Breaking the Tie for Catholic Voters

I, like the vast majority of Americans, have grown weary of politics. It seems that the political discourse in America has become much more harsh and much less civil of late. I suppose that if I am honest with myself, I have fallen prey to this phenomenon. This most recent presidential election has been the nastiest that I can recall in my lifetime. Perhaps it is because I have become much more politically aware, but I doubt it.

As Election Day draws near, my gut tells me that just about everyone has made their decision about who they will vote for. There may be some of those elusive “undecideds” left, but I have not run across any lately. Just in case there are any Catholic voters who have not yet made up their mind, or are at least persuadable, I want to share one final thought before that all-important ballot is cast.

Per IRS regulations, the Church must remain non-partisan. The Catholic Church cannot advocate for or against a particular candidate or party. As an individual, I do not have to hold to that standard. The Church can speak out on issues, and has been very vociferous on numerous issues leading up to this election.

As the host of a nationwide show on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel, I hear from people of all different backgrounds, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I hear often from Catholic supporters of President Obama. The most common reasons they give for supporting the president have nothing to do with his record. Rather, they have to do with their perceived negatives about Mitt Romney.

“Romney supports abortion (in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother.) He supports the death penalty. He wants to do away with support for the poor. So, Mitt Romney can’t possibly be the candidate that Catholics support. Neither candidate is truly in line with Catholic teaching.”

That last statement is certainly true. Neither candidate falls in line perfectly with Catholic teaching. To my knowledge, there has never been a candidate for office whose policies would all line up perfectly with Catholic teaching. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president in history. Governor Romney supports the death penalty. There are a host of things that people can point to with either candidate.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that in some alternate universe President Obama and Mitt Romney were dead even when it came to Catholic teaching. You pulled out a big sheet of paper and wrote down the pros and cons of each and at the end, the columns came out exactly equal. (Note: that’s not the way it works. Issues must be weighted, and the sanctity of life issues must be given much more weight. But play along anyway.)

At this point, what is the Catholic voter to do? Flip a coin? That seems rather arbitrary for such an important decision. Is there anything left that could break the tie? Allow me to make a suggestion. You should vote for the candidate that has not orchestrated a full out assault on your Church. I’m talking about the HHS Mandate contained in Obamacare. It is not only an assault on religious liberty, but I believe it is a frontal assault on the Catholic Church.

President Obama is demanding that Catholic organizations pay for products and services that are in direct contradiction with the teachings of the Church – contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures. While the president has declared that he has made an “accommodation” to the Catholic Church, in reality it is just smoke and mirrors. While facing dozens of lawsuits from organizations and companies – Catholic, non-Catholic and secular – this president has refused to budge. His strategy is to hold on until after the election. If he is reelected, you can be sure that the hammer will then come down hard. When Barack Obama is unencumbered by the need to be reelected, he will have no need to try to capitulate or placate the Church any more.

Once President Obama has gotten the Catholic Church in line, who will be next? This is an issue that should be of the gravest concern to everyone, not just Catholics. Even if you don’t agree with any of the doctrinal beliefs of the Catholic Church, you will be affected by this issue. If the government can toss aside the First Amendment rights of Catholics, then what makes you think they won’t at some point toss aside your Constitutional rights? While public funding of abortions and the marginalization of religion become the order of the day, free speech will become a thing of the past. Those who dare speak out against the almighty state will be silenced, if they are heard at all.

President Obama seems hell bent on forcing the Catholic Church to accede to his will, all in the name of the public good. While many seem to applaud his efforts, let me ask you to bring this down to the more personal. If your daughter were in a relationship where a man was forcing her to do things against her will while justifying his actions by telling her that the things he is forcing her to do are in the best interests of everyone, would you support that? I highly doubt it. So how can any Catholic possibly support this president? Because Obama is not doing this to individuals, but to “the Church?” Remember, the Church is made of people. The Church is a family – the family of God. And if you claim to be a member of the Catholic Church, then President Obama is attacking you and your family.

