The Catholic vote could tip the election

By Tom Quiner

The Fortnight for Freedom rallies around the country reveal the depth of the president’s problem.  Barack Obama is losing the Catholic vote.

Here in Des Moines, twenty-five hundred of the Catholic faithful gathered in sweltering heat at the Catholic Pastoral Center on July 1st.  We walked a couple of miles in the hundred degree sun to the state capital grounds.

Bishop Richard Pates led the walk. Iowa Governor, Terry Branstad was there.  So was Polk County attorney, John Sarcone.

Unlike the Occupy Wall Street protests, ours was dignified.  We were clean.  We prayed.  And here’s a huge difference: hundreds … make that over a thousand American flags were on proud display.

The gathered faithful love their country and her liberties.

They prayed and sang with a fervor that was beautiful. The fervor wasn’t induced by the temperature outdoors; it was induced by the passion burning in their hearts for America and her freedoms.

Barack Obama is taking away our religious freedom. There is no another way to say it. The HHS Mandate would go away today if he so desired.  But he doesn’t.  He won’t budge in his insistence that faith-based organizations pay for abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception in their employee health insurance plans.

Politically, the stakes are high.

Mr. Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote in the 2008 election nationally.  But here in Iowa, he took the state in a landslide, winning 59 percent of the Iowa Catholic vote.

By all accounts, this is going to be a tight election.  That means Iowa’s modest six electoral votes will take on added significance this November.  Even more, it means that the Catholic vote could swing the state toward the Republican candidate.

Catholic voters present an enticing voting block to politicians:  we’re more likely to vote than the general population.

According to Matt Smith, president of Catholic Advocate (, we Catholics represent but 16 percent of the state’s population, but 26 percent of the electorate.  In other words, Iowa has nearly half a million Catholic voters, eighty percent of whom voted in the last election.

Democrats can’t assume a majority of Catholics will vote for Mr. Obama again.  After all, George W. Bush won the Catholic vote by 5 points in 2004.

Much has changed since 2008 for Catholics and the way we view the current president.

The HHS Mandate is but the most recent assault on our religious liberties, resulting in a wave of lawsuits against the Obama Administration.

But there’s more.

Catholic faith is very much animated by Christ’s call to go out and serve our communities.  We serve some of the lowliest in society.  For example, the Bishop’s Migration and Refugee division reaches out to help women and children who are victims of human trafficking.  The Obama Administration cancelled their contract since they refused to refer women for abortions.

But there’s more.

The president refuses to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act which was passed in a bipartisan vote and signed into law by a Democratic president.

But there’s more.

Democrats worked hard to keep the anti-abortion Stupak amendment out of Obamacare.  But in spite of the president’s insistence that his Executive Order would keep taxpayers from funding human abortion, it didn’t.  Catholic tax dollars are indirectly funding human abortion through back channels.

And there’s more, but not space to list all Catholic concerns about this president’s policies.

Perhaps it comes down to a dramatic philosophical divide.  Barack Obama views human life as a disease that needs to be limited, at the very least, and eradicated if inconvenient.  On the other hand, Catholics view life as a beautiful manifestation of God’s love.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama didn’t tell us he was going to aggressively stake out radical policies that were so anti-Catholic.  He didn’t tell us he would launch blatant assaults on our religious liberty, whether you’re a Catholic or not.

Now we know.

If the Fortnight for Freedom rally is any indication, Barack Obama had better not count on the Catholic vote this year.


  1. illero on July 7, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Thought this essay was really good, until I got to this:

    “Barack Obama views human life as a disease that needs to be limited, at the very least, and eradicated if inconvenient.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong — not only do I think his ideas and policies lead us down the path to national ruin, but I don’t even find him likeable (as, apparently, most people do). However, I haven’t seen evidence that he thinks human life is merely a disease that needs to be limited or eradicated. Pretty harsh judgment, don’t you think?

