Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lucia Catholic vote directed toward Clinton

In the US, a quarter of all registered voters are Catholic, and a great proportion of those Catholics are backing Hillary Clinton.

I'm just ... horrified! It just goes to show how badly informed about their faith those American Catholics are! If they had more of a clue, they'd not be voting for a woman that supports abortion! Full-stop!
Catholics [...] have backed the winner of the national popular vote for at least the last nine presidential elections, going back to 1972.
Related Link: Catholic Vote Is Harbinger of Success for Clinton ~ NY Times

45 comment(s):

JC said...

Clinton's message is much more nuanced than pro-abortion. She has made a point of saying that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare". What's more, she has put her money where her mouth is and supported Roe v Wade whilst working tirelessly to ensure that women have all the tools to avoid a pregnancy.. and thus the potential for abortion. Under the previous Clinton presidency abortions went down, and they've risen under Bush.

http://www.slate.com/id/2112712/
http://tinyurl.com/39jnba

Catholic women everywhere have always hated abortion, and the best way to avoid it is to get on the Pill. So in NZ in the 60s and 70s, surveys showed Catholic women were the most enthusiastic Pill takers, and in Italy today it's the same because the country has the lowest birth rate in Europe.

Clinton's message resonates with Catholics because she supports Roe v Wade to allow women the freedom to choose.. and she has the message and actions to prove that she hates abortion and has done all she can to reduce it. That is a winner.

As for birth control in general, Clinton resonates as well.. she gives women freedom from babies, and the interference of the State, the Church and their menfolk in demanding she breed. Catholic women know a good deal when they see it, taking the Pill might be a sin, but it gives them the same freedoms as the men and avoids the larger sin of abortion.

I think the woman is likely a crook, but on this issue she's positioned beautifully for Catholics.

JC

MK said...

The power of ignorance and lies eh.

ZenTiger said...

"freedom to choose.."

We all have freedom to choose. Doesn't make our choices right though.

JC said...

"We all have freedom to choose. Doesn't make our choices right though"

And Hillary would agree with you. She would argue, and point to her record, that she's retaining a human right whilst trying to make abortion rare and unnecessary. Her way could well lead to less abortions (as during the 90s).

To broaden this out a little, the message that's coming from conservative leaders in Canada, UK, NZ and even some conservative thinkers in the US, is that hard line messages are out this election cycle and they must now be positive. Clinton shows a good response to the hard line abortion message by making aspects of it positive (human rights, education, assistance).

I could certainly ague that morals and ideals are absolutes, but these are useless if they lock you out of power for a generation.

Like it or not, abortion is now a political issue, not a moral one.

JC

Ackers said...

Good reason for voting Bush I guess. That sure did a power of good.......

Andrei said...

I wouldn't worry about it too much Lucyna - its from the NYT and they have a track record of being wrong on just about everything.

the major purpose of this article is probably to try and convince Catholic women that their peers are supporting Hillary in the hope that the sheepishly will follow what they perceive to be the crowd.

An old left wing trick.

I.M Fletcher said...

You can see how Hillary has voted on issues (including abortion) HERE.
Personally, I can't stand the woman; I certainly wouldn't trust her in the top job. There is a fakeness about her.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andrei. That article is a complete pile of shit. The results are for democrats primaries - not as a presidential total. Any Catholic who has voted Democrat in the USA over the last 12 years is ignorant or not really a Catholic.

But strangely enough, there is one piece of truth in it - the idea that the rebellious and dissident nuns have influenced the Catholic voters with their pro-abortion and false feminism over the last 30 years. That'll be where the 2/3 Catholic woman who vote for Clinton come from. Step up and take a bow Jeanne Gramick, Joan Chittister and all their acolytes.

Lucyna Maria said...

JC,

You've made a number of very interesting comments. I'm not really sure where to start, given that I don't have the time right now to write a very long comment.

So, could I ask in the meantime, does everything you've said match with your own opinion here?

JC said...

Lucyna,

I think that Catholics in NZ and US are broadly similar. Their European roots were blue collar and traditionally favourable to either the Democrats or Labour.. indeed the Labour Party was born among the heavy Catholic population of the West Coast.

These days, neither party here or the US can take the Catholic vote for granted, because it tends to go to the man or party with the better ethics or character.

So in 1975, Catholics here fell in behind Rob Muldoon because of his anti-abortion stance, and in 2004 the Catholics did an amazing flip from John Kerry the Catholic, to Bush the Protestant as they evaluated the characters of the two men. That was a 20 percentage point flip in just months.

The other characteristic in both countries in recent years has been a downgrade in concern about abortion and higher priority in social equity issues. It's still a useful button to press, but not to the extent of being totally dogmatic one way or the other. So Hillary IMO, has hit the issue about right by being just stern enough for her Latino supporters and just liberal enough for her older White and female constituency.

