Obama’s “looming confrontation with Catholic activists”

This comes from The Hill, the political paper of record on Capitol Hill:

President Obama has seen his standing among Catholic voters, a crucial segment of the electorate, slip in recent weeks, and a looming confrontation with Catholic activists could make it worse.

Democrats want voters this year to focus on what they have branded a war on women, but the flip side of the debate — the so-called war on religion — is not going away anytime soon.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for two weeks of public protest in June and July against what it sees as growing government encroachment on religious freedom.

The protests are expected to include priests and nuns and thousands of Catholic parishioners. Some activists expect civil disobedience, which could lead to powerful images of priests and nuns being led away in hand restraints.

“This is the most dynamic situation I’ve ever seen since I’ve been involved in Catholics and politics,” said Deal Hudson, president of Catholic Advocate, who also headed Catholic outreach for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in 2000 and 2004. “I think civil disobedience is almost inevitable. I think that kind of protest is on the way.”

Republican strategists say the rallies and protests could become powerfully symbolic in the presidential election.

“These would be devastating images for the Obama administration,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist. “You have a very important religious demographic coming out in protest of Obama’s policies and being arrested for their expression. These images would be politically damaging for the president’s campaign.”

And the conference could go beyond protests — it has also discussed working with evangelical Christian groups on a broader public relations campaign that could include television and radio ads.

Read more.


  1. “Slip” is an amazing state of affairs. I can’t believe there are still Catholics who support him. You would think that “plummet” should be the right characterization. But alas an amazing number of Catholics still support him.

  2. Freedom!

    This is a fantastic idea, sign me up for the protests. I will be add my voice to the demand for freedom of religion. I will help get the word out and bring others with me, many others.

  3. Katie Angel says:

    Perhaps that is becuase of the narrow focus of most Americans. If it doesn’t directly impact them, or people they know, they do not concern themselves as much. After all, for most American Catholics, abortion and gay marriage are more abstract concepts than something they will have to deal with in their own lives – whereas poverty, health care, education and the other “core” Democratic issues are things about which most of them areconcerned.

  4. Oh my, we are so persecuted, we Catholics who get hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts from government at all levels in the USA. Oh my, what persecution when the government tells us that we should follow the same rules and laws as any others who accept the government millions, since our own Catholics do not support the disgraced hierarchy anymore by fully financing these charities that Catholics used to fully support without the government hand-outs. Let’s all kick and scream “persecution” so that whoever is President next time makes sure that we get all our fat cat money from the government!

    What horrible persecution we face, we Catholics, about the birth control mandate that is so really really horrible, that our bishops slept silently through twelve years of similar mandates in 28 states, all over the country, before deciding to try to make a political issue of this one too. Oh my, oh my. What a really horrible persecution this is, even with our full exemption for churches and truly religious entities. Oh horrors of it all! I hear the lions against us in the coliseum already. I’m sure that Jesus is so proud of our anti-women bishops who swarm all over Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and cry “Persecution”, led by our little gladiator Bishop Lori. It must remind us all of when Jesus established Political Action Committees (PACS) at the Last Supper. Jesus really didn’t mean to issue Two Great Commandments for us to emphasize in our religion. And I’m certain that all these sex scandals that the bishops ignore or cover up (the term “Philadelphia Story” has a new meaning) don’t need our bishops leadership and attention, so that they can play lobbyist games like big shots. WHo cares about all the billions and billions that the bishops are loosing in the sex scandals when they can c=scream “Persecution” and get more money from the sappy governments all over. Is this a great country, or what? Whew, persecution is horrible!

  5. Well said, Peter. You’re the only one telling the truth here.

  6. Among most of those 28 States exceptions were made for the Church, or Churches were allowed to self insure.

    Mandates for birth-control coverage are not entirely new for religious groups. Twenty-eight states already require contraceptive coverage in prescription drug plans. Of those states, 17 offer a range of religious exemptions, while two others provide opt-outs of other kinds. However, opponents of the HHS regulation say there is no state mandate as broad as the new federal rule combined with a religious exemption that is so narrow.

    Even in states where the requirement already exists, the issue is far from settled.

    Wisconsin’s 2009 contraception mandate did not include a religious exemption, but allowed an exception for employers who self-insure. While some dioceses in the state were able to self-insure, others couldn’t afford to do so. The Diocese of Madison, Wis., ended up offering a policy with birth-control coverage, but asked employees to follow church teaching and not use the benefit. Local bishops continued to lobby state lawmakers for an exemption. But leaders knew a national health care overhaul was in development and hoped the federal law would be an improvement, said John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops.

