A Faithful Catholic Necessarily Won't Support Obama
On May 2, 2008, Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, responded to rookie United States senator and current frontrunner for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.'s announcement that he was “deeply honored to have the support and counsel of these committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates.” who constituted Obama's Catholic National Advisory Council.
“The best advice I can give Sen. Obama about his Catholic National Advisory Council is to dissolve it immediately. Of the 26 Catholic former or current public office holders he has listed as either National Co-Chairs (5), or as members of the National Leadership Committee (21), there is not one who agrees with the Catholic Church on all three major public policy issues: abortion, embryonic stem cell research and school vouchers.
“Indeed, on the issue of abortion, their record is disgraceful. Consider the scorecard as issued by the most radical pro-abortion organization in the nation—NARAL. Of the two National Co-Chairs who have a NARAL tally, one agrees with the extremist group 65 percent of the time and the other agrees 100 percent of the time. Of the 20 National Leadership Committee members with a NARAL score, 17 have earned a 100 percent rating. Of those who have less than a perfect score, not one is in favor of school vouchers. [Click here for the evidence.]
“Practicing Catholics have every right to be insulted by Obama’s advisory group. What is the purpose of having an advisory group about matters Catholic when most of its members reject the Catholic position? If Obama wanted input from gay leaders, would he choose those who don’t reflect the sentiments of the gay community? In short, to choose Catholic dissidents to advise him about Catholic concerns is mind-boggling.
“If these are the best ‘committed Catholic leaders, scholars and advocates’ Obama can find, then it is evident that he has a ‘Wright’ problem when it comes to picking Catholic advisors.”
Four days later, Mr. Donohue followed up with a press release titled "OBAMA MUST START THE PURGE."
“The secularization of the Democratic party, which first became evident in the 1972 presidential race, was openly challenged by Barack Obama when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic presidential convention. To his credit, he has since galvanized people of faith to rally to his side, but ever since his problems with Rev. Wright he has come under fire by radical secularists. In short, there is a tug of war going on among Democratic activists pitting the secularists against the faithful.
“In today’s Chicago Tribune, Katha Pollitt not only criticizes Rev. Wright, she takes the opportunity to smear almost the entire nation. She says that ‘thanks to Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., the Democrats have got religion and everything that goes with it—weirdness, wrath, insult, blowhardiness, vanity, paranoia, divisiveness and trouble.’ Her hatred of religion wouldn’t matter so much if she were simply a writer for the Nation. However, she is also a prominent supporter of Sen. Obama: She joined hands with Frances Kissling, a notorious anti-Catholic, to endorse him in a publicly signed statement.
“We know where Pollitt is coming from. After all, any person who likes Catholic bashing is well known to the Catholic League. For example, when the Brooklyn Museum of Art displayed a portrait of Our Blessed Mother adorned with elephant dung and pictures of vaginas and anuses, she opined that ‘The Holy Virgin Mary is a funny, jazzy, rather sweet painting.’
“Obama is not responsible for Pollitt’s bigotry and he does not need to renounce her. But what he must do is start the purge—he must rid his ranks of those who want to silence religion. First out of the box to aid him must be Catholics. They can cite what Pope Benedict XVI recently said in Washington: ‘Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted.’ Purging the Pollitts from his base would reassure the faithful that they have a place in his campaign.”
Unfortunately, the faithful DON'T have a place in the Obama campaign unless they are deluded by the belief that there should be absolute separation of church and state and committing what the Second Vatican Council called one of the most serious errors: separating public and private life.
There was an inevitable response from Obama's "Catholic" advisers, described as "dissidents" by Mr. Donohue and heretics by me if they support abortion on demand as a civil right. (Mr. Donohue had provided evidence that the overwhelming majority of these advisors agreed with NARAL, the most pro-abortion group in the nation, 100 percent of the time.
The group protesting Mr. Donohue’s remarks in a letter to him, but without rebutting them.
