• greenlight

    Interesting that the only descriptors that have an intrinsically negative connotation are on the Family Values sticker. Is that intentional?

    • joannemcportland

      No, though there are more negative stereotype terms associated with that trope. I must note that for many on another side, terms like feminist and guitar Mass and organic are intrinsically negative. :) Let’s dump them all, shall we?

    • Dan Berger

      I’m with Joanne on this: that you consider only the one set of labels pejorative says more about you than about the labels.

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  • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

    Since Catholics are presumably concerned here with the shape a “both/and” politics should best take, may I offer the overview of a 20th-Century French “peasant”, the Thomist Jacques Maritain in his book Peasant of the Garonne (second chapter): “A healthy Christian politics … would undoubtedly seem to go pretty far to the left as regards certain technical solutions, … and in its demands for the transformation of the present economic regime. In reality, however, it would have absolutely original positions, proceeding, in the spiritual and moral order, from very different principles than the conceptions of the world, life, the family, and the city, which prevail in the various parties of the left.”

  • Erin Patrick Hickey

    Absolutely beautiful. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Chrurch, and we are proud to profess in in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord!!!

  • http://bettyduffy.blogspot.com Elizabeth Duffy

    Well done.

  • Thomas D

    Yes, a thousand times yes!

    I mean, Dorothy Day was the most orthodox of Catholics — thinking with the Church on sexual ethics, etc.; Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, a man of vigorously traditionalist, if not retrograde, views on liturgy (the joke about Cardinal O is that when he told a cab driver circa 1962 to “take me to the Council,” the cabbie drove him to Trent!), was also a man who favored the abolition/dismantling of all nuclear weapons.

    One of the saintliest people I know is someone who, in terms of his voting-booth activity, makes Ralph Nader look like Newt Gingrich. Very far left. I share neither this man’s saintliness (alas) nor his politics!

    And then the whole stereotype of “family values Catholic” as one who’ll hang out at Chick-fil-A to thumb his nose at gay people, but won’t lift a finger to help the poor, is gloriously and amply refuted by Catholic-run homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, hospitals, AIDS hospices, inner-city schools, et cetera.

    This comment comes from a firmly-on-the-fence semi-traditionalist who watches Boston’s CatholicTV instead of EWTN; who loves “Panis Angelicus” and “Salve Regina” and anything else in Latin, but who can tolerate “Gather Us In” (and who thinks that “Gentle Woman” can be quite moving). If I must label myself!

    Excellent observations.

    • JB

      The purpose of “hanging out at Chick-fil-a” wasn’t to thumb a nose at gay people. I really don’t know any Catholics who went to Chick-fil-a on August 1st to do that, but I believe the purpose for most people (at least those that I know) was to show support for a business that was being threatened with building-permit-denial in three major cities in this country. It was a free speech and a free-exercise of religion issue.

      I wish Catholics could worry less about politics and be able to trust our leaders to honor the US Constitution and protect the first amendment, but there are some serious issues with the Democrat party right now that far out-weigh any reservations a Catholic might have about voting Republican.

      This isn’t a plea for Republican votes, but voting Democrat today will not help the Catholic Church complete it’s mission faithfully, it will tie Her hands. I know that before Roe v Wade the Democrat party was an option, but how can it an option today when it actively promotes death?

      • Thomas D

        Dear Mr JB — Either I wrote carelessly or … well, is it possible that you read carelessly? I mention the whole “stereotype” of hanging out at Chick-fil-A to thumb one’s nose at gay people. I am accurately expressing what the leftist caricature would be.

        Furthermore, as I’m sure you know, “Democrat” is a noun and “Democratic” is an adjective.

      • Ted Seeber

        My problem is this: It seems to me that the Democrats have abortion and contraception as priority #1. They’re even willing to endanger Obamacare in a risky, anti-Catholic move in the court system for it.

        But for the Republicans, the opposite part of the platform, pro-life, seems to be at priority 10 or lower, below giving tax breaks to the rich, cutting welfare for the poor, getting votes to keep incumbents in office, military-industrial contracts, the war on terror, attacking gays, attacking immigrants, privatizing Social Security, Privatizing Amtrak, Privatizing the Post Office. And probably a lot more than I have thought about here.

        I can no longer, in good conscience vote Democrat. But that doesn’t leave me with a clear conscience for voting Republican either.

  • http://littleportionhermitage.blogspot.com/ The Hermit

    Well done ET. What the Church needs is a Gregorian chat setting for Kumbayah. :-)

    • Peggy Hagen

      In German, it sounds very reverent. :-)

    • Dan Berger

      In Latin, natch.