My dire predictions may not come to pass in a second Obama administration. But you can rest assured that each and every one of them will be fast-tracked if Barack Obama is in the White House for another four years. For Catholics, Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate. But I am convinced that he will show far greater respect to all people of faith, and defend our Constitutional right to the free exercise of your religion, whatever religion that may be. If for no other reason, this is why I, as a Catholic, support Mitt Romney for president. I urge all of my fellow Catholics to do the same.

There will be some who will persecute me for being “too political.” Honestly, I don’t have time to care about that. This issue is far too important for me to remain silent. Should you decide to no longer listen to my radio show or support my ministry because of my position, I pray for God’s blessings upon you and yours. May Almighty God give us wisdom and peace.

39 thoughts on “Breaking the Tie for Catholic Voters

  1. shell B.

    Thank you so very much for your holy boldness! God’s blessings on you always. And may God have mercy on us all.

  2. Charlene

    Well said, and thank you for shedding light on a subject too many cannot grasp the importance of or just misinterpret the issue! I saw a post on FB recently from a woman who thought Romney was trying to make birth control “illegal,” so she wanted to vote for Obama because “not everyone can afford to have 19 kids like the Duggars!” I corrected her that it was a matter of FORCING the Catholic organizations to pay for birth control for their employees although it was against our beliefs. I hope I was successful with her and the other women who agreed with her on her post! God help us!

  3. KevinC

    As you would say, Gus…”spot on”…two weeks to go, keep up with this free speech while it still safely exists. Also, to those “Catholics” that think it’s ok to vote for Obama, try Google-ing “the 5 non negotiables of the Catholic Church.” Vote by vote, this evil has got to be evicted from the Oval Office.

  4. Church Militant

    THANK YOU for taking a stand, Gus ! i, too, am voting **AGAINST** obama for the very same reasons. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are way more likely to respect our religious freedom and getting the MOST PRO-ABORTION president OUT of the White House will be a huge step for LIFE.

  5. Chris Pierce

    Very well put, Gus. It is so painful to see Catholics who don’t seem to understand the most basic parts of being Catholic speak up for the president “because I’ve always been Democrat”. Mindless. Lord have mercy on all of us-those who speak out against the lie and those who personally become part of the lie.

  6. Steve

    Gus I agree with you 100% The power grab by this administration particularly with Religious institutions is unprecedented. We must pray that Catholic voters have an informed conscience.

  7. Jeff Merk

    Gus, I truly appreciate your work and the passion you display.

    With that said, I’m concerned about the message sent from our church regarding the “Faithful Citizenship” video. If you look at the commentary on the Busted Halo site, you’ll see people who are “thankful” they aren’t tied to “one issue” and basically have the green light to support President Obama’s agenda. When will the leaders of our church stand up and say, “Hey, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Bob Casey, Kathleen Sebelius, are openly defying Church teaching. They don’t represent the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Who are we? People who believe St. Francis of Assisi, when he said “Evangelize everyday. Use words when necessary.” Or, are we a church of individuals who “are PERSONALLY against abortion, but don’t want to ‘impose’ our beliefs on others.” After all, this is America. We have a separation of Church & State.

    I’m a father of two girls (15 & 11), and frankly, I’m concerned about the future of our faith. Have we succumbed to moral relativism? I pray the answer is no!

  8. Tania G. Benitez

    Hi Gus, once again you are right on the money. Our vote as practicing Catholic Christians should be influenced by our convictions and beliefs. Those that have been handed down through tradition and scripture. Catholics confirmed in the faith, are members of the Church Militant, we must continue to shine the Light of the Holy Spirit and fight for social justice, Christian values, and BE NOT AFRAID to uphold our faith. Thank you for leading the ranks with Boldness and Conviction. many blessings to you and your family.

  9. Mark W.

    Amen and Amen my friend! People need to wake up and look at the big picture! I just can’t believe some people who are so narrow minded. This is a instant gratification society, with a me first mentality.
    God bless you Gus!

  10. Rita K

    I disagree with your comment about Romney wanting to do away with support for the poor. He wants to do away with waste in spending and those taking advantage of the “system” so that there will be more financing available for those truly in need.

    1. Gus

      Those are not my words, but excuses from people that I have heard not to support Romney. I don’t agree with them either.

