.

              I hate what the hierarchy has done covering up the ruination of young lives; but many of the humans within this institution constantly amaze me with their compassion and concern for justice.

              I guess, ultimately, I would love to see discussions among people of all faiths or no faith with the kind of respect I've seen above.  Even if as progressives we can't agree about religion or faith, perhaps we can find those important areas where our passions intersect, and work together there.

              The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

              by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:15:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  There was a time Catholics, even the hierarchy, (8+ / 0-)

    had some very positive impact on social justice. We especially saw this in Latin America where priests literally put their lives on the line for the poor and disadvantaged. Something happened to that version of the Church and I don't really have a clue what it was.

    Attention rich bastards, this is real important,
    I thought you might want to know
    That $5,000 suits don't hide your 5¢ souls.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:00:44 AM PST

    •  Pope JPII (6+ / 0-)

      initiated a reactionary backlash against all "leftist" elements in the Church. His chief lieutenant in this effort was Cardinal Ratzinger, the current pope.

      •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, congenitalefty, JGibson

        What's funny is many liberals speak well of John Paul II. After all he did things like try to reconcile the 1000 year old schism between the Eastern and Western church. His position as Pope and being Polish helped trigger peristroika and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Hell, he even accepted Darwinism as legitimate science. But we tend to idolize those aspects and thus miss the whole picture. Thanks for adding to my view of him.

        Attention rich bastards, this is real important,
        I thought you might want to know
        That $5,000 suits don't hide your 5¢ souls.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:10:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  John Paul II was a great pope and probably (8+ / 0-)

          only about the second pope to be a saint.  I have a picture of him in my house; I would never put up a picture of the current pope.

          But as he was raised under a Communist dictatorship in Poland, he had a very Cold War view toward all "leftist" views.  And this had many bad consequences, especially in the attacks on liberation theology.

          Incidentally, I'll never forget that Mikhail Gorbachev wrote an Op-ed piece in the New York Times claiming that it was John Paul II who was singlehandedly responsible for destroying the Soviet Union.  It wasn't Ronald Reagan.

      •  That's correct, and the effect was (3+ / 0-)

        particularly malign in Latin America.  The current pope is old and sick.  Hopefully the next pope will be a visionary from Africa or Asia or South America.

    •  It's not dead. Catholics have huge numbers (8+ / 0-)

      of schools and hospitals.  They operate the world's largest charities.  They're active in opposing the death penalty, in advocating for the rights of immigrants, and so forth.

      Many of the American bishops are actually courageous in some of these stands.  But the majority are wrong about many social issues.

      •  There have been many times and places in history (4+ / 0-)

        where Catholics were the only organized group helping the poor, tending to the homeless sick, and others in the tradition of compassion and social justice proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount.

        Recently, the Nuns of the Bus, and the Franciscan Friars Action Network proclaimed these same values to opposed Romney and Ryan in defiance of pressures from the Church hierarchy to support the agenda of the social conservatives.

        These Catholics are and should be an honored, respected, and welcome member of our Democratic coalition.

        Just as we do not hold all women responsible for Ann Coulter, and all post middle age men responsible for Rush Limbaugh, we should not cast overly wide nets of collective guilt across groups for short-comings of some of their members.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:01:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The people within the church (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus

        are often progressive about social issues. Not always, mind you, but many are.

        For instance,my mom, in her retirement, became active in AIDS work, learned about social injustice in Central America, attended conferences, and headed St. Vincent dePaul.

        She's still a Republican, bless her, in a large family of Democrats (and agnostics and atheists and United Church of Christ attendees).  But she's the best person I know, and one of the most humble workers for humanity.

        Anyway, thanks for bringing up this topic - I find it very important.

        The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

        by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:24:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Catholics moved to the suburbs (0+ / 0-)

      And identify less with the poor.  

    •  There are still many Catholics inspired by the (5+ / 0-)

      biblical stories of Jesus' mission of social justice and compassion for the poor.  In my archives you can find post describing The Nuns on the Bus tour, and the message to Romney and Ryan from the Franciscan Friars Social Network denouncing the Ryan budget cuts as lacking in compassion for the poor.

      We could not have won this election without the help of the compassion oriented and social justice Catholics who are an important part of our Democratic coalition.  We should honor, respect, and include them in our coalition in the same way as we do all of our other coalitions.  Not all of which are completely lacking in members who have fallen short of our most noble aspirations and standards.

      We should distinguish between good Catholic Democrats (and Republicans) and the pedophiles and criminal cover-up by many in the church hierarchy in the same way we do for other groups that include members who have fallen short.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, see my reply to Roadbed Guy elsewhere (5+ / 0-)

        Though I was in awe of your dissertation on the matter. ;D Broad strokes paint poor pictures. Of course most of us fall into that trap (South bashing is a common one around here). But we can recognize it and do better.

