Monday, November 3, 2008

If Obama Loses the Election, I'll Blame the Catholic Church

In church yesterday, the right wing was in full force; one guy at the exit handing out glossy cards stating that Obama was "opposed" to all sorts of "family values," while inside the church, a few people were passing out a letter from Bishop Richard Lennon (hailing from Boston, ground zero of the pedophile scandal and cover-up) which suggested, in light of the Bishops' letters, that basically the abortion issue trumps all other issues of Catholic social teaching.

I hear a lot about "voting your conscience" but that now reads like code for "vote for the 'pro-life' candidate." This is a travesty of the notion of citizenship in a pluralistic society, and a completely misguided attempt at "moral clarity" around an issue which is anything but morally clear. If the "pro-lifers" showed as much concern for putative "innocent life" that they do, they would have overthrown the bishops who covered up the pedophile scandal, played a key role in ending the war in Iraq in 1991 (which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of "innocent" lives), and marched on the streets against the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina.

And in Scranton, PA, we have this guy:

Catholic Bishop Causes Stir: Don't Vote for Pro-Abortion Candidates, Period
by Steven Ertelt Editor

October 22, 2008

Scranton, PA ( -- A Catholic bishop in Pennsylvania has perhaps gone further than any other Catholic leader in the nation with a new statement saying Catholics shouldn't vote for any candidate who is pro-abortion. The statement has implications for the presidential race with a clear contrast between the candidates.

Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino showed up unexpectedly at a parish forum in his diocese and said he was upset that the letter he authored saying not to vote for pro-abortion candidates wasn't a part of the discussion.

Martino surprised the audience by saying that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doesn't go far enough in laying out Catholic policy vis-a-vis voting priorities.

The bishops have said, in their document “Faithful Citizenship” that "“a Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion" if the voter is intending to support abortion. It says pro-abortion candidates can only be supported for proportionate reasons -- something Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has said doesn't exist.

Bishop Martino went further and took issue with the USCCB statement, which was handed out to everyone at the meeting, and complained no one received his letter.

“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” said Martino. “The USCCB doesn't speak for me.”

“The only relevant document ... is my letter,” he said. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”

The letter indicates that abortion is more important than any other political issue.

“Health care, education, economic security, immigration, and taxes are very important concerns. Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences as the recent financial crisis demonstrates," it says. "However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does."

"National Right to Life reports that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many. No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price," it concludes. “No social issue has caused the death of 50 million people. This is madness, people."

After Bishop Martino's comments, most of the members of the audience gave him a standing ovation, but about one-fourth of the audience left afterwards.


kat said...

If Obama wins then I will blame members of the Catholic Church who have not read the Bible, the Catechism, or listened to the over 100 bishops who have stated correctly that voting for Obama is complicit in voting for the murder of thousands of more babies due to his strong pro-abortion position.

Brady said...

Hurray for our bishops. I love the backbone they are displaying this year. 50 million babies lost to the "choice" of abortion in the U.S. alone. Say what you want about the war, doesn't even begin to compare to 50 million. This is not hard. If Obama loses, I will cheer the Church alongside the holy innocents lost in abortion. Over 100 bishops in the U.S have spoken out against this, and you think you know more than them....

Anonymous said...

Yoou couldn't be more wrong. Sorry to be so abrasive, but it's obvious that people like you will never give up your mantle of fear, guilt, and hatred for truth so that you can continue living your life in complete and total selfishness and immorality. YOU CAN NOT ARGUE ANY OF THE POINTS YOU JUST DID WHEN YOU NEGATE THE VERY RIGHT TO EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE. Sin on the part of anyone - bishop, priest, president, army commander, whoever - does NOT justify murder. War does NOT negate the right to life for others yet unborn. Pedophilia on the part of misguided bishops and priests does NOT negate the right for others to live. Two wrongs do not make a right (it's amazing to have to sink to simplistic statements like this - ones that a 5 year old can understand - in trying to make an ADULT see the light.) LEAVE THE CHURCH IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT IT TEACHES. I am so sick of people like you remaining in the Church, all the while complaining about everything the Church believes in and teaches. Seriously, if you don't agree - why not go find some Protestant church that does support CHOICE and GAY MARRIAGE and DESTRUCTION OF FAMILY, etc. They proliferate everywhere, they are waiting for people like you. Also - if Obama loses the election, you'll blame the Catholics? (It's funny how liberals always believe that conservatives will win, no matter how far in the lead the liberals really are.) Guess what, pal? It's not just Catholics. There are legions of Christian Protestants who also believe in LIFE. They are just as active - if not more so - in this election. In fact, I envy them - they exist within churches and institutions that are usually UNIFIED in their beliefs. It's only in the Catholic realm that we have idiots like you who want to use arguments like Iraq and priest sex scandals to justify sex with no consequences, gay sex, marriage without chastitiy, and a whole boatload of other society destroying actions. LEAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OR GO TO CONFESSION AND REPENT!