    • quinersdiner on July 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

      That’s how I see it. As a state Senator, he wouldn’t vote for “born alive” legislation that would require hospitals to try to save the life of babies that survived an abortion attempt. He characterized pregnancy as “punishment” in his famous comment, “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old, I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” He exports contraception and funds for abortion throughout the world. He wants to impose the same on faith-based organizations in this country who say this form of government coercion violates their religious liberty. His administration wants to limit Catholic social outreach unless they provide contraception and abortion services. Sounds to me like he thinks he’s treating a disease.

      • Lisa Bourne on July 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

        We also can’t forget that at least one of his “czars” is an avid population control freak. I read something somewhere about the guy I’m thinking of advocating for putting something in the drinking water in the U.S. to sterlize the population if people wouldn’t willingly submit to population control. A member of this administration actually thinks that and wrote such. Is that harsh? Yeah, harsh is too nice a word in this case.

      • illero on July 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

        Thanks. I understand your point better. I interpreted your statement to apply not only to unborn babies but to people of all ages and walks of life — as in, “If you don’t agree with me, I might just ‘eradicate’ you, your family, your friends, your acquaintances, . . . . .

      • J on July 7, 2012 at 10:59 am

        I’m with Quiner on this one. My strong impression from speaking with pro-aborts is that a lot of them feel this way. Roughly speaking, I’ve noted 2 major approaches to supporting abortion:

        (1) Frame it as a woman’s right; this basically boils down to “You should be able to have sex without getting stuck with a kid. Got pregnant and not happy about that? No problem, you get to kill the baby.” They are pretty much treating the pregnancy as an unwanted condition; a disease. If it’s NOT a disease then why are they trying to “cure” it through abortion?

        (2) The social engineering approach. These are the folks who note that the demographics most likely to have unwanted pregnancies and abort are the poor, and minorities in particular. They’ll happily point out that children born in these circumstances are much more likely to become criminals anyway. The sick part is that there’s a definite eugenics “superior race” undertone to this argument. Where do you find the most abortion clinics? In black ‘hoods. America exports abortion everywhere, but it seems especially eager to export it to poor and developing countries to curb their growing populations. From the very beginning, there has always been a strong attachment between abortion and eugenics — ref. Margaret Sanger, Rockefeller, etc.

        Obama is very much of the same stripe. Just look at remarks that have been made by people he has personally appointed to his staff — promoting sterilizing chemicals in the water, infanticide, all kinds of wonderful stuff. Not to mention Obama’s own policies and remarks. Check his voting record as a member of the IL Senate (voting against “born alive” state legislation — apparently you’re not even safe once you’re out of the womb as far as Obama and his ilk are concerned).

        Saying that Obama characterizes human life as a disease to be limited or eradicated isn’t a “harsh judgment.” Based on his own record and that of radical pro-aborts in general, it’s a very natural and obvious conclusion as to his mindset.

    • Lisa Bourne on July 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

      He said he didn’t want his daughters “punished by having a baby,” in defense of his efforts to push birth control. And the language of this mandate refers to “preventative services.” That means fertility and life are a disease. He pushed abortion all over the globe, with U.S> tax dollars, against the will of the U.S. people and whether the country on which he’s pushing it wants it or not. He is also big into fundraising for Planned Parenthood. Tom’s not alone in this judgement, and NO, it is not at all harsh.

    • tsedednt1 on July 8, 2012 at 7:15 am

      I am happy ( I think) to have maybe been the catalyst for the generation of several heartfelt responses to my assertion that essentially characterizing Obama as a monster who wishes to “eradicate” anyone not agreeing with him is a bit “harsh”. After Tom clarified that he was basically talking about the abortion issue, I acknowledged that I had been thinking that his characterization of Obama applied to Obama’s view of ALL humanity, not just unborn children.

      However, after thinking about it some more, and reading other responses, I find that I still have an issue. To wit: When is it constructive to apply such harsh words to an individual or a group of people, when the heart of the matter is a set of internalized beliefs? Who is going to be convinced to change his/her ways or beliefs because we call them insensitive, monstrous, murderers, etc.? How do I convince a pro-choice adherent that (s)he is wrong by simply telling him/her that (s)he is a murderer and will answer for his/her crime in hell?

