Why Catholics Must Not Vote for Obama

As everyone is well aware, we have an election tomorrow.  For weeks I have wanted to post about the election, but the right words just never seen to come.  Many of my most cherished beliefs have been under attack by the Obama Administration—my religious liberty, the lives of unborn babies, and the sanctity of marriage.  Such big issues, I just didn’t know where to start.

But I feel a duty to speak the truth.  So here it goes.  It’s pretty simple really.  No Catholic, and really no person of faith, can in good conscience vote for Obama.  You may vote for Romney, and you may vote 3rd party, but you cannot vote for Barack Obama.  Now allow me to explain.

Obviously, there are many issues at play in this election—the economy, unemployment, the debt crisis, and health care, to name a few.  How we balance the budget, create jobs, and care for those experiencing hard times are all points of legitimate political debate.  Good Catholics can have very different ideas about the best way to serve the common good.  One may think that a larger federal government is needed to create a social safety net for our poorest citizens.  Another may think this an unwise approach, and instead prefer stronger state governments or more Church-based activism.  Good and holy people may differ.

But none of these issues can be the basis for our vote on Tuesday.  Perhaps if we had two candidates that respected our religious liberty, the right to life of all human beings, and marriage, we could afford to base our vote on the best way to solve our debt crisis or serve those out-of-work in our community.  Sadly, this is not the case.

In this election we have one candidate who respects none of these values.  Instead, President Obama has openly attacked them.

1. Liberty

Thanks to Obamacare and the HHS mandate, starting in January, Catholic organizations will be forced to pay for insurance coverage of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, or face a steep fine.  No longer is the President just asking the Church to stay out of people’s bedrooms.  He’s now requiring the Church to pay for the supplies and the consequences of what happens there, even if doing so violates their teachings, and even if it requires them to support an act (abortion) that they deem to be murder.

And if you think Obama offered the Church a compromise, think again.  There’s a reason that Notre Dame, who so eagerly welcomed Obama to its commencement in 2009, is now suing the Administration.  And Notre Dame is not alone—there’s around 60 plaintiffs now suing over the HHS Mandate.  And not all of them are Catholic.  This is about allowing religious organizations to be who they are.

Joe Biden recently explained during the vice-presidential debate that, while he believes as a Catholic that abortion is wrong, he can’t force a pregnant woman to oppose abortion.  Well here’s the irony, Joe: While you’re hiding behind your “personally opposed” rhetoric, your boss is now forcing pro-lifers to support abortion.

2. Life

Speaking of abortion, could Obama be any worse?  How extreme can you get?  He supports legalized abortion in all circumstances.  Six months, full-term, born alive, he believes every woman has the right to a dead baby.  This is a man who refused to sign the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act!    And the extremism is not diminishing—rather, it’s just picking up steam.  You can’t watch TV these days without seeing a commercial touting Obama’s commitment to reproductive rights.  Do you remember Bill Clinton making his commitment to abortion rights a centerpiece of his campaign?

Here’s Princeton professor Robert George:

President Obama is by far the greatest friend the abortion lobby and the movement for legal abortion and its public funding ever had in the White House.  If you don’t believe me, just ask them.  He’s their man.  Obama fervently believes, and has consistently acted on the belief, that children in utero have no rights that others must respect.  He opposes any meaningful legal protections for unborn babies.  Under the regime of law he supports, they may be killed at any time for any reason; and he has vowed to make sure things stay that way.  He has even opposed the prohibition of sex-selection abortions.  For the full litany of the President’s offenses against sanctity of life principles, just visit the websites of major pro-life organizations such as the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, and the Susan B. Anthony List.  Or, if you prefer, you can get the information from the websites of major pro-abortion groups, such as Planned Parenthood or NARAL.  It doesn’t matter which side you go to for the info.  Obama and his supporters do not try to hide his abortion extremism.  They celebrate and praise him for it.  (They just don’t call it extremism.  They call it support for “reproductive health.”)

And don’t fall into the trap of thinking abortion is just one of many issues.  In the U.S., over one million babies die each year by abortion.  If you think that cuts to Medicare or funding for soup kitchens are of an equivalent value, you’ve lost all sense of proportion.