  • http://www.strandedinnewmexico.blogspot.com Silver S. Parnell

    I am forever telling people I am a religious person. I am not a political person. I have no allegiance to Democrats or Republicans or any other party. I write about religious topics that may intersect with politics, not for the purpose of endorsing a political party, but solely for the purpose of supporting the message of Jesus. I do my best to conform my opinions to those of the Catholic Church, for which I DO hold an allegiance. When people hear that I am in favor of taking care of the poor through government programs (because the local level never worked and grandma starved), they immediately start calling me a leftist baby killer when, in fact, I am stridently anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, etc. You just can’t cram Catholics into a political box! Thanks for highlighting our beautiful bipolarness!

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  • Peggy Hagen

    I’d weigh in. But since I don’t have any problem with Cardinal Dolan breathing the same air as Obama, I plainly don’t “give a hoot about the Church.” Have we always been this good at tearing each other to shreds or is this a new phenomenon?

    • Peggy Hagen

      {(Actually, my 4 hours of sleep are the reason I should stay quiet – I in no way meant to imply that you said that or anything like it!)

  • James Sprada

    Last Sunday (20th Sunday of Ordinary time), when the readings and prayers at Mass were completely focused on the Eucharist, our celebrant “preached”, by reading a long letter by a bishop from Wisconsin (not ours) which focused on all the “hot-button” social issues mentioned in your article, and not ONE word about the Sacred Eucharist. The Sunday bulletin also had a long paragraph crowing about what a terrific victory the Chick-A-fil counter-demonstration was for Catholics against the “bigoted radical homosexual.” Won’t anyone please tell our spiritual leaders that we are well aware of the problems of this world, and to please nourish us with that food NOT of this world.
    Hey, I’m dyin’ here !

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    The Body of Christ is one. We just have different opinions on how to achieve the goals of that Body. At least that’s how I see it.

  • Bill Delvaux

    Thanks for drawing attention to the name-calling that pigeon holes us. To truly follow Jesus, we need to surprise others who have stereo-typed us and refuse reductionistic labels. Ultimately, if we truly love, it will break down the labeling.

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  • JB

    Your article said so much without saying anything at all. There is so much to criticize, but the one line I read that should make each reader scratch his or her head was: “fight the HHS mandate and vote Democrat”. Actually – right now you can’t do that. Do you not realize that the modern Democrat party has waged war on religious freedom? Not to mention they ARE the party of abortion.

    I agree that no one party will stand for everything the Catholic church believes or promotes, but the choice these days is clear. A vote for the Democrats is a vote for the Culture of Death, from abortion and legal infanticide (if Obama has his way – look up the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois) to the HHS mandate/violation of the first amendment.

    Catholics should vote for a party that seeks to protect the life of the unborn (and every other person for that matter) and promotes FREEDOM. Coerced charity (aka “social justice”) through wealth redistribution and excessive taxation is nothing but stealing: the government SHOULD NOT be a substitute for charitable acts. You can vote for Life and Freedom for all while still giving to the poor. I don’t need Joe Biden to do it for me.

    And lastly – I support the death penalty, which is not against Catholic teaching. In my opinion, time and time again our justice system (and others around the world) have failed to protect innocent people from murderers (who are released on parole or who are not given life sentences) who kill again.

    I understand the sentiment of this article, but it is not based in reality. A vote for the Pro-Choice Democrats currently running this country is wrong.

    • Ted Seeber

      I was with you until you said pro-death penalty and gave your reason why- because you seem to make the same fallacy as those who claim that celibacy causes sex abuse.

      How does paroling a person prematurely who should have gotten a life sentence and never been let out, speak against life sentences?

  • JB

    After re-visiting the site to read more comments I want to add that I hope my tone did not come across too harsh. I understand your point – but I’m afraid the larger point – that the free-exercise of religion is truly at stake in this election – is being glossed over. Catholics surely can disagree on many political issues, but religious freedom under the first amendment and protection of life are truly priorities. And without the first amendment, our ability to carry out the Church’s social-justice mission (no matter what way that is done) is severely limited.

  • David Riley

    Interesting piece. Thanks. I recommend a book recently published. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt. Great insights into why we are so wedded to being right and will do anything to bolster our positions, which don’t come from the rational mind nor a re they arrived at through data or argumentation.

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  • Momoffour

    Ted Seeber I agree with you 100%.