  11. Jim

    My hat goes off to you. Our faith is NOT a select as we go FAITH. Catholics have we forgotten what Christ did for us? He died for US all of US – unborn, born, young and old. Can we not spend a few minutes at his feet in real prayer? I know if ALL Christians did. this election would not be a contest! No excuses, no justifying your lame reasons – vote with the heart of Jesus.

  12. Deb Karst

    Keep talking and being “too political”. Thank you for speaking up and out for the Catholic church.
    I applaude you, God bless you, the church and this nation.

  13. Matt

    I hope that our fervor on these issues continues on after the election. Even if Mitt Romney is elected that doesn’t mean that it is over and the fight for Liberty is over. We must continue to be the “Light” to the people who are lost in the world today. If Presidential elections were the end all be all this would not be a democracy.
    I know that you’ll continue with your ministry Gus but I want your readers/listeners to remember that it’s not over after the election.

  14. Joann S.

    I pray every day that Catholic Christians and All Christians take time to understand what this HHS mandate is all about. It Will have an effect on every Christian. God Bless you for speaking out for us. Keep it going!!!

  15. Tim K

    My only disagreement is that we have to vote for Romney. The two-party domination is leading our country down a darker and darker road. There needs to be a tidal shift in how American vote: we need to vote for the candidate who is the best fit for our morals/ideals. I have no idea how to accomplish this, but I am having a harder and harder time voting for Republicans just so the anti-life policies of the Democrats will be kept in check. Mary, pray for us.

  16. Jean

    Equally compelling to your conclusion, which I whole-heartedly support, is the remark early in your piece–“The most common reasons they give for supporting the president have nothing to do with his record.” Catholics, look at the facts that validate his failure to fulfill the mirad of promises made, the various flip-flops/camoflagues (ie; same-sex marriage) . Add the assaults on the first ammendment as you describe and there is no other logical conclusion: Mitt Romney gets my vote.

  17. kevin

    God bless you Gus. Be strong and keep this up. You are right about the potential evil against civil rights of ALL Americans if this president is relected.

  18. Rachel

    Agreed but realistically…..we live in a very liberal world. We as Christians are out numbered. I know I will vote for Mitt but I don’t believe he will be our next president simply because I don’t have faith in the majority. I listen to your show…even some Catholics will vote him back in simply because they prefer him over Mitt. My eyes are turned towards Heaven. We’ve got to be near the end soon huh? 🙂

  19. Catholic in Arkansas

    Amen!! Also, dont forget that Paul Ryan is a good example of a Catholic politician who upholds the teachings of the Church and our faith. He is Mitt Romney’s running mate. Even more reason to support their ticket!

  20. Alicia

    I appreciate you break down the poltics for me as I was concluding my research for my election choice. It never was to be Obama..but I do know what it is now. God Bless the U.S. for the decision we make on election day.

  21. Michele Dietz Chynoweth

    Amen Gus! As a fledgling author trying to sell my Christian novels to a broad audience, I have hesitated at times to come right out and say which candidate I’m for – and have couched my blogs and postings to promote the candidate for Right to Life, religious freedom, etc. But recently, like you, I decided this is election is way too important, and that I need to take a stand despite the outcome to me or my ministry or my future. I wondered why the Church didn’t come out and say “Vote for Romney” – so thanks for clarifying that as well. I applaud your courage – well done. And by the way, I look forward to being on your show tomorrow! God Bless, Vote for MItt Romney!

  22. Kathy Murphy

    the reppublicans will say anything to get our vote. please do not forget the poor, the sick and the elderly.have faith in christ.

  23. Bob D

    The HHS mandate. Let me see if I have the position clearly: The Catholic Church, of its own judgment and accord, as empowered by the First Amendment, may designate certain of its sponsored entities or activities as a ministry. In so doing, the Catholic Church may then decide that those entities or activities do not have to comply with any laws or regulations that the Church believes are contrary to its teachings. This applies not only to the Catholic Church, but any religeon, and indeed extends to individuals of faith, therefore I as a business owner may refuse to comply with the HHS mandate as regards my business’ health insurance policy or other benefit plan, etc.