3. Marriage

And finally, we have Obama’s recent flip-flop on same-sex marriage, providing Catholics yet another reason to find him an unacceptable candidate.  This issue has also provided yet another example of Obama pandering to the socially liberal wing of his party.  When it comes to issues of sexual morality, you can always count on Obama to be on the wrong side.

So there you have it.  Three issues: religious liberty, the right to life, and the sanctity of marriage.  Issues of foundational importance to any society.  Issues where the President has chosen to take the side of intrinsic evil, and on a major scale.  Obama is simply an unacceptable candidate.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Thank you for this honest, well-written Catholic perspective. It is right on the money.

  • Molly

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you! There is so much at stake in this election. When we trample on the rights of the unborn, we trample on everyone’s rights and the sky is the limit with what someone else can do to the human race. I hope anyone out there who is concerned with human rights in general reads this!

  • elena

    Thank you. I am a Canadian but many of us are watching your election very closely. We are also praying for God’s will to be done tomorrow. In fact, where I live we have a small Catholic college to which many Americans come (Our Lady Seat of Wisdom); the school is holding a day of adoration today in order to pray for tomorrow’s election. God help us all if Obama gets a second term.

  • Elizabeth

    love, love, love this. I’m happy you got your thoughts together and got it up before election day!

  • David

    While i agree you have your own choices to make. And that the views of the president on these issues, may conflict with yours, understand that this is not a nation built on religion. This is a nation built on like minded people coming together to form a more perfect union. No such thing as perfect, so in your eyes, some things may seem wrong. But the HHS mandate is passed. We have a supreme court who will make the final decision. That is why Notre Dame and others have sued. It will be up to the courts to decide. Also, why not outlaw divorce if it is the sanctity of marriage that is so important to you? Say gays can’t marry in your church, that’s your decision. But to say they can’t get married is not yours to decide. Now once again, on the case of abortion, it is up to the courts to decide. They made their decision.

  • David, we can’t take the perspective that everyone has their own choices to make with regard to abortion, because it is killing children. It is not just up to the courts to decide because the executive and the legislature make important decisions including, but not limited to, how we spend our money and whether federal dollars support organizations that exist to perform abortions. If people wanted to be allowed to euthanize anyone over the age of 60, we would not just sit here and say “well, I don’t agree with that, but I won’t stand in the way of their choice to do it.”

    Also, with regard to the separation of religion, it is true, we do not have a national religion, but we do have national values, our nation was formed on them, and freedom of religion is one of them, which is what makes the HHS mandate such a problem. It is up to the courts to decide on Notre Dame’s case, but how could we vote for a president who is proud of imposing penalties on our church for protecting innocent lives? This extends beyond HHS to the cuts to funding for various Catholic social organizations.

  • Lydia

    Kellie, you explained so well why we need to vote for the so-called Non-Negotiables. They are shown so beautifully in this video Test of Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiG9NMkPhus&feature=plcp created by Catholics Called to Witness. Right now the best things we can do is pray and VOTE.

  • Maria

    While I agree with you that no Catholic can in good conscience vote for Obama, the same holds true for Romney. Romney is also pro-abortion (exemptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother — he even includes psychological health! — pretty much = pro-choice) and he is pro gay marriage based on his governing in MA. Since these issues, particularly abortion, are intrinsic evils, I don’t see how one can vote for either candidate. On Obama’s watch and on Romney’s watch we can be sure that 3,500 pre-born children children will continue to lose their life in this country daily.

  • Eileen D’A

    David, perhaps you misunderstood the point of this. This is directed to Catholics and how they are required to vote. The views expressed in this piece are not the singular ideas of its author. They are settled beliefs of the Catholic Church. A Catholic’s vote must dovetail with their faith, not the other way around. Of course individuals are free to believe other things, have other opinions, and vote differently, but for Catholics there are non-negotiables when it comes to voting. Peace.

  • Stephan

    This article only confirms for me that I made the right decision to leave the Catholic Church.