Here in NZ I sense that John Key is also well enough placed with Catholics.. he's not scary like the atheist Brash, young, slightly liberal, has reserved his position on smacking and has no smears on his character (yet). However thats an appeal over most other groups as well, it's just that there's nothing vaguely anti-religious about him as there must be over Labour and the Greens with the EFA.

To come back to the initial subject, I think abortion remains an issue for NZ Catholics (and in the US), but other social issues are now more important.

JC

Sean said...

JC - very good assessments in your comments on this thread. Clinton's message on this issue won't change the fact I wouldn't support her, but I agree it is a message that resonates with many liberal Catholics.

Mt Tips said: "Any Catholic who has voted Democrat in the USA over the last 12 years is ignorant or not really a Catholic."

Mr Tips - get a life. I can't stand blind hardliners - just like the evangelicals. There are many issues that determines ones vote and abortion - while I agree an important one - is hardly the overriding issue. I mean - we have hardly seen abortion being made illegal in the past 8 years under GOP so what makes you think a vote for them is a vote for life?

Lucyna Maria said...

Sean,

I agree with MrTips. So, that must make me a "blind hardliner" too.

Mother Teresa explains beautifully why abortion is such an important issue, if not the most important issue:

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

Lucyna Maria said...

That's from Speech of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the National Prayer Breakfast ~ Priests for Life

Sean said...

Lucyna, with all due respect, you have missed my point. I am against abortion as well but Mr tips comment was at best flippant. What has the GOP done to overturn the abortion laws in the US. Yes a few token motions to appease the religious right but little has changed (despite even obtaining a Catholic majority in the Supreme Court). So why does a vote for the Dems all of a sudden not make you a real Catholic when a vote for the GOP changes f-all anyway? Lets go to the NZ parties. I can only assume you will not not vote at all in the 2008 election - at least not for any of those currently in parliament - since none are saying they will abolish abortion.

It is unfair and even pugnacious to say a Catholic voting for a Dem candidate is not really a Catholic. What position does he think he is in?

Lucyna Maria said...

Sean, the ban on partial birth abortion or intact d&x as it's medically known, is huge. I don't know what is stopping the Americans from banning abortion altogether - maybe it's the fact that as soon as the Dems got in they'd legalise it again. Which they would. So, unfortunately progress is slow and tortuous.

In NZ, you're right, there seems to be very little choice on this front for us. But that is because politicians respond to pressure and there has been no pressure to speak of. I remember reading an opinion piece by Karl du Fresne around the time of the 30 year anniversary of the abortion act (whatever it was called) in NZ. Some 400,000 unborn babies have been killed in NZ since the passing of that act. His comment was that no politician wants to touch this issue, which in my opinion is pure craven cowardliness.

However, we can look at the ideologies of both major parties and see that in general the destruction of the family and parental authority is pushed by the left here (Labour) and given their record, they are far less likely than National to ever actually do anything about abortion. National could be pressured - Labour would just ignore any pressure and crank up their rent a mob people.

I know a lot of Catholics vote for the left because of their impression that the left look after the poor. However, the poorest of the poor, the unborn, will never ever, ever, ever be considered by Labour or the Democrats as important enough to save. And the murder of tiny, innocent babies ought to be at the forefront of a Catholic's mind when looking at candidates. Secondary to that, what the ideologies are in regards to marriage and family and after that property rights.

JC said...

Lucyna,

The reality on the ground in the Western democracies has little to do with left or right political parties, but whether the playing field is tilted in one direction or the other.

Thus the post war field in post WW2 NZ was leftish. National was the party of choice because of perceived economic expertise, anti-abortion, somewhat churchy, anti homosexuality recognition and so on, but the electorate wanted no nukes, cheap houses and housing loans, lots of social services, Govt. projects etc.

The field tilted right 1984-96, but has gone the other way ever since. That's why we have had the ridiculous situation of a National Govt. being somewhat socialist post war and the Lange Govt being capitalistic.

Right now the field is leftish in the UK, NZ and US.. that's why we get seemingly weak conservative leaders in all three saying "me too" and not being very conservative. It's why Fred Thompson got thumped (the best of the Republican bunch, IMO) and why the middle ground McCain is the front runner by miles. Note too, that the inept and corrupt Labour Govt here has not collapsed and is indeed picking up support.

You can't pick up support for pro-life in a pro-left field.. only curb it's excesses. In fact, the established religions are in an existential fight for their own lives in todays climate of anti-Christianity.