Anonymous said...

I DARRE YOU to publish my comments to you. You could really get a good discussion going, since your blog post was linked by one of the most MAJOR and well-read conservative Catholic blogs on the planet! That's how I found it.

Anonymous said...

I would be in raptures to share in that blame, too.


Anonymous said...

As a proud pro-life candidate who knows that without the right to LIFE, no other right matters, I will gladly take the 'blame' if Obama loses. And I do hope you're not calling the Bishop 'this guy' since that shows a total lack of respect for the Church you said you attended yesterday. I'm also against the war, and against the handling of the abuse scandal, but I do totally support the 99.9% of clergy who hasn't abused any children. And I stand behind Church teacing 100%

Anonymous said...

That blame would be an honor to share.

The "peace-making" at the cost of human life bit should have been left in the 1960's along with your lavalamp theology.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Catholic Church will be very happy to hear you giving them credit for the prevention of the mass murder of our nation's children. As a Catholic, I say thanks!

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church has been fighting the war against abortion and against anti-family legislation for 40 years. it'll take a lifetime and beyond to heal from the wounds of this war and it is fair to say that we will come away from it with scars to show.

You point out the scandal that broke out in 02, though it was quite a heinous act for the bishops and priests who acted irresponsibly, the main points we should come out with is that the problems are being addressed, thankfully to the attention that was brought to it by the media..who by the way was out to "get" the Church.

So, it's been 6 years since the media broke the news. Does the media have any redeeming qualities today? Not one iota. There are a lot of anti-life scandals going on around the country that the media isn't covering. Guess who speaks for those who the media doesn't give a voice to? The Church. The Church tells you what you won't hear on CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, ABC News, Fox News or CBS News.

You don't hear stories about abortionists who have have their licenses to practice revoked because of the other scandals they have been involved in.

You don't hear the media talking about the man who raped a 15 year old girl and paid for her to have an abortion.

You don't hear about how a father is told he can't take his daughter out of school because he doesn't want her to be taught that Joe and Pete can be in love.

Who speaks for these people? The Church.

The media has already embraced all the poverty issues. Let it be that way then. They have chosen the people they want to give voices to. But don't forget, no matter how much the media thinks it's helping, the Catholic Church helps about 5 times more. The media will never tell you that, because they don't want you to see the Church as a Church that does any good. They will never touch the abortion subject..and the pain that comes with it..or the same-sex lifestyle and its adverse effects because they think it will hurt their ratings.

Christian said...

Well, Bishop Martino is my Bishop, and for all of my disagreements with him, I am damn proud of him for this. We come to The Church not to transform it or think we know better, but to be transformed BY IT. When I was a non-believer I felt that any religion was like a finger pointing at the moon. We all could see and sense God, and we all made a path to God from the place where we stood. In time, I found that the Catholic Church offered one thing the others didn't -- the path from God to us. But for those who insist, there are plenty of alternative paths (churches/religions) to choose from that will allow us to make the church in our image rather than Christ's.

God Bless.

Walter said...

"If Obama Loses the Election, I'll Blame the Catholic Church "

And I'll be sp happy to be Catholic!

Nerina said...

So, Philip, do the almost 50 million innocent lives mean nothing in your decision-making algorithim. Do they not touch your conscience? Any death of innocents is unacceptable, but you are painting with such a broad and dishonest brush in this post.

And, yes, abortion trumps all in this day and age. Be honest. Read the catechism, learn your faith (ALL of it) and pray for God's guidance in your decisions.

And, no. I'm not a McCain supporter. I think both political parties are taking us to hell, I just think the Democrats will get us there faster.

Philip Metres said...

I thank everyone who has given me their comments; it's clear that a lot of people feel strongly about this issue. But until pro-life people can get past the smug feeling of self-righteousness about their convictions and start creating a society where women receive the kind of full support, health care, and futures that would lead to a decline in abortion, nothing will change.

