By Tom Quiner
I sat in a Catholic bible study a week before the 2008 presidential election. We briefly discussed the upcoming election. Most in the room were voting for Barack Obama. I asked how a Catholic could vote for a man who had told Planned Parenthood that passage of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is the first thing he intended to do.
FOCA posed a direct threat to conscience protection for Catholic doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists that wanted nothing to do with abortion. It would definitively replace via legislation a fundamental right to life with a fundamental right to an abortion.
In other words, FOCA was considered anti-Catholic.
Interestingly, people asked why they had never heard about any of this! Perhaps it was because the media downplayed Mr. Obama’s extreme position on abortion.
Mr. Obama himself talked soothingly to Catholics when he spoke at Notre Dame:
“Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.”
It worked. Mr. Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote, a seven point pick up from the 2004 election.
Now, faithful Catholics can see they’ve been conned.
The president and his party are expanding abortion availability, forcing taxpayers to pay for it, and targeting conscience-protection for Catholics who believe that abortion kills a human being.
Catholics are a huge voting block, representing 27 percent of all voters. The president is going to be hard-pressed to win a majority of Catholics next go-round in light of his relentless pursuit of anti-Catholic legislation.
It’s not just abortion. It’s marriage issues that concern Catholic voters. As the president and his party throw their political clout behind the gay marriage movement, Catholics social services are taking a hit. Catholic Charities have been forced out of the adoption business in Massachusetts and San Francisco. Now it has come to the Midwest as the Catholic Diocese of Bellevue (Illinois) had to get out of the adoption business and turn it over to another entity that adopts babies out to gay couples.
Five years ago, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage asked:
“Is the fate of Catholic Charities of Boston an aberration or a sign of things to come?”
If Democrats and their pressure groups have it their way, it is a sign of things to come.
In light of Mr. Obama’s antipathy to core Catholic values, it seems unlikely he’ll capture the Catholic vote this time around. In a tight election, that can make all the difference. The Catholic vote may very well determine the next President of the United States.