      Do we think that people who believe that early abortion is NOT murder really don’t believe this at all, and are just waiting for someone to confirm that they are murderers? How many pro-choice people out there really believe they are murderers? I suspect the number is not too high.

      Surveys show that there are millions of Americans who are actually in the middle on this issue, not totally sure about the right or wrong of early abortions – even people who have had abortions themselves. I would still submit that these people, as well as those who just flatly believe that there is nothing wrong with abortion (beyond the cultural degradation that has led to the “need” for abortions), will not be convinced by screaming protesters, but rather by Christians who understand that pro-choice folks believe they are just as smart, just as law-abiding, just as compassionate toward mankind, just as generous, just as virtuous and upright, and even just as Christian, as any anti-abortion person out there.

      I think the message of pro-lifers needs to be refined.

      • quinersdiner on July 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

        Thanks for the thoughtful follow up. Your earlier comment sparked much conversation both on the blog and in my home. Your point is valid. Pro lifers want to change hearts and minds. Do we best do it with a carrot or a stick? The stick, you suggest with credibility, simply makes pro choicers or folks on the fence defend their entrenched position. I am re-thinking that paragraph since I will be submitting this post to the local newspaper. I’ll let you know what I come up with. Thanks again for writing.

  2. Lisa Bourne on July 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

    It still gives me pause that anyone was so snowed by this guy. I saw this coming out of the gate when another purveyor of things not at all healthy for the culture, Oprah Winfrey, propped him up out of nowhere when he ran against Alan Keyes for the Illinois Senate. I thought it strange that she was so insistent on pushing him, like her book-of-the-month, and essentially constructing his initial stardom. I had a very bad feeling, and it wasn’t long before it was crystal clear why. Plenty of others had it figured out by the time of the election, and its outcome cast a very grim pall on all of us for what was to come. Oh, there were others that knew what was coming by that time as well, but who actually supported it, and who, gleefully, arrogantly told those who were worried over our future to get over it and move on. NICE. They clearly embraced and continue to support the socialist vision. That is nothing short of disturbing. This guy was propped up out of nowhere, remember, because there is STILL so much undisclosed about him. And just as with having to resort to Executive Privilege with regard to Fast and Furious, it can only be because there is plenty to hide. But it matters not, because we know infinitely more than we need to. Anyone who could vote for a presidential candidate that voted against the protection of newborn life suffering from a failed abortion has serious moral compass issues. And no one need bother trotting out the tired assertion that having the we-fight-poverty-shingle hanging out front forgives all sins. Don’t bother either with the nonsense that poverty or any other issue has precedence. Because it doesn’t fly. It never has and it never will. Even if God did expect healthcare to be handed out like candy, and even if it really were free, doing so at the expense of life on so many other levels, not to mention also at the expense of liberty and conscience, and completely at the expense of tax-payers who blatantly object, UTTERLY negates any feigned good intent. Those still functioning under the pretense that the president is operating with the benefit of anything but his ego and radical socialist agenda at the forefront, need to drop it, get over themselves and him, and give us a break. We can only hope this time around that Catholics have their heads on straight and their consciences authentically in check.

  3. Paul Sharp on July 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

    It has been difficult to know the background of Barack Obama. A question about his life that speaks to his view of the welfare of others is: has he ever helped his extended family? Malaria, food and water borne disease, housing, etc. are surely problems of his relatives in Africa but, does he care? Maybe I’m missing something but I’m guessing he’ll help if he can get his name behind a movement to address the problems with other peoples’ money.

  4. BJ on July 13, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I don’t mind if you have an issue with the HHS mandate: don’t vote for President Obama in November. But the mere fact that your editorial was published in The Register means that you’re clearly not being denied a voice on this issue.

    As such, the rhetoric of an “assault on religious liberties” not only turns off moderates to your cause, but is offensive to the millions around the world who have actually been physically persecuted or assaulted for what they believe.