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:00:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed ontheleftcoast. That's the basic message (4+ / 0-)

          isn't it?  We can all do better by moving in the direction of acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, and in the case of my "dissertation" self-reflection inspired with small doses of humor.

          One of my favorite cartoons  is by Gary Larson who draws two scientists standing before a vast chalkboard filled with equations and a dog is looking at it with its head tilted to the side.

          And, one of the scientists says "oh, look isn't it cute when dogs try to understand quantum mechanics?"

          This is part of my motivational and aspirational model whenever I try to articulate my true  beliefs about morality and complex ethical ambiguities on diverse political blogs.

          Being a post-quantum, Buddhist influenced, scientific humanist influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, I feel morally obligated to engage in all challenges to "goodness" with good cheer, optimism and patience.  But as someone who has written more than 23,000 comments, 590 posts, (and even over 25,000 recs) I have enough experience to know that any comment over 3 paragraphs is pretty much ignored.  

          And, after spending several years patiently trying to convert Roadbed Guy to environmentally friendly sustainable energy alternative, and during the Fukushima nuclear disaster,  its is not going to work any better than trying to convert him to scientific humanism -- but I am obligated to go through the dance, and we've sort of becomes friends in the process.

          The good news is this "opportunity" has given me such a great opportunity to practice this speech, that I"m beginning to enjoy it and put little humorous self-satirical variations into to it.  

          It's probably just delusions of grander, but sometimes I get an extra chuckle imagining that if I ever become famous again for something worthwhile and sustainable,  graduate students might search through our archives and analyze these subtle comic variations and give a name for this odd kind of humor.

          Long after I'm dead of course. What a pleasant thrill it is to find some living person who has actually read any of them.

          Now that I realize I have an audience I might do these more than the obligatory four or five times a year.  Just so you can keep track, at some point after a really long one, my final conclusion is going to be "and to brief, what I guess I am trying to say is "more of the good things and less of the bad things."

          Then just as in Hermain Hesse's Glass Bead Game the readers will know I'm about to go for the last swim in the cold pond and pass on to the next world where Roadbed Guy and I will be in one of the rings of purgatory or sitting on a cloud doing these mediations for all eternity.

          It's like a destiny thing, or a religious metaphor that gives me comfort regardless if it makes any rational sense.  And, who will say I haven't tried my hardest to be good?

           

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:27:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  BTW I didn't mean to suggest I was one of the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, pHunbalanced, Knockbally

            scientist in the Gary Larson comic but that were are all dogs when it comes to trying to calculate and argue ethics in a complicated world.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:37:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't believe my eyes! A one-sentence post (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoundDog, Knockbally

              by HoundDog!  (Thanks for the great posts in this thread.)

              •  Good one Timaeus. Goodness knows I struggle (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timaeus, Knockbally

                constantly to be briefer and more succinct.

                But, it doesn't seem to be in my nature.  

                My father studied six years to be priest at Saint Benedicts, didn't take his final vows, and had to enlist in the Navy where he became an aviator, then a computer scientist.  But if I ever asked him a question he would put every thing aside and deliver a four to six hour answer.  And, her knew quite a bit about almost everything.

                Whatever.... thanks for this stimulating post Timaeus.

                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:10:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Good to know (8+ / 0-)

    I'm one of these liberal Catholics, and I've seen for myself how true it is that the majority of Catholics in the pews refuse to take marching orders from out-of-touch bishops. Some research indicates that Catholics in the pews are more progressive than the general population on issues like same-sex marriage. The bishops definitely don't speak for us.

    Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

    by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:02:44 AM PST

  •  Yep- the Catholic vote has always been (4+ / 0-)

    more Democratic than the Protestant vote since the Protestant Right puts no focus on economic fairness & votes overwhelmingly Republican..

    I never thought the Catholic vote would be impacted much by the leadership's communication.

    I'm really hoping the Religious Right's influence is largely done after this election. If you look back, 20 years ago Democrats used to run from social issues. We don't now because they work to our advantage.

    I'd love to see the electorate move left on economic and poverty issues as well. I have always thought health care and poverty and homelessness were moral issues.

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:21:46 AM PST

    •  Interesting. (4+ / 0-)

      Romney's 47% gaffe and the way Obama pounded him on that are a great example of Democrats directly talking about social justice issues.

      And everything said by Elizabeth Warren, who I hope will be the next president after Obama.

      One of the most encouraging things about this election was the tremendous turnout.  In my county in Maryland, turnout was almost 80 percent.  When was the last time that happened?