German Martinez said...

You should be happy you have a Bishop like this in Scranton.

Here is the latest from Bishop Martino

Charlotte said...

There you go again with your totally baseless arguments...You think that abortion will go away if we "care" for women with medical care and touchy-feely "support"? HELLO! Abortion goes away when the following things happen:

1. Women stop spreading their legs for every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
2. Tom, Dick, and Harry stop whipping it out.
3. TV, toys, media, public schools, and liberal churches STOP telling kids and teenagers that sex is OK outside of marriage.
4. The Catholic Church stops cowering behind the dictates of secular society and actually teaches Catholic Cathechism.
5. People like you stop TELLING women who are pregnant outside of marriage that they DESERVE free abortions, that they deserve a "free pass" for their thoughtless immorality.
6. People like you keep believing and advocating (as Obama does) that babies are disposable and only valuable if they are wanted.


Immorality is the cause of abortion, not poor inner city conditions, not patriarchal society, not unaffordable health care, etc., blah, blah, blah.

Abortion is about selfishness, from beginning to end. From the moment 2 unmarried people (or married, for that matter), get undressed and have sex (because it's their RIGHT to feel good sexually, now isn't it?) to the moment when they realize what they've done (i.e. create an actual human being) and then decide that the EASY route to cover up their mistake/gaff is best. It's like the child who breaks a vase and thinks that secretly gluing it back together will fix the problem, when all along, the best answer would be to ADMIT FAULT and pay reparations. Abortion is a selfish cover-up of the truth, it's a person's attempt to cover-up the grave, grave error of their ways in a manner that NO ONE will ever see. When people try to fix things in stealth, it only means one thing: FULL KNOWLEDGE OF SIN AND GUILT.

And if bad/non-affordable health care is such a problem for these women, how come it's never a problem for them to get "health care" in the form of abortions? They seem to be able to come up with the cash for the abortions, now don't they?

Oh, FYI, healthcare is NOT contraception, buddy.

You're backed into a corner. You're wrong. The Church says you're wrong. The bishops of this country say you're wrong. Catholics who are REALLY Catholic say you're wrong. That's why I suggested before: LEAVE THE CHURCH, SINCE YOU DON'T SUPPORT A SINGLE KEY ISSUE THAT IT TEACHES AS TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Finn, on national radio:

"A catholic cannot, in good conscience, vote for a pro-abortion candidate."


"To vote for a pro-abortion candidate is a participation in the act of abortion."


Over 100 bishops have spoken, and Catholics who ignore their teaching are, well, not Catholic anymore, and certainly not in a state of grace.

Anonymous said...

I'm part of that church... and if Obama loses the election, PLEASE.... lay on the blame :)

Bob Schopf, Jr. said...

I find it ASTONISHING that someone who is so obviously for Peace cannot see or does not understand that with abortion, there is no PEACE in the womb. A place that fundamentally should be the safest place in the world.

May Gods Love and Peace be with you.

Philip Metres said...

Bob, I like the fact that you didn't try to threaten or humiliate me and instead tried to talk to me as a human being. I never said I was for abortion, that I thought it was a great idea, or anything of the sort. Of course it's a kind of violence--so is rape, so is war, etc. Sometimes, the Church even sanctions such violence under the principle of double-effect (when the mother's life is at stake). Why abortion is such an issue is that there are many lives at stake, not just the potential life of the unborn.
I don't see pro-lifers involved in the peace movement, or the environmental movement, where millions of innocent lives (and especially the unborn) are at stake.

Anonymous said...

Dear Philip,

To answer your thoughts, I would like to let you know that there are a lot of positive ways the Church helps impoverished women. It has pregnancy centers ready to aid women in providing basic cares that need for themselves and the children. For those who have suffered through abortion, it offers counseling. Project Rachel and Gabriel Project really help women, but don't get any support from the government which uses our tax money to support Planned Parenthood - the mother of destruction of all that is valuable, namely human dignity. The government gives 400 million tax dollars to PP every year. In my opinion, this is why abortion on demand is still able to exist. Planned Parenthood does no good, but seeks to make money through it's ruthless campaign.

If we are able to preach that cigarette kills, why not preach that sex leads to babies and parenthood?

Bob Schopf, Jr. said...


