Catholics & the 2004 Presidential Election - Collected Readings & Resources

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Faith Factor Is Fear Factor in Political Roadshow 

Posted by Earl at 10:46 PM

Bush and Kerry campaigning in churchesFrom the pages of Times Against Humanity ...

Today, MSNBC airs the Hardball/Newsweek Special Report "Under God: Bush, Kerry, and the Faith Factor." "There is no argument over the importance of religion in the election," Jill Lawrence reports in USA Today.
Frequency of worship is a prime predictor of how people vote. Surveys of voters leaving the polls in the 2000 election showed that 63% of people who attended church more than once a week voted for [Republican George] Bush, compared with 36% for Democrat Al Gore. Weekly churchgoers broke 57%-40% for Bush.
Protestants made up over half the 2000 electorate, and Bush won 55% of that vote, beating Gore nearly 2 to 1 among white Protestants. That support was critical to capturing the Oval Office since Gore bested Bush among virtually every other religious group, from black Protestants to Catholics to Jews, as well as nonbelievers.

"Church attendance itself, regardless of one's brand of faith, seems to be part of what divides America about Bush," Dane Smith and Eric Black write in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "In a recent national poll by Time magazine, those who attended church once a week or more favored Bush over Kerry 59 percent to 35 percent."

As MSNBC's Alex Johnson reports:
For the president, paying close attention to his religious base doesn't just make sense--it is imperative. Opinion polling shows that Americans' votes most closely track their religious attendance. Voters who say they go to church every week vote Republican, by overwhelming margins. Those who go to church less frequently vote Democratic, by nearly similar proportions.
Persuading religiously observant citizens to register and vote is key to President Bush's reelection strategy, but is not the easy sell that many political believers--or rather believers in politics--might think.

Constantly subjected to stereotypical slanders from the secular elite that dominates America's increasingly indistinguishable news and entertainment media, indifference and discrimination from government, and neglect and betrayal by soi-disant "conservatives," millions of Christians remain skeptical, even leery, of political involvement. Indeed, an estimated 4 million white evangelical Christians did not vote in the last presidential election.

If President Bush's nightmare is evangelical Protestants staying home, Senator John F. Kerry's is faithful Catholics going to the polls and this despite the fact that Catholic voters gave Gore 50 percent of their votes in 2000, a 4 point margin over Bush.

"As a Catholic himself, Kerry would hope to do even better," Johnson notes.
But the Catholic Church isn't exactly cooperating. Kerry disagrees with church doctrine on abortion, and the controversy has occasionally slowed his campaign....[In fact,] his candidacy has become a test case for...developing guidelines for how U.S. bishops should approach Catholic lawmakers who promote policies opposed by the church.
It is a test that many bishops seem determined to flunk.

The faith factor is the fear factor in the reality show that is the 2004 elections. It is likely to determine the survivor.

Supplemental Reading:

Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch

Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.


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Contributing Editors:

Oswald Sobrino of
Catholic Analysis

Earl E. Appleby of
Times Against Humanity

Jeff Miller of
The Curt Jester

Ad Limina Apostolorum

Christopher Blosser of
Against The Grain

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Kerry's Critics


Ad Limina Apostolorum
The Black Republican
The Blog From The Core
Catholics for Bush [Blog]
Catholic Light
Defensor Fidei (Jimmy Akin)
Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
The Galvin Opinion
Just Being Frank
Laudem Gloriae
Let's Try Freedom
Mark Shea
[The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian]
The Mighty Barrister
Open Book
Thrown Back
TriCoastal Commission


Catholics Against Kerry
De Fide
Kerry Wrong For Catholics
Priests For Life

News Resources

Google News
Mallon's Media Watch
New York Times
Yahoo News

Kerry Communion Watch @

The Candidates on Abortion: Where do they stand?




National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Register
The Hill
Crisis Magazine
National Review
Weekly Standard

Related Documents & Articles

Worthiness To Recieve Communion: General Principles
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Evangelium Vitae
Pope John Paul II

Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion, from Archbishop Donoghue (Atlanta, GA), Bishop Baker (Charleston, SC) and Bishop Jugis (Charlotte, NC).
August 4, 2004

Catholics in Political Life U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. June 7, 2004.

Catholic Politicians and Bishops. By Most Rev. Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis. America June 21-28, 2004.

A Time For Honesty, Pastoral Statement by The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark. May 5, 2004.

Why Communion Could Be Denied to Anti-Life Legislators. Interview with Father Thomas Williams, dean of the School of Theology of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Why Don't Catholic Politicians Practice What the Catholic Church Preaches?, by Judie Brown. Washington Dispatch April 19, 2004.

How to tell a Duck from a Fox: Thinking with the Church as we look toward November, by Archbishop Chaput. Denver Catholic Register April 14, 2004.

On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility, a Pastoral Letter by La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke.

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians, by Mark Stricherz. Crisis May 2003.

The Failure of Catholic Political Leadership, by Robert P. George & William E. Saunders. Crisis 18, No. 4 (April 2000).

Denying Holy Communion: A Case History, by Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida. [PDF Format].

Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist, by Barbara Kralis.

Recommmended Reading

John Kerry, Abortion and the Catholic Church

Irreconcilable Differences", by Matthew Mehan. NRO Sept. 16, 2004.

John Courtney Murray and the 'Liberal Catholic' Justification of Abortion Investigative report by Christopher Blosser. August 30, 2004.

"Please answer the question, Senator Kerry", The Mighty Barrister. August 2, 2004.

You wouldn't even ask. Fr. Pavone (Priests for Life). July 2004.

Kerry isn't making abortion stand clear, by Raymond J. Keating. Newsday July 27, 2004.

Senator Kerry May Be Human . . . But is He a Person?, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 23, 2004.

Kerry's Catholic Problem, by Brent Bozell. July 7, 2004.

The Body Politic and the Body of Christ: Candidates, Communion and the Catholic Church. Debate btw/ Thomas J. Reese, S.J. and George Weigel. June 23, 2004.

The Kerry challenge, by George Weigel. May 5, 2004.

Rites and Wrongs: Why John Kerry should not take communion, by Philip F. Lawler. Wall Street Journal April 30, 2004.

John Kerry's Catholic Problem", by Cal Thomas. April 26, 2004.

Kerry Distorting Catholic Doctrine. interviews George Weigel. April 16, 2004.

"Personally Opposed, But…" Five Pro-Abortion Dodges, by Todd M. Aglialoro. Crisis April 1, 2004.

On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Reagan vs. Reagan and The Stem-Cell Cover-Up, Catholic Kerry Watch, August 14, 2004.

Senator Kerry dismisses religious convictions as "ideology"  Catholic Kerry Watch. August 9, 2004.

Ron Reagan & Functionalism, Revisited, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 29, 2004.

Out of Touch, by Michael Fumento. Refuting Kerry's claims on the use of embryonic stem cells. Citizen Magazine August 2004.

Stem Cell Defection, by Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review August 16, 2004.

Stem Cell Research: Fact Sheets, Letters to Congress and Articles from the USCCB.

On Voting, "Proportionality" and Cardinal Ratzinger's Memorandum

What Ratzinger Said, by James Akin. Sept. 9, 2004.

Bishops Refute Flawed Theology (of Andrew Greeley) Barbara Kralis. August 22, 2004.

Thoughts on Proportionality, Catholic Kerry Watch. July 12, 2004.

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