  •  Not surprising and refutes the (4+ / 0-)

    media narrative that "ZOMG health care reform and contraception coverage is going to lose Democrats the Catholic vote forever"

    As a very lapsed cradle Catholic (you can take the girl out of the church and all that) this is what I tried to tell people during the election. The laity ain't the bishops.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:26:37 AM PST

    •  Bingo. (0+ / 0-)

      The people and the bishops are two different things.  Of course, the church is a super-entrenched hierarchy, but they can't have a religion without the people.  Any more than our government can have a country without its people.

      The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

      by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:27:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pew Forum says Catholics O 50 R 45 (4+ / 0-)

    Here's a link to an article posted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life with the breakdown of the vote by religious background:

    Pew Forum Link

    According to Pew, 50% of Catholics voted for Obama and 45% for Romney.  That's down from the results in 2008, when 54% of Catholics voted for Obama and 45% for McCain.  In both elections, most white Catholics voted for the Republican (59% this year; 52% in 2008), but Hispanic Catholics voted heavily for Obama in both years (>70% in both elections).

    I think it is fairer to say that Obama won with Hispanic votes than Catholic ones.  I am a white Catholic and always vote Democratic, but I have to say that most white Catholics are extremely pro-life and find it very difficult to overcome their religious objections to vote for the party that they consider pro-choice.  During the first 3/4s of the 20th Century, Catholics were reliable Democratic voters but since the 1980 election, Catholics have voted more Republican/conservative.  The best way to put it now is that Catholics are like the rest of the country, and tend to split votes between Democratic/Republican and liberal/conservative.

    nyuk, nyuk, nyuk -- Curley

    by hjkelly3 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:34:54 AM PST

    •  Thanks for the data. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knockbally

      Actually, it's not true that since the 1980s Catholics have generally voted Republican.  I don't remember the number exactly, but I looked this up a few years ago, and I believe that Catholics went for the Democrat in all but one or two presidential elections since the 1980s.

      •  But if you look at white Catholics it's not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Knockbally

        majority.
        Hispanic especially, and African American to some degree bring the Catholics to the Democrats.

      •  Let me clarify (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, Knockbally

        I did not mean that most Catholics vote Republican since the 1980s.  I meant that before 1980, Catholics were strongly Democratic voters.  After 1980, they are less Democratic and more Republican -- if you look at the Pew data in the link, the Catholic vote is slightly more Democratic than Republican in the last four elections (although in 2004, Bush got the majority of the Catholic vote), but only in 2008 did an actual majority of Catholics (>50%) vote for a Democratic President.

        I was in college in the mid-1970s, and recall learning in poli sci class that Catholics were reliably Democratic and liberal.  A few years later, a close family member who was very involved in liberal Catholic movements warned me that was no longer true (this was early 1980s) and that it was not likely that Catholics could be counted on to overturn the Reagan revolution.  I think that analysis is still correct -- Catholics are politically split and cannot be relied up to deliver big margins nationally for Democrats.  Perhaps as the Hispanic population grows, they may be able to deliver more Catholic votes, but again, I think that's because they are Hispanics, not because they are Catholics.

        nyuk, nyuk, nyuk -- Curley

        by hjkelly3 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:35:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Catholics come in different stripes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, brae70, Vita Brevis, Knockbally

    I was born and raised in Buffalo, where most white Christians are Catholic. But they are Catholic due to ethnicity (Irish, Polish, Italian) and vote with their labor interests for the most part. I now live in Cincinnati, where most white Christians are Catholic but they are also hyper-conservative and vote that way. Most of the Catholics here are ethnically German, but I'm not sure that this plays a major role in their politics. There isn't a particularly strong union presence here so that may explain the right-wing politics of most white Catholics here. So, its not the Catholicism that is driving the voting, but rather the environment in which the religion is practiced.

    •  I've seen it argued convincingly here that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, Knockbally

      there is no such thing as a monolithic "Catholic vote," that Catholics have many diverse reasons to vote that transcend their religious affiliation.

      Personally I think the truth is in the middle.  People raised as Catholics tend to share a distinct set of values, even if they have left the church and lead purely secular lives.  When I say a distinct set of values, I mean primarily an attitude of charity toward the needy.

      There is a seamless web of "pro-life" values.  It's a shame that that idea has become tied almost exclusively to abortion in the United States. It's not like that in other countries.  Myself, I'm pro-life and also pro-choice.  But I don't want to debate that here.

      In my book a guy like Ryan is the opposite of pro-life.  I'm pleased to see that the majority of American Catholics apparently agree with me on that.

  •  I could have tipped & recc'd this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus

    just for this sentence:

    One is a lunch-bucket, working-class, genuinely religious, social-justice Catholic.  The other is a Randian, heretic vampire.
    Perfect!

    The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

    by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:29:19 AM PST

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