    So, we have a Catholic hospital. This hospital engages in commercial transactions for health care services in the public square. It receives taxpayer funding through Medicare, Medicaid, perhaps through various federal or state grant / research programs. It is providing services to the general public, and engages members of the general public to provide those services (i.e. non-Catholics as both provider and purchaser of these services). However, the Catholic Church has designated this hospital as a ministry, and therefore it may refuse to comply with the HHS mandate. Catholic Charities, in the same manner, may discriminate against gays and lesbians in hiring, benefits, and refuse to provide services to them for adoption services, counseling services, etc. Catholic Schools may discriminate against gays and lesbians as well, even to the point of expelling a child with gay parents who are found to be living together. Catholics may refuse to rent property to gays and lesbians who are co-habiting with a person of the same sex, and, even in the current case in New York, may refuse to sell surplus real property to gays and lesbians if it is believed that they will use that property in the future for such things as gay weddings.

    I presume then, the courts were wrong in their decisions in Jones vs. Shenendoah Baptist Church, where that church ran a school and made the same arguments – it’s a ministry, and their first amendment rights allowed them to discriminate against women in hiring, promotion and pay practices in the school. I presume the government was wrong to cut off Bob Jones University’s participation in federal programs because of its policies against inter-racial dating. I presume the courts were wrong in compelling the Amish to pay FICA taxes, when the Amish claimed that forcing them to participate in social security and Medicare was against their faith beliefs. I presume the courts were wrong again in denying the Quakers the right to withhold 20% of their taxes, which they claimed was their right as financial support of the military was against their religions tenets. I presume we should let Warren Jeffords, minister of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, out of jail – after all, he is legally married to only one woman, and the 12 and 13 year-old girls he took as brides were only religious covenants in accord with his church’s faith teachings. I presume the health care clinic run by a Muslim temple may engage in female circumcision and cut little girls clitorises off with their parent’s consent – as with the Catholic hospital’s right to provide or not to provide certain health care services per its faith teachings, the Muslims have the same right with their health care clinic, correct? I presume the business owner in Georgia whose health care insurance plan does not cover Tay-Sachs, sickle-cell anemia or AIDS may continue to do so, as his faith teaches him that these diseases are God’s punishment on Jews, blacks and gays and he has no right to interfere with God’s justice.

    These are not strawmen – these are real cases, real situations out there in America. Moreover, consider the boogeyman espoused by many these days, that Muslims want to live by sharia law – the Catholic Church would apparently permit Muslims to engage with each other according to Sharia law, even unto their schools, hospitals, social services and private businesses. But no – the Supreme Court, in “Employment Division v Smith” has clearly stated that the government is not required to provide a compelling interest to implement a law that does not target a particular religious practice, and that the government is not required to accomodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs. So it is with the HHS mandate – the mandate does not target a particular religious practice, and the government is not required to waive compliance with the mandate in pursuit of religious beliefs.
    The government is not at fault here – the Catholic Church is looking to undo decades of legal precedent and the rule of law as regards public commercial transactions entered into by religious affiliated hospitals, schools and social welfare services. Instead of the United States of America, the Church would dis-unite Americans, and have everyone participate in the public square according to their individual faith tenets, not the rule of law or the promotion of the general welfare.
    Certainly, we as Catholics find the Church’s teachings to be moral and central to the way we live our life. But we live in a democratic republic with a free market, capitalist public square that is governed by the rule of law, not by the Catholic Church’s teachings (nor the teachings of Muslims, Scientologists, Baptists, etc.). It is a balancing act – one way lies unacceptable represession of religion, but the other way lies the road to theocracy. Even today, look at Northern Ireland where abiding by the Church’s teachings, both Catholic and Protestant, has warped into sectarian strife, a country whose people cannot get along. And this is nothing compared to the demonstrations and fighting in Israel between ultra-Orthodox sects and Reformed Jews, the killing in Syria, the continued hatred and strife between Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq.
    Gus, I will continue to listen to your radio show every day, even in disagreement on this issue. I will re-play Cardinal Dolan’s speech “Let Freedom Ring” and pray that the Holy Spirit guides us all in seeking what is right for ourselves and our country. I truly thank God for the many times your message is just what I need to hear that day, as I’ve rushed out the door flustered and forgetful of my morning prayers. I pray God’s blessings that you may continue for many years to touch the lives of those you serve so ably.


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