Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think if you broke that figure down into Catholics who attend Mass regularly versus those who don't, you'd see something a little different.
I think this is a very important point. Protestantism is a collection of denominations if thrust together wouldn't look all that different from Catholicism. We have our dissenters within. Theirs just form new denominations and magically disappear from the rolls of Evangelicals on election day. Also, before we lay blame at the feet of the bishops I think we first need to be a little realistic about what a completely galvanized effort by them would have resulted in. The same folks who already listen would have. A few more would have. The dissenters would have turned away. Its part and parcel of being a dissenter. We also need to keep in mind that over 100 bishops
in the United States made statements of some sort. Compare that to what you remember from the Kerry election ... too little too late? Maybe ... but certainly not completely passive and certainly not the cause.
Shouldn't we level some criticism at the Republican party for drifting to the middle and offering up a candidate that was so easy for liberal Catholics to undermine with their "economics reduces abortion" and "well he ain't exactly pro-life" and "like the Republicans are really going to do something about abortion" cases. Furthermore the third party case
was more compelling for Catholics in this election than in any election I can remember. Divided we fall ... and when they (meaning the Republicans) are not with us we owe them no allegiance. From the second article I linked in
Catholics make up some 25 percent of the population, but we exercise an influence far smaller than our numbers. We have been manipulated and divided by partisan political hacks: Whenever someone raises the point of the primacy of life issues in making political decisions, he is automatically considered by those on the Left to be shilling for Republicans. Whenever someone makes an argument for protecting those who are injured by the rough-and-tumble of the free market, he is automatically dismissed as a tool of the Democrats. Surely we can do better as disciples of Christ.
It will be interesting if the bishops when they get together and talk about this soon will have any real solutions to the problem of a divided Catholic voice in American politics.