    In California, whose religious exemption served as the model for the Obama administration, dioceses and some church-run agencies were able to self-insure, said Carol Hogan of the California Catholic Conference, but that option is for the most part unavailable under the federal health care law. Church-run groups could have stopped offering insurance to their employees, but considered that option unfair to workers.

  7. Anyone paying taxes pays for these things as many federal, state, local government, and school employees have coverage.

  8. Bill McGeveran says:

    In my opinion this campaign and hoopla are misguided. I think the HHS mandate sufficiently insulates Catholic institutions from responsibility for what the church officially considers to be wrong. And it doesn’t help that most Americans, and probably most Catholics, think contraception is perfectly OK anyway. The church has an image of being excessively authoritarian, interfering, out of touch, narrow-minded, and sex-obsessed, while tarnished by hypocrisy and sexual scandal. The image isn’t the reality, but it is not pure invention either. It looks like it is about to be reinforced.

  9. Say what you might about the D party, but how anyone can favor the R party and I say R stands for “ruse”….yes, “RUSE”, from Reagan, through Bush I & II they laughed behind our backs claiming to be pro-life, and then to destroy millions of lives in two wars, not to mention assaults on funding health care, veterans care, education,, obstructing new revenue for SS, public works, such as locks and dams on the Ohio, all the while favoring the rich with tax breaks and a limit on their SS tax, I could go on, but….whom are the pro-lifers going to blame when abortion is illegal and women still choose to have them anyway?

  10. No Katie. As you can read some of the other comments down below, there are Catholics who endorse this administration.

  11. Please…this is the same violin tune we have heard over and over and over and over. And I guess if you say if enough, enough will believe. For you, if you get a 4% increase instead of a 6% increase in a budget item, it is considered a cut.

    SSI was bankrupt from the very first check it cut — it was a ponzi scheme from the beginning. Unless you believe ALGORE’s Lock Box.

    Abortion is legal and there are still lots of botched abortions. Why? Because abortion mills refuse to ensure that their staff are well trained and equiped. There was just an incident in the paper last week in NoVirgina about a botched abortion. It is all about $$$ not saving women.

    I would go on and on.

    The Obama administration, with the support of Catholic Health Assn., LCWR, Network and the other leftist Catholic groups has decided to take the Catholic and other Christian denominations out of the picture — to relegate them to their chruch/temple property and that is it.

    Divide and conquer. Demonize. The state shall have all power.

  12. Wow, if I had to guess Plavo I’d guess you were one of the many behind the “revisionist history” in this country, which BTW, is what our over indebted kids now get for those expensive college ‘educations’.

    ….whom are the pro-lifers going to blame when abortion is illegal and women still choose to have them anyway?

    Now that line is a doozie, really. You see, conservatives (I’m not a R), don’t BLAME anyone, they take full responsibility for all actions and consequences, which would include, “getting” pregnant to “killing” life in the womb.

    And you lecture us about “ruse?”

    Lastly, by your logic, Plavo, you should be outraged at the 4000 abortions per day in the country; more than the total of all Americans killed in the Iraq war, ( ALL lives matter). But I suspect, just like the 3 total terriorists who were waterboarded, you focus more on that torture than the hundreds a day of late term sentient babies who have scissors stabbed into their heads to kill them per their mother’s “choice.”

  13. Deacon Steve says:

    Bill how is forcing a Catholic Institution to pay for something that goes against the moral teaching of the Church sufficiently insulated? Any Catholic institute that self-insures will be forced to pay for proceedures and drugs that the Church teaches are morally wrong. With the state programs that forced coverage, at least by self insuring they could meet the requirements of the law without compromising their beliefs. The federal program offers no such out. Basic healthcare should be provided, but contraception, abortion, and surgical sterilization are not basic health care.