From what I can see, and in such a current inclination of values, an anti-abortionist stance can only hold the line and improve it's position with less dogma and more appeal to reason and self interest. Nor can an anti stance succeed with it's current contradictions of wanting to save children but decrying solo parents, opposing Working for Families, appealing to God's Law or showing horrific pictures of aborted fetuses.

Reason suggests showing absolutely wonderful pictures of babies, pleas to help solo mums, support for children, "perks" for mums, splendid birth facilities and longer stays there to help with bonding and education, more time off for dads, and so on.

You know what we should do? Establish a price for babies... you want healthy babies and no abortion, put a price on them with a contract.

And put your money where your mouth is.. make it $100,000 per baby and pay the mothers the annual interest, say $7000. Make it a contract and a business and introduce the boxes that have to be ticked all the way through to age 16. That will cost you about $350 million, or less than 20% of the current annual cost of the Student Loans Scheme.

JC

Lucyna Maria said...

JC, while it may be true that Lange's government economically looked "right", socially they were definitely "left". The left typically destroys social fabric and the right (in NZ) ignores it and concentrates on fixing up the economic messes.

I don't think that has been ever so clear as it is now, and it will most likely become clearer as time goes on.

Do you know, I had a bit of an epiphany a couple of years ago triggered by a series of articles on Catholic converts to Islam in France. The converts said that they like the clarity of Islam, the fact it had rules around behaviour. They saw the social disintegration around them and fastened onto something absolute.

Everyone's so afraid to be absolute, to be true to their beliefs that we are disintegrating into a tolerant of everything except truth. Yet more and more people are lost and they are looking for it.

You know what we should do? Establish a price for babies... you want healthy babies and no abortion, put a price on them with a contract.

I can see several things terribly wrong with that idea. Like how do you prevent young women from having babies just for the money like they already do for the dpb?

And where would the notice of sacrifice for your children go if you get a huge payout when they are born?

Really, the simplest way to get rid of abortion is to enforce the law. Right now abortion on demand is illegal in NZ - yet we have it.

Anonymous said...

Sean - nice to see you read my comment.

JC - to vote left wing in just about any country now is to KNOWINGLY vote proabortion. With George Bush and all the other Republican candidates there was a better chance of abortion reform. Bush tried over the last 8 years but was rebuffed by his congress.

Politics is actually not really about welfare or the economy. It is about the politicians feathering their nests and their hangers on grasping for the lucrative contracts. And yes, I am finding myself more in the pro-monarchy camp as I get older - much to my surprise.

Sean said...

JC, Lucyna - points noted. Don't agree with everything but on the whole good arguments there.

Sus said...

What a bunch of collectivists you are. "Catholics believe this" or "Catholics want that", etc.

You don't speak for me and you never will. How dare you?

You don't get it, do you. By continuing to generalise, you're no better than the left you profess to despise/disagree with.

Left wing/right wing: a plague on both your collectivist houses.

Lucyna Maria said...

Sus, I didn't realise you were Catholic!

Dave said...

Lycyna, Id be interested to see, between Osama or Clinton, who you would choose..

Lucyna Maria said...

Dave, I would probably choose Obama.

JC said...

Obama is pro abortion.

http://tinyurl.com/ywdec8

JC

Lucyna Maria said...

JC, I'm sure he is. As is Clinton. In reality, when not given a choice of only one or the other only, I would choose neither.

Lucyna Maria said...

In fact, my favourite candidate is Huckabee. Here's why.

Dave said...

( 16/2 4:59pm)So, you`d rather choose a muslim who favours abortion and swears by the Koran into office than a catholic who favours abortion?

ZenTiger said...

Dave, you seem to be looking to prove something that just isn't there.

In reality, when not given a choice of only one or the other only, I would choose neither.

I can think of a few very good lines of argument against the point you are attempting to make. Pretend you've just read them and save us both heaps of time :-)

JC said...

Zen, the latter part of the thread shows that abortion for many is a default position, and elections are determined on other, and often contradictory grounds.. which is as it should be.

There's an old story about a swimmer and a scorpion or snake.. the swimmer rescues the scorpion/snake, and halfway to safety the scorpion strikes and kills the swimmer. In his dying breath the swimmer asks "Why did you kill me.. now you will drown too".. and the scorpion replies.. "It's my nature".

Thats what elections are about.. determining the nature of the applicants.

JC

Sean said...

Dave - who are you referring to with this: "So, you`d rather choose a muslim who favours abortion and swears by the Koran into office than a catholic who favours abortion?"

I think I've missed something here...

Sean said...

Sus - bit of an overreaction, don't you think? The linked article and resultant posts and comments are not hiding the fact that it is a generalisation. There are 70 mio Catholics in the US and not all are voting for Hillary. Obviously.
It's more about spotting trends and determining the impact of those trends on the elections. Analysis, not collectivist.