  • Jeremy Forbing

    This Catholic theologian argues a convincing case for supporting Obama and voting against Romney: http://www.goerie.com/article/20121105/OPINION09/311059993/Theologian-makes-Catholic-case-for-supporting-Obama
    Choice quotes: “If Gov. Romney makes good on his commitment to rescind the Affordable Health Care Act, coupled with the Romney/Ryan budget proposal that slashes services to poor people, then under a Romney administration, the rate of abortions in the U.S. will skyrocket.”
    “No one could reasonably assert that my Catholic faith requires me to vote for one or another candidate in this election. However, my Catholic conscience prompts me to support President Obama as a practical strategy to reduce abortion in America.”

  • Ted Seeber

    If Obama wins, you can no longer claim this is a nation not built on religion- HHS Mandate is ESTABLISHED RELIGION, the religion of EUGENICS.

  • Sabrena Z.

    Jeremy, your rationale is beyond comprehension. I am not Catholic, but merely interested to see how Catholic voters view our candidates. Your Catholic conscience should prompt you to work with your church to counsel girls/women with unwanted pregancies. With every inch of my being, I believe Barack Obama MUST go!!

  • Don Wilson

    Let’s be real without being petty:
    1. The mandate of churches was removed.
    2. Abortion! your statements are miss leading, besides that was settled in the 70’s by the supreme court
    3. Marriage is and should be between a man and a women. This I agree however on the others I agree to disagree.

  • Nikki Nacht

    Nothing stops us from living and believing as we choose. We should not stop others from living and believing as they choose. Denying SSA citizens equal marriage rights and women reproductive control over their own bodies, diminishes our own belief in the sanctity of life and marriage.

    Religion is about faith, hope, love and charity taught by Jesus. It is not about control, coercion and punishment as practiced by the Pharisees. The Catholic hierarchy does itself no good by setting itself against those that do not believe as they do. They have done this before and it yielded centuries of cruel war and villainous inquisition. Is that what you want for the future of the church as well as the past?

  • “Even the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which was previously the research arm of Planned Parenthood, reports that only .3% of all U.S. abortions are done for reasons of rape, .03% because of incest, .1% because of a threat to the mother’s life, and 98% for mostly reasons of preference. So, the Romney-Obama election is between a man who favors that fewer than .5% of the 1.2 million abortions in the U.S. each year should be legal and one who favors that 100% of them should be.”

  • David, Chicago

    Not to mention that Romney is an abortion industry profiteer: Stericycle, Inc., profits from the disposal of aborted babies and Romney has made money being invested in the corporation. (And I am not the David who wrote above.)

  • cminor
  • cminor

    1. The mandate affords an exemption for houses of worship only. Any church-affiliated organization that serves non-church members is still under compulsion–that includes schools, hospitals, and social service agencies. It also includes private business owners whose personal religious beliefs preclude being party to abortions–no consciencious objection here. And it’s not just Catholics–Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and many Evangelicals are in the same bind, to name a few.
    2. Hardly settled–SCOTUS does overturn itself, and its power may be checked by Presidential appointment, Congressional legislation, and Constitutional amendment. (Remember Dred Scott?) And I didn’t read anything about abortion in the post that couldn’t be independently verified, if someone did a little homework.

  • cminor
  • Ted Seeber

    SSA marriage is about WRONGS not RIGHTS- there is few things more discriminatory than separating sex from procreation.

  • Ted Seeber

    1. The current mandate *STILL* fails to list hospitals, soup kitchens, food banks, orphanages, and other social justice organizations as exempt (which was the ONLY real complaint)
    2. So the Supreme Court decides murder is OK and thus it’s OK? Then in that case, we should be able to murder you.

  • This is an outstanding article. If some doubt that Catholics face dark days ahead if this administration is allowed to linger in DC, look no further than Cardinal George’s recent statement:

    “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

    That is the stark reality of the situation we live in.

    Now, there’s no guarantee that a Romney administration will be better and many indications that he could be just as bad. But we know what we have with Obama. No Catholic with a well-formed conscience can vote for this man.