  14. I don’t focus more on torture, etc, but I don’t ignore it all either;many people vote R because they focus on one over-riding issue,also because they are worried about their money and want to protect it at all costs, thus making greed into an idol; moreover, they believe the Rick Santorum line “We are Americans and we can do what we want” line, that’s right, even have abortions, and have low taxes, and deserve to pay a buck for a gallon of gas,have our govt and military pensions and use up the world’s resources, because we’re “exceptional”…..sounds like “idolatry” to me, but of course, conservatives have no idols. Conservatives have already “revised” history, I learned it when I was a little kid in public school…..Europeans just came here to start a new life free of all the constraints of European religious states and co-operated with the natives in forging a new “exceptional” society

  15. I really think THE fundamental issue here is the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion. It is not ultimately about the issue of contraception and its availability. The USCCB has this right.The 1st Amendment establishes two things: 1) the Government will not establish a State Religion, and 2) the Government will not interfere with the free exercise of religion. This is the unprecedent part of this. This is what many people believe is the unconstitutional part of the HHS mandate, that it interferes with the free exercise of religion by determining who or what is religious. This is not about providing contraceptives to the poor; it is not about overturning Roe v. Wade; it is not about keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance, or on our currency, etc. Those issues are real, but they are built on the foundation of religious freedom. Even our ability to discuss/debate these issues in the blogosphere are founded on the 1st Amendment. If that falls, or is significantly weakened, these other issues will become moot.

  16. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    I agree that the proper word for describing the Obama Administration’s and some state’s attacking the presence of Catholics in various ministries is not quite “oppression.” Rather, the popular word of the day “bullying” certainly does apply for the way governments are treating both religion and American citizens with coercive mandates and the corrupt use of licensing powers to push liberal political agendas. And they get the power to bully by taxing us to the max and then playing Santa Claus with money that the government plundered from us with the force of law behind the plundering.

  17. Katie, are you being ironic in saying that Americans who are concerned about “poverty, health care, education” have a “narrow focus”?

  18. Klaire, there were far more than three people tortured: http://www.thetorturereport.org/

  19. More anti-Catholic bile from Peter.

    Back to reality.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Obamacare restricts Catholics from exercising their beliefs because the law mandates anti-Catholic policies. There are civil and criminal penalties for not following the law which will be enforced by the IRS.

    Obama doulbed down on the banning of any conscience clause.

  20. This piece today in The Hill lays bare the strategy underlying the prelates’ call for civil disobedience: the defeat of Barack Obama.

    It’s just that simple.

    What becomes most clear in this article is the chummy collusion and blatant electioneering at work here, on the part of both our bishops and the GOP—to repeal both Obamacare and Obama President. We have Deal Hudson, the GOP’s point-man for winning the Catholic vote in the last three elections, predicting (praying for?) protests that will result in nuns and priests being carried off in chains. Oh my, can the irony be entirely overlooked that it was the prelates, and not the president, we saw cuffing the sisters last week?

    Yet, Hudson’s point that such images “would be politically damaging for the president’s campaign” is well-taken. And the US Conference of Catholic Bishops not only knows it, it may be planing to capitalize on it. To quote Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, the USCCB’s spokesperson, bishops are “in a stage of preparation about what parishes can do.” We sheep know what this means. Our shepherds will continue to try to gin up passions in the parishes, and, quite frankly, manipulate rank-and-file parishioners, first into the streets this summer, and then to the polls, this fall. Prepare, my people in the pews, for the marching orders (and insufferable sermons) you may be getting, come June.

    What we are seeing, sadly enough, is a concerted, overt, and unprecedented series of manipulative maneuvers by our hierarchs, aimed at influencing the outcome of a secular election. And this, in a democracy where the Catholic Church happens to enjoy privileges, protections and freedoms that are unrivaled outside Vatican City. This is not the American Church I know. It’s Richelieu reincarnated. And as an American Catholic, I don’t believe in either Richelieu or reincarnation.

  21. Wow, white martyrdom comes a lot more cheaply these days than it used to, it seems.

  22. Millions of lives? Never happened.

    Prior to the USA entering Afghanistan 400,000 civilians lost their lives in the civil war there. NGO’s estimate on 10,000 civilians have died in the war during the 10 year US occupation.

    The last 10 years has been largest stability for Afghan citizens in more that 30 years.

    The left is great at lying.

  23. Joe Mc Faul says:

    “We have Deal Hudson, the GOP’s point-man for winning the Catholic vote in the last three elections, predicting (praying for?) protests that will result in nuns and priests being carried off in chains.”

    Oh no, not THAT Deal Hudson, a pargaon of family values.