Sus said...

Sean, I take your point re trends & analysis thereof; no argument there; but my beef is indeed with the concept of a or any collectivist viewpoint such as "Catholics/Homosexuals/Maori believe" etc .. as if people who fall into a specific category, be it religious, sexual or ethnic, think and behave as one. In fact it's more than just a beef. I find it repugnant.

And that's why I'm proud to call myself a libertarian. Because it's the *only* political philosophy that fully respects and protects the rights of the individual - and accepts that personal responsibility for one's actions is indeed the flip side of personal freedom. The natural balancer, if you like.

Overreaction? Never.

Lucyna Maria said...

Sus, so how would you react if someone were to say "Libertarians believe that it is on the only political philosophy that fully respects and protects the rights of the individual". Would you consider that repugnant? Or, in general, do Libertarians not believe that?

Sus said...

" .. on the only political philosophy .."?

Sorry, Lucyna. I'm not sure what you're asking?

Lucyna Maria said...

Sus, I'm asking if you find the same repugnance in referring to the ideas of Libertarians. Your whole argument is that people have ideas and thoughts and beliefs, not groups of people, yet how do you feel about generalising what Libertarians as a collective think about things?

Sus said...

Ah, I see.

A libertarian, by definition, believes in individual freedom of thought and action. This automatically protects each *individual*; one individual being the smallest 'group' of people. (As opposed to a democracy where 51% of the people can ride roughshod over the remaining 49%. That was Jefferson's own definition, BTW, or words to that effect).

That libertarians individually *choose* to believe that concept does not make them collectivists per se, in that they may hold entirely different personal viewpoints on specific issues.

Eg: I find adult prostitution personally abhorrent, but totally oppose its prohibition. Ditto adult drug-taking.

Do you get the point I make? As a card-carrying Libertarian I recognise that, as the old saying goes, my freedom ends where your nose begins and vice versa.

It's a philosophical tenet that cannot be altered ... unlike *all the other political parties who sniff the wind before each election before deciding which way they'll run. The Nats, in particular, are really good at that - which is why they lost my vote a long time ago.

*Oddly enough, the Greens would be the closest to us in terms of sticking close to their beliefs. That most are barking mad, in my humble opinion, is beside the point .. :)

Sus said...

Further to the above ... the lovely KG has seen the light and become a believer.

How about you?

Lucyna Maria said...

:)

Politically, I used to classify myself as a Libertarian, until I did see the light.

Sus said...

Ha!

Which begs the question as to what part of freedom bothers you?

Lucyna Maria said...

The license part. In striving for it, real freedom is destroyed. That is our freedom to choose the good, the true and the beautiful.

Sus said...

But freedom automatically allows for people to have the right to be wrong. To discriminate, for example.

But just because I accept that others have the right to hold (what I might think is) a vile opinion, doesn't mean I have to buy into it. Quite the contrary.

Neither would that ever stop me from being free "to choose the good, the true and the beautiful".

With respect, that's a cop-out Lucyna. There is nothing - *nothing* - good or beautiful in authoritarianism, no matter how well-intentioned you might be.

Which brings me right back to the start: left wing/right wing; it's still the state.

Good chatting with you.

ZenTiger said...

A libertarian, by definition, believes in... blah blah blah.

Well, I'm declaring myself a libertarian today, and I don't believe in any of that. You don't speak for me and you never will. How dare you? A plague on your houses of generalization.

I'm going to define what I as a Libertarian believe, and I'm going to use the name "Libertarian" to group those beliefs for others to get their head around my beliefs.

And my version aint looking anything like yours today Sus. But let's make this clear - I own this label. Once my copyright comes through, I expect you to call yourself something else.

Sus said...

Now what's got your knickers in a twist Zen?! Don't be a silly boy: if you oppose, or have a problem, with the concept of freedom of thought/action, you're not a libertarian, sweet pea. :)

A conservative authoritarian, perhaps?

You just can't ignore that left or right wing still equals authoritarian ... no matter how much it rankles!

Have a good day!

ZenTiger said...

Happy as anything Sus. Maybe you misread the tone because I simply quoted your own comments (hope your knickers are in good alignment). I'm a lazy libertarian.

Just wondering why you might be trying to redefine the word "Catholic"?

Sus said...

Touche! Call me a lazy one!! I certainly make no claim as to poster child for the Vatican, no siree!

And, oddly enough, I lose no sleep over it! Too many damn socialists and busybodies for mine. You know the prayers of the faithful, when most do-gooders are asking for world peace and social justice and even more govt, etc? Well, I do the counter-curse by asking for limited govt, respect for individual freedom and property rights! :)

ps: All underwear accounted for. But thanks for asking!

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