Yes, I understand that there are other issues that are violent, that we should all work for a better world, but if the most basic and fundamental right, the right to Life, is denied, our future as a species is doomed.

The right to Life is FUNDAMENTAL.

Equiti Albo Crucis said...

But until pro-life people can get past the smug feeling of self-righteousness about their convictions and start creating a society where women receive the kind of full support

Those are strong accusations, do have any proof to back it up, because I know plenty of people that are interested and working to help women that are part of the pro-life movement.

Why abortion is such an issue is that there are many lives at stake, not just the potential life of the unborn.

It is an issue because it is murder no matter how many lives are at stake. It is an abomination crying to Heaven for vengeance because of the numbers of lives involved. Our priest made a good point yesterday regarding the abortion of the unborn in contrast to the number of other life related issues. That is that we don't know the final destination of the unbaptized unborn whether those killed by abortion or simply naturally miscarried. There are various theological schools and one of them is that they go to Hell although they don't receive the same punishment as the damned. No since we don't know for sure should we take any chances regarding those innocent lives that they may be lost to Heaven forever? Think about that tomorrow when you pull the lever for Obama.

I don't see pro-lifers involved in the peace movement, or the environmental movement,

Funny how I never see the habit-less Sisters at an abortion clinic praying for life either. But since you are concerned about the war mongers and blame the Republicans may I remind you that it was the Democrats that got us into the Korean War, Vietnam War( which cause the French abandoned after 20 years of failure only to be picked up LBJ) How about Bill Clinton and the Balkans? And let us not forget the Obama said we should have more troops in Afghanistan and he is ready to go into Pakistan if necessary. But I digress, you were talking about the peace movement. What exactly is the "peace movement?" Do you mean the anti-war movement, because I don't know anyone involved in the pro-life movement that is not for peace or wants war. The same goes for the environment. I know plenty of people that believe we should be proper stewards of God's resources on Earth but don't want to get involved with an eco-religious environmental movement.

Anonymous said...

Oh, help me, Jesus.

Is it really possible that anyone could weigh the lives of 1,000,000 + children PER YEAR (not *potential lives...this isn't the 15th century, dude), and not see that the intrinsic evil wrought in abortion is all out of proportion to any other issue?

My, my.

Let me offer a bit of insight, my brother. All the people who have been killed in all the wars fought by the United States since its inception do not add up to 48,000,000. Add all the (proven guilty/not innocent) human lives taken by execution in our country, and you're still not there. Add all the people who *might* die from global warming (which apparently isn't holding up as a theory), and you STILL don't get there.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said it best:

"It is a poverty to think that a child must die so that you can live as you wish.". Do you know a person in a crisis pregnancy? I'll adopt the child; my three remaining daughters at home would love the company. Ask 'em to email me. But that you "don't see" pro-lifers out agiĆ¾ating for assistance for pregnant women means that you're willfully blind. Email me your city, and your phone number, and I'll have them call you.

I'll be praying for you.

Philip Metres said...

Good night, and good luck! I've been called just about everything in the book (and not only the Good Book), which leads me to wonder about whether all of us need to return to the radical message of love that the faith was founded upon--not on fear-mongering, intimidation, exclusionism, etc.

Unknown said...

Well, I hope no one called you anything too bad (though I sadly suspect some must have) and unlike others, I don't hope you leave the Church.

However, I do hope that you decide to put the Will of God ahead of your political convictions. As a former Republican, I can remember the years when I would measure the Gospel I heard read each Sunday against the GOP platform.

Somehow, I managed to think that Our Lord's teaching about peace, or poverty, or forgiveness, etc. were all somehow irrelevant when compared to the "gospel" of capitalism and "patriotism."

Remember that God is perfectly Holy. You and I are not. Therefore, as long as we live, won't there always be some aspect of the Will of God that is contrary to our own? Won't we be strongly tempted to think that somehow, that part of the Will of God doesn't really apply?

But won't it be precisely that teaching, or commandment, that is the greatest difference between us and God? Won't it be that very thing that is most separating us from God right now?

So, from one former idol-worshiper to another: smash the idols, forget the parties and secular salvation, believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the whole Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel. You will never regret it.

And try to ignore the noise from the "Republicatholics." Pray for them, and hope that they too will turn from vain hope in Caesar, and render unto God all their heart, all their soul, all their mind, and all their strength.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas, pray for us.