    Deal Hudson and those of his political views conveninelty forget that Catholics, including nuns, priests, and bishops, have been invovled in civil disobedience for several decades and been sent to federal prison for their activities. I almost got the chance to arrest Archbishop Hunthausen at one such event.

    Here’s link to just one of numerous examples of Catholic civil disobedience over the past decades:


    The government can easily repsond to another small subset of Catholics who might choose civil disobedience–but that subset will be no larger or effective than the current antiwar faction. The recent rallies for religious freedom were mostly fizzles–You’ll get a lot less than that for any form of civil disobedience. The bishops who participate in civil disobedience can join their clerical about to be sentenced in Philadephia and Kansas City.

  24. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Talk about ” manipulative maneuvers” Label elections as solely a secular enterprise and then virtually question the right of the churches to participate in or even be in the “public square”. Just leave the field open to those who are working mightily to destroy whatever Christian moral roots are left in our country. What are bishops doing that is any different from what any other group is doing to get people who agree with the group’s teachings and leadership to get involved and try to convince a majority of voters to also agree.
    It is just so obvious that those upset at the bishops for defending the First Amendment are Obama, liberal, or Democratic Party partisans It is not the Church’s fault that this Administration has been callous or bullying toward Christians who don’t agree with some of the policies of this Administration.

  25. Sue from Buffalo says:

    Wow. So much gobbledygook about how bad Republicans/conservatives/Bishops/anyone not supporting Obama are.

    Say what you want. I’m supporting the Bishops anyway that I can. The sleeping giant has woken up. I was never what most people would call an activist but it looks like that’s going to change. I believe in the church hierarchy. I don’t believe in the nuns who refused to cooperate with Rome. I see a lot of handwriting on the wall and I’m getting myself educated because I see a lot of misinformation in the comboxes. Some of this misinformation is done out of ignorance. Some of it, I’m sure, is done to manipulate…to lie.

    God help this country. The forces of evil are at work.

  26. Mark Greta says:

    Catherine, not sure about it being a narrow focus, but it certainly is misguided that anyone would give democrats a pass on how they have handled education where most poor kids are locked into failing schools and thus doomed to a lifetime living on the democratic plantation system of handouts. The healthcare situations was created by the desire of the democratic party to control Americans lives by controlling healthcare. The programs they created with medicare, built on social security pass by the judges that it was constitutional, has just about devastated our financial situation in this country. Now we see that this wonderful Obamacare that was supposed to be so awesome, is actully going to take the cost of medicare higher, not lower and take a lot more to implement if it is ruled constitutional. Rather than work in a bipartisan way to fix the ten things that would have dropped cost for everyone, they went the single party power grab way. The LBJ poverty programs have done nothing for the poor as we have more on poverty programs and trillions spent with no results while we see the country debt soar.

    When it all hits home and no more checks are going out, we will have finally realized the farce of big government programs. Thought we were finally learning that lesson when Clinton announced the era of big government was over. From George to George, Washington to W Bush, the debt for this country was less than Obama has ammassed in 4 years. The people have got to understand what the democrats espose does not work and never will. Will it take total anarchy and a collapsed America to wake everyone up? If it happens, we will have a very radical totalitarian state with zero freedom.

  27. Mark Greta says:

    Peter, your hatred of the Catholic Church is so far out that it has distorted all reality. Not sure why Deacon Greg wants to have this on his blog with every post. We get it. You hate the Catholic Church. You are wrong on each and every post, but that does not seem to matter.

  28. Mark Greta says:

    Good reason why we should have much smaller government across the board in local, state and certainly the federal government.

    Every government employee and agency needs to be looked at very closely at this point to see if they are needed as essential and every dime possible saved to pay down the debt.

  29. Mark Greta says:

    This is not about contraception. That is the trojan horse. If it sticks, then those who see nothing wrong with killing 54 million babies can add in everything they want using it as a precendent. We have medicare because in the 1930′s after FDR intimidated the court, they ruled social security was not a violation of the constitution. That means that if Obama is voted in again, and thus has more FLEXIBILITY to do what he really intends, we will have abortion being forced in as well as euthenasia and death panels.

    We will have all of the people in our parish who go to right to life which was 6 bus loads lined up for the rallies and have at lease that many more who will be able to go because it is not all the way to Washington. Our committee on this meet today and were amazed at how much interest this has already.