The letter began with a demonstrably false charge, that Mr. Donohue had "labeled many of our friends, and some of us, as 'Catholic dissidents' because we support Senator Obama."
Of course Mr. Donohue had not stated, implied or suggested that.
These “dissidents” are dissidents because they reject fundamental teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
They support Obama because he does too.
But their “dissident” status depends upon their attitude toward the Roman Catholic Church, not their attitude toward Obama.
Mr. Donohue had not only claimed, but demonstratred, that the public officials in the group are "Catholic dissidents," because "not one [of them] agrees with the Catholic Church on all three major public policy issues: abortion, embryonic stem cell research and school vouchers".Evidence: “Of the 20 National Leadership Committee members with a NARAL score, 17 have earned a 100 percent rating, and of those who have less than a perfect score,” "not one is in favor of school vouchers.”
Understandably, the “dissident” Obamaites ducked Mr. Donohue’s actual claim and disregarded the facts.
On May 8, 2007, Mr. Donohue answered them, as follows:
“The reason I mentioned only public officials who are part of Sen. Obama’s Catholic National Advisory Council is the same reason I chose just three public policy issues: voting tallies are available on these advisors (but not on the others) and on these three issues. If I knew more about the others, no doubt some would have made the cut.
“It is more than embarrassing—it is shocking—to read how these Catholics view abortion. The Catholic Church regards abortion, as well as embryonic stem cell research, as ‘intrinsically evil.’ But not these folks. For them, abortion is merely ‘a profound moral issue.’
“Sadly, it has been apparent for years that many who fancy themselves ‘progressive’ Catholics do not treat abortion the way they do racial discrimination. No one in his right mind says that the best way to combat racial discrimination is by changing people’s hearts and minds, not the law. Which is why we do both. But when it comes to abortion—including partial-birth abortion—the progressives settle for dialogue.
“It is so nice to know that Obama thinks abortion ‘presents a profound moral challenge.’ Is infanticide another ‘profound moral challenge’? To wit: When he was in the Illinois state senate he led the fight to deny health care to babies born alive who survived an abortion. That, my friends, is not a moral challenge—it’s a Hitlerian decision.”
Catholic voters need to reflect on what the esteemed Bishop Emeritus Rene Henry Gracida wrote in 2004 to help them understand what is and is not sinful.
“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons strictly defined.“Since abortion and euthanasia have been defined by the Church as the most serious sins prevalent in our society, what kind of reasons could possibly be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion? None of the reasons commonly suggested could even begin to be proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for such a candidate. Reasons such as the candidate’s position on war, or taxes, or the death penalty, or immigration, or a national health plan, or social security, or aids, or homosexuality, or marriage, or any similar burning societal issues of our time are simply lacking in proportionality.
“There is only one thing that could be considered proportionate enough to justify a Catholic voting for a candidate who is known to be pro-abortion, and that is the protection of innocent human life. That may seem to be contradictory, but it is not.
“Consider the case of a Catholic voter who must choose between three candidates: candidate (A, Kerry) who is completely for abortion-on-demand, candidate (B, Bush) who is in favor of very limited abortion, i.e., in favor of greatly restricting abortion and candidate (C, Peroutka), a candidate who is completely against abortion but who is universally recognized as being unelectable. The Catholic voter cannot vote for candidate (A, Kerry) because that would be formal cooperation in the sin of abortion if that candidate were to be elected and assist in passing legislation, which would remove restrictions on, abortion-on-demand. The Catholic can vote for candidate (C, Peroutka) but that will probably only help ensure the election of candidate (A, Kerry). Therefore the Catholic voter has a proportionate reason to vote for candidate (B, Bush) since his vote may help to ensure the defeat of candidate (A, Kerry) and may result in the saving of some innocent human lives if candidate (B, Bush) is elected and introduces legislation restricting abortion-on-demand. In such a case, the Catholic voter would have chosen the lesser of two evils, which is morally permissible under these circumstances.”
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.