The Catholic vote

The Catholic vote

At Catholic World News this week, we presented an analysis of George W. Bush’s sales pitch to Catholic voters at the Knights of Columbus convention in Dallas. It was about what you’d expect: championing of his pro-life position, his stance on gay marriage, his faith-based service initiative, his esteem for the Pope. Nothing groundbreaking there.

But one point bears examining. “Catholic voters, once heavily inclined to favor Democratic candidates, have shown more interest in Republicans in recent campaigns, particularly at the presidential level.” However, in 2000 Al Gore actually won the Catholic voter. Yet, when the numbers are broken down we see that there really isn’t a monolithic “Catholic vote.”

Early polls have suggested that the “Catholic vote” is sharply divided, with practicing Catholics at odds with those who have drifted from the faith. President Bush holds a comfortable lead among those Catholics who attend Mass every Sunday, while Senator Kerry has a commanding advantage among those who only occasionally go to Mass.

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8 comments
  • I resent people who call themselves Catholic when they don’t practice the Faith and deny its truths.  They may have been baptised and even raised Catholic, but the proper term for them is either “lapsed” or “protestant.”

    Maybe we could stretch things a little and say that good people prefer Bush and people with troubled consciences prefer Kerry.

  • When we boast of 60,000,000 Catholics in America and 2,000,000,000 worldwide, are these figures greatly exaggerated? If only 20% are attending Mass weekly, should we not say that there are only 12 million active Catholics and of course we know from our personal experience that of that group, many are not following the teachings of the Church.

    If we are charitable, and everyone knows we Catholics are the most charitable people on earth, there are probably less than 6 million true followers of the RCC. Perhaps we could start to reduce the number of big spending bishops.

  • “may have been baptised and even raised Catholic, but the proper term for them is either “lapsed” or “protestant.””

    Good point, Margaret. I have on occasion written to reporters/media outlets when I see them call certain people “practicing Catholics” (eg, John Kerry). I ask them in the future to please put in qualifiers like, “Kerry, who identifies himself (or who refers to himself) as a practicing Catholic,” etc.

    Thanks mostly to our CINO politicians, the term “practicing Catholic” has become meaningless. I prefer “orthodox” Catholic. That’s probably not a correct term to use, though, and may confuse people. It’s the most accurate term I have heard, however.

  • No, orthodox is correct.  Just don’t capitalize it.

    Here is an analogy…..Most people who “play” golf, don’t actually PLAY golf.  They play a game similar to golf.  When one takes mulligans, gimmies, rolls the ball in the fairways and roughs to perferred lies (winter rules), play with more than 14 clubs in the bag, etc….they are not playing golf.  Golf is a game rules and self governance.  Part of playing golf is following the “Rules of Golf” as laid out by the USGA (United States Golf Association).  You could say that most people play “golf-lite.”

    The same holds true for the Church.  More or less the Church is a religion of rules and self-governance. (Confession and free will)  Apply all the analogies and you’ll see that being a “practicing Catholic” (a game similar to golf) is not necessarily following the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Rules of Golf) and being an orthodox catholic.  What you get is “Catholic-lite.”

    Follow the rules and all the bad things go away.  Just as in golf, the Church rewards good actions (solid on plane swings) and penalizes bad actions (hooks, slices, and shanks).  As in golf, The rules are not oppressive and really are not all that challenging; the same holds true for the Church.  It isn’t quite as easy, but then again, where is the challenge?  (Would I have ever become a good tournament player {where as I would have to follow the rules} if I didn’t practice according to the rules?)  I mean what is so hard about respecting human life from conception to natural death?  What is so hard about assenting one’s will to a higher authority? (psst…we’ve been doing that for millenia in the secular world….ever had a boss or a parent?)  What is so hard about accepting that there are truths out there that are not imperical?  There are many more, but they are not all that hard….right?  Right.

    Cam

  • Cam makes the cut.

    6,000,001 true Catholics.

    PS: Cam when you send in your dues, we will forward your bag tag.

  • I already am a member of the USGA.  I am also a PGA partner.

    I have been a golfer for 24 years.  Not to be confused with someone who plays golf.  As a matter of fact, my brother is a class A PGA Professional.  That is not a touring pro, but rather a teaching professional.  He is the 1st Assistant at Blackwolf Run, in Kohler WI.  (BTW, his sister course, Whistling Straits, is hosting the PGA Championship this week.)

    But nevertheless, the analogy still works….and while some think that you can apply baseball to anything in life, I assert that one can apply golf to anything in life, MORE EASILY.

    Cam

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