  30. Bill McGeveran says:

    Deacon Steve, in response, I agree that there probably should be an out for self insurance. I can see trying to negotiate a solution there. Also I can see pursuing a court case to try and get religious freedom defined to apply equally to religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals, as well as churches. But not this big rhetorical/protest thing with church involvement.. I also agree personally that the government should not be requiring health insurance to cover so much. But that is more of a political issue, not something for the church to get into.

  31. Mark Greta says:

    R plavo. you have each and every point in grave error. You seem to be a typical Obama supporter who does not have the ability to think or reason, only spout out the talking points. They are so far wrong that it is not worth the time to comment further.

  32. Mark Greta says:

    If they do not stop this now and firmly establish religious freedom, America is finished. It was listed first by the founders as the most important and essential freedom for a very good reason. It was supposed to be protected with a wall around it that no government agency or court could find a way over or around. Nothing could stop religious liberty. It is evident not only in the actual wording, but the writings of the founders and the court rulings for most of our history. The government was also banned from creating any state religion and that certainly should include a secular godless religion they have been forcing on us for decades after the big lie that it was government that was to be protected from relgious beliefs.

    The founders detailed that only a completely free and unfettered and unthreatened relgious liberty could make the government they created with its different branches work for everyone. If we lose this one, there is no longer any control for the people over government and it will not work at all. We are already seeing signs that because of the failure of those protected in the first amendment to do their jobs such as the press, the federal government has taken powers on that would have caused the founders to call for everyone to revolt which is why they gave us the second amendment.

  33. Mark Greta says:

    and liberals god is big government solutions to everything and the secular godless state that allows them to be comfortable in this world of HIM..Hedonism (whatever feels good do it) Individualism (whats in it for me) and Minimalism (whats the least I can do and still get a government check and a free pass to heaven). That philosophy of the left has been in full bloom since the 60′s and we are far worse off today as a result. Killing 54 million babies is what the left hopefully one day will be tarred with as we now view Hitler as evil for his death camps that killed about 10% of todays abortion mill death camps.

    If the left wants to have more taxes to redistribute, they can donate as much as they want to the treasury. We should have massive amounts of money flowing in from all the left so they can see it urinated away in big government programs. Same is true of the Al Gore types preaching global warming from their jets and limos.

    I wish it were possible to have the states divided and we have two countries, one left and on their own, and one on the conservative side. In many ways we use to have that type of possible division when the federal government was doing what was intended and staying out of states business. Before you yell slavery, the party of slavery, the democrats, have simply formed a new way of running their plantation system keeping the majority of african americans under their control getting government checks. Every once in a while one escapes with solid conservative beliefs and gets off the plantation system for which they are attacked.

    54 million babies killed is all one should have to know about the democratic party. This election, if the Catholics will simply vote no to democrats, that support of this grave evil will have to end or the party will disappear. So anyone who says they are pro life and a democrat has a very direct connection to all those infants being killed. They cannot deny if they stopped supporting the democratic party, that this evil would be soon history as being a legal part of America.

  34. Mark Greta says:

    Joe, Wow more catholic hatred spewing around this site. That is what comes from supporting the party of death. You lose perspective and no longer have a well formed conscience. I will pray for you.

  35. Mark Greta says:

    Sue, you will have a lot of company this summer when the Bishop united call for us to stand up for religious liberty. I suspect it will be joined by a lot of other churches as well. It is not an anti Obama rally with the exception that he flat out lied to the bishops and has been the one on the attack with his henchmen.

    Of course what Obama should be praying for (to whatever god he prays to) is the supreme court to strick down all of Obamacare. But if they do not, these rallies will only be the starting point because you will also see the tea party rallies explode with fresh anger.

