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Do Catholics Really Need Voting Guides?

A few months before a federal election, Catholic publishers, media figures, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put out reminders and sometimes books and PDFs on the theme of Catholics and voting.

The problem is their advice tends to be very weak, and very vague, spectacularly nonspecific…afraid to describe things as they really are…afraid to quote what the candidates have publicly said they will do if elected…and afraid to quote from the websites of the political party’s platform. The question is, what are they afraid of?

TOPICS COVERED

  • The main taproot here seems to be nervousness about a little thing called the Johnson Amendment, which was passed by Congress in 1954.
  • The Johnson Amendment might be used as a cudgel to keep pastors and Catholic Apostolates in perpetual zip the lip mode regarding specific politicians and policies, but nowhere does it claim to supersede the First Amendment.
  • Adverse actions against nonprofit organizations is quite rare.
  • But not only rare, but they are also lopsided in their application.
  • A first step was taken on May 4th, 2017 when the president signed an executive order that directs the executive branch to limit its enforcement of the Johnson Amendment that, on paper, prohibits tax-exempt organizations from engaging in “political campaign activities.” So once again, President Trump is guilty….of doing what he said he would do.
  • Why can’t pastors and Bishops invite candidates to speak in Catholic parishes about their platforms and encourage people to vote?
  • The explicit promises that are made through their empty suit and elder abuse victim Joe Biden are vehemently opposed to every non-negotiable Catholic moral principle—from the destruction of innocent unborn human life to the redefinition of marriage to euthanasia, etc.
  • On the other hand, the Protestant Donald Trump announced during the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this week, that he would sign the Born Alive Executive Order to “ensure that all precious babies born alive, no matter their circumstances, receive the medical care that they deserve. This is our sacrosanct moral duty.” He also announced increased funding for neonatal care.
  • President Trump supports this kind of thing,  Joe Biden opposes this kind of thing.
  • Whether to permit or prohibit the killing of a baby — that’s as primal and fundamental as it gets.
  • Do you know who was the first politician to fall back on the “personally opposed but” slogan? Pontius Pilate.
  • Pilate knew Christ was innocent,  but he handed him over to be crucified.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

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