Saturday, November 08, 2008

Looking at the Catholic Vote, Part I

A percentage breakdown of the Catholic vote indicates unequivably that the U.S. is a mission field.

The Charcoal Fire
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So things just got a lot worse for the unborn, and in large part due to the Catholic vote no less. According to exit polls, Sen. Obama carried the Catholic vote at 54 percent. And I don’t think there’s any disputing those numbers, considering a.) he won, and b.) Catholics are more than a quarter of the United States population. A candidate would be hard-pressed to win the general election without carrying the Catholic vote, though George Bush did in 2000. Obama won the electoral vote easily while losing many traditionally Protestant states; hence, those figures are probably very accurate.

Rhode Island should have been a shoe-in for McCain – nearly 60 percent of the state is Catholic! Here are a few more:

Pennsylvania – 28.4 percent
Nevada – 32 percent
Wisconsin – 29.5 percent
Connecticut – 36.6 percent
New York – 37.1 percent
Massachusetts – a staggering 42 percent!

That’s 90 electoral votes right there! Though Catholics are the biggest pro-life contingent in the country, the abortion issue continues to plague our nation because of the un-Catholic voting practices of the Catholic voters who are not part of that contingent. Barack Obama never should have been a political factor in the first place, Illinois is 30.1 percent Catholic!

So what I take from the stats above is that Catholicism is only cultural in many localities in this country. Don’t get me wrong, Catholicism should be cultural. It just shouldn’t be only cultural. There is more to Catholicism then the culture. Catholicism is a worldview. There’s an old saying in our faith, “orthodoxy leads to orthopraxis” – right teaching leads to right action; our faith must inform our every action. Somewhere there is a disconnect for American Catholics. There seems to be a combination of these factors in our parishes throughout the country:

1. Some American Catholics are not receiving orthodoxy, but only heterodoxy (other teaching, i.e., teaching not true to the Catholic faith) in their parishes.
2. Some American Catholics are receiving a contradictory muddled mess of orthodoxy and heterodoxy in their parishes.
3. Some American Catholics are mostly receiving orthodoxy in their parishes, but have false beliefs about Catholic moral doctrine, anthropology, philosophy, and ethics.
4. Some American Catholics don’t care what the orthodox teachings of the faith are, they believe they can pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe – an all-too-common practice known as “dissent.”
5. Some American Catholics have an impenetrable distrust, hurt, or even hatred for the teaching office of the bishop because of the abuse scandals.
6. Finally, there are many American Catholics for whom Catholicism is a heritage, but not something they practice. Sadly, this group represents most American Catholics. This group voted 61 percent in favor of Obama, according to exit polls.

In each of these cases we have a crisis among the faithful of orthopraxis, as evidenced by the vote, and in most cases there is a crisis of orthodoxy at root. Therefore, one of the chief solutions to the problem has to be to teach the Catholic faith in its full authenticity without the polluting elements of heterodoxy and encouragement toward dissent. People genuinely want to know the Catholic faith, and in so many places a lie is being presented in its stead. Teaching the Catholic faith in its richness will lead to a more pro-life America.


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