  36. amen. These guys have NO idea about real religious discrimation. I posted this ealrier under the Bishop Jenky post, but for those who missed it, I grew up in Indianapolis in the 50′s, the northenr city run by the Klan in the 20′s. In those days, there were factories that had sings that read “No Irish or Catholics need apply”. My father and uncle ran a construction compnay and on MORE than one occasion lost contracts after the company or customer found out that they were Catholic. Likewise the two main private men’s clubs downtown were split between one for the Protestant, Republican elite and the other for the Catholic, Jewish and “other” Democrats. I vividly remember the the 1960 election with front page editorial cartoon in Indianapolis Star with the “11th” Commandment for Catholics, “thou shalt vote for Kennedy or go to hell.” I also remember how dicey thingsgot in our mostly Prosteant neighborhood with the local Methodist miinister telling our Prostestant, but Democrat neighbors that they couldn’t vote for Kennedy because Pope would the United States. In the 1980′s a friend of mine running for local office was chased off porches in a certain neighborhood when the local discovered that he was not only Irish but Catholic as well.
    More personally, one of my five brothers worked for a lighting company. It was owned by a “Christian” who had “bible study” at lunch for employees. he noticed that my brother didn’t attend and asked why. My brother told him that he wasn’t interested and that he was Catholic.
    Suddenly, his sterling evualtions (he was a top salesman), became rather negative. He took the hint and found another job. At roughly the same time a local lock company owner attmepted to hire only “Christians” and did some of the same things that my brothers company did. This company ended up with an EEOC complaint and a Federal probe. By the time it was all over the company was sold to a corporation from Connecticut.
    So PLEASE don’t tell me about religious discrimination. They don’t know the meaning of the word.

  37. Deacon John–
    Elections are secular exercises. People and groups with religious convictions have always participated, sometimes vigorously, in the electoral process in this country. And it is one of the great geniuses and gifts of the American democratic experiment that they have been quite free to do so. What I am suggesting is that the timing and tenor of this “campaign for Religious Liberty” smacks of electioneering–not just advocating, or catechizing, but electioneering. It’s laced with inflammatory, even violent language, and it’s timed to coincide with the major parties’ election year conventions and feed the high-pitched political rhetoric. It’s all a little too commando for me, especially since the majority of baptized Catholics have ignored or rejected the teaching the bishops are now trying to dispatch us to the barricades to defend. So I don’t think it will work. Most of the Catholics I know are just trying to make it to the pews on Sunday, never mind take to the streets. But Lord knows, I’ve been wrong before, and maybe Catholics will be willing to go on the march for religious liberty this spring. Gotta wonder, though, if we will be so willing to defend the religious liberty of Muslims, for instance, to practice polygamy? And insist the state has no standing in that case, too?

  38. Dear Mark and Sue,

    Many of us LOVE Catholics and LOVE the Church. We are simply worried that our leaders may be failing to serve either well with such a pitched battle, waged in the middle of an election year.

    I, for one, think it makes our prelates seem too partisan. Let’s face it, most of this stuff could have waited. Take the HHS mandate, for example: Catholic hospitals and universities and social service agencies were given until August 2013 to comply with the ruling regarding universal coverage for contraception. They would have had a year-and-a-half to resolve it. And ordinarily, these disputes do get settled–but a whole lot aless publicly, and a little more gradually, than we’ve seen in this instance.

    But, for whatever reason, our episcopal leaders decided that this matter needed to become a bombshell. During the election year. And not after.

    The only explanation that makes sense of all this gun-jumping is: Old-fashioned Electioneering. The bishops, angry about Obamacare and its requirements, want to directly influence who is elected president in 2012. And they’ve lost sight of how questionable that might seem to many American Catholics.

  39. I agree. Let’s all attack the nuns! The worst trouble makers among them are the younger ones, between 65 and 80 years old.

  40. Sorry AMMurphy, it cannot wait.

    1. If Obama lied to the bishops before the election, why do you think he will compromise afterwards.
    2. If he is re-elected, do you think that he will be in the mood to compromise. No way in Hell.

  41. Would you feel that way if the Bishops were anti free market? Is it because they are critical of leftist policy? The Catholic Church has been critical of Republican policy (except for a few issues) for over a hundred years. Were you squeemish before?

  42. Dear Manny–I am frequently squeamish, even downright nauseous about a lot of our politics today. On both sides of the aisle. In the secular as well as the ecclesiastical realms. And even though I’m siding more with the state on this one, I wouldn’t mind seeing more Christ in how we conduct ourselves in the public square when we try to discuss it.

    I’m not saying the bishops can’t advocate for the defeat of Barack Obama. Just be honest about it. And give up your tax exemption to do it. Don’t camouflage it as defending the deposit of the faith against secularism, relativism, federalism, whatever the dreaded “ism” du jour might be. Our Church is always getting overwrought about abstractions and “isms” that it usually manages to outlive, overcome or ultimately accept. So I’m more worried that its reaction and its rhetoric is a bit overblown here, and that it will end up undercutting its political influence and standing as a result.