  • Kellie “Red”

    Jeremy, the man you quote is not a Catholic theologian, but a ex-priest who disagrees with Church teaching on many important issues, among them–the Divinity of Christ, the truth of sacred scripture, the authority of the Pope, and the authority of the Bishops. And I haven’t read anything yet that explains how such a pro-abortion politician actually helps to reduce the number of abortions.

  • Juris Mater

    Thank you, Kellie, for outlining this so clearly.

  • Just a further push to those who think that it is not worth deciding a vote on abortion because it is the law of the land:
    President Obama’s administration stepped in to replace the PP funding that was cut in New Jersey with federal funds.
    The president has a big impact on life issues outside of judicial appointments.

  • Jeff

    Top 10 Intrinsic Evils perpetrated by the US Government:

    10. Wealth Redistribution & unabated expansion of the National Debt: Theft sold as “social justice.” In reality, it has enslaved generations and crippled our economy causing a growth in poverty.
    9. Legalized & Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research: an insidious form of cannibalism.
    8. Legalized & Promoted Pornography: breeds lust & destroys the ability to properly bond in marriage.
    7. Attacks on Freedom of Conscience (e.g., HHS mandate): erodes our ability to live & practice our Faith.
    6. Attempts to Redefine Marriage: denies the primacy of God’s Word. Promotes acceptance of disordered sexual behavior, thus encouraging more of the same.
    5. Non-Abstinence only Sex Education: Promotes & encourages sexual acts outside of Holy matrimony.
    4. No Fault Divorce Laws: destroys the foundation of civilization & breeds selfishness with no regard for children.
    3. Legalized & Funded Hormonal Contraception (despite it being a category 1 carcinogen): separates couples from the Grace of God and leads to the acceptance of all the other top 10 evils.
    2. Legalized & Funded Abortion: 58+ million innocent lives ripped from their mother’s womb. And know that Jesus has watched each and every one.
    1. Removal of God from public life: a clear disregard of the 1st commandment.

    “Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending Life.” Pope John Paul II, 1993
    “More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.” Our Lady of Fatima, 1917

  • Kellie “Red”

    Dear Readers,

    I have approved many comments from people who disagree. I only ask that commentors write with respect and charity, and have a real argument, not simply an insult, as part of their comment. If you don’t follow those basic rules, your comment will not be published.

    In the past, this blog has been a place of rather charitable discussions about these sorts of topics, and we think that healthy debates happen when people treat each other with a basic level of respect. As Catholics our faith teaches us to treat others with respect and charity, even those with whom we disagree.

    God Bless,

  • BMM

    Go Red ! Go!

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Totally agree

    2. Totally agree, and this is the reason I voted for Romney today. I couldn’t stomach supporting a candidate who is so pro abortion as Obama. But, I do see some merit in the arguments on the other side to the extent they point out that increasing access to healthcare and support of the poor will decrease abortion. Ultimately, that is our goal. I wish this was also a strong part of the Republican platform (along with increased support of immigrants and abolishment of the death penalty). But when it comes down to it, 1.2mm babies are being killed in our country every year and only one of the candidates seems alarmed by that.

    3. This isn’t an issue that would be in my top 10 on the federal side. Ultimately, it’s a state by state decision. And as another person pointed out, civil marriage has already been destroyed by no-fault divorce laws. I would be in favor of taking the government out of the business of marriage altogether (and allowing people to contract as they wish on the civil side), and leaving marriage to religious institutions to define as they want. (To be clear, I would not suggest any change to the way the Catholic church defines marriage.)

  • KC

    Thank you, Kellie, for speaking the Truth–God bless you and all the Builders and our great nation on this important day!

  • Saoirse

    Had one of those “From the mouths of babes” moments this morning – we were leaving the polling place when my son asked if it was OK to ask people who they voted for. My husband discouraged this as he feels politics are often a hot topic and unless you truly know a person it could be ugly. My son responded that it had to be ugly sometimes to make things right. We were taken back by that – but how right he is. Thank you Kellie for taking the chance by speaking out.

  • Maria

    Besides the fact that Mitt Romney won’t actually reduce any abortions because Roe v. Wade still holds, .5% of 1.2 million babies aborted is 6,000 babies! Apparently, those 6,000 lives don’t matter to you.