  43. Mark Greta says:

    AM, the bishops did not time the fight or pick the fight. it was Obama that wanted to make this a war on women to try to get the lemmings fired up over losing the birth control pills. The Bishops know full well that they have to stop it now which is why Obama put the program start date for after the election originally. He gave the assurances to Dolan and then decided he wanted this war on women story so fired it up. It is starting to backfire a little and frankly over time, this will end up hurting Obama. As i said before, he is praying for the courts to strike Obamacare down so he can run against the courts and bishops. He certainly can’t run on his record.

  44. Catherine says:

    Yes, Joe, THAT Deal Hudson. I had the same thought when I read the article. Most of the people quoted are long-time GOP operatives, who have been trying for decades to make the Catholic Church the “Republican Party at prayer.” And you are right that these are people who would not have applauded the priests and nuns who practiced civil disobedience on behalf of civil rights, or to protest war. Getting in bed with these people is not the way for the bishops to evangelize people on the subject of life issues. I say this as a long-time Republican, and as one who agrees with the Church’s teaching on marriage and life.

  45. Has anyone noticed that phony strut Obama does when he walks on to a stage, or the way he sashays down the steps of Air Force One with his hands together? It’s intensely annoying.

  46. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Some of us that find ourselves sounding like Republicans were once Democrats. I worked in George McGovern’s presidential campaign, am a big admirer of Dorothy Day, and was involved in the civil rights movement. Today I am an independent ( called ridiculously here in Ma. as being unenrolled). In my opinion, domestically, the Democratic Party has become the party of death and based on Congressional votes, on war issues, is no better than the Republican Party–although a prudential argument can be made that, for example, the War in Afghanistan is a war of self-defense because that is where the horrors of 9-11 were plotted and planned. And no president can afford to take the chance that another such event can come from there.

  47. Smaller government would not necessarily end those benefits.

  48. Then close your eyes.

  49. Obama made a fateful choice late last fall when he lied to USCCB head Cardinal Tim Dolan. He could have avoided a confrontation with the Catholic church — he really could have — but chose instead to side with the PP/NARAL extremists in his left wing. It was stupid politically, but it was his choice.

    None of us as Catholics welcome this fight. I sure don’t. But Obama has backed us into a corner. His choice.

    We Catholics are Americans, too. We vote. And, yes, we can march. Everyone else does — so why not us, too?

  50. Joe mc Faul says:

    While prayers may be helpful to me I encourage you to pray, instead, for the souls of our Bishops. There are currently two dioceses facing criminal actions, and several others that have already been forced to face criminal and legal consequenses. This is not “hatred spewing” or supporting parties of death (whatver those are). It is protecting the Catholic Church from widespread internal corruption. Bishops shoudl start living the Gospel. That means no destroyng computers with child promografy and no destroying documentation of clerical sexual abuse–at a minimum.

    The widespread criminal activities on the parts of many bishops and the removal and resignations of 9 American bishops for their own sexual abuse is beyond “poor management” or mere personal sin. It is a collective abuse of the Church. It must stop.

    Pray for the souls of the abusers, the absued and for the souls of those who looked the other way. They need your prayers.

    My conscience is between me and my God and you are peculiarly unqualified to comment on the state of any stranger’s conscience. However, my conscience knows what to do when I receive a report of child sex abuse. To that extent, I agree that my conscience is formed differently than those of many of our clergy.

  51. We can sashay also. 200 more days of this guy I hope.

  52. The more I think about this, the more disgusted I am at the thought of the bishops spending money on lobbying, political operatives, pollsters and ad agencies to engage in a political battle in an election year. They should take that money, and keep Catholic grade schools and high schools open; improve pre-Cana and marriage support programs; keep churches open for Eucharistic Adoration; improve parish education programs on the sacraments (e.g., get people back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation!); in other words, quit trying to be a political action committee, and try evangelizing your own people, so that they will be a Light to the World. That’s the way the successors of the Apostles should be addressing marriage and life issues. Politics is no solution.

  53. Catherine:

    At the USCCB meeting last fall, the bishops overwhelmingly approved a 3% increase of diocesan funds to the USCCB for the newly formed Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

  54. Kevin:
    Funny you should mention President Obama’s walk. Just a few days ago, a friend of mine said to me: “Do you notice how he walks? He reminds me of Fred Astaire.”

  55. Catherine says:

    HMS, thanks for that info. I’ll think of that the next time we get a list of schools to be closed in our diocese.

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