A Catholic vote for Obama: Is it a sin? A sign of co-dependency?

If a Catholic you love insists that President Obama is still the best man for the job in 2012, then gather your right-thinking friends and family around them: it’s time for an intervention.

First, you might wonder, are there really any Catholics still in the Obama camp? Plenty, unfortunately.

A recent Gallup poll showed that Obama’s maneuvering on the HHS regulations hasn’t cost him much, if any, Catholic support. Even regular Church-goers (46% of them) continue to back the President, counting him more friend than foe.

Think of the kind-hearted, stubbornly optimistic Catholics you know who insist that President Obama is really a good guy–that we should give him another chance to get it right. You know, the middle-aged social worker who drives to Sunday Mass in a Toyota Prius sporting an Obama bumper sticker. Or the bird-watching professor who praises the compassionate features of Obamacare as he sips coffee in the lounge after daily Mass.

Obama-Catholics insist that, despite actions to the contrary, Obama deeply respects religious freedom and abhors abortion. (And besides, they murmur, who really cares what the Bishops think about birth control?) They still plan to vote for Obama, in spite of the lingering sting from his slap in the face to Catholics–and other believers–whose consciences resist being forced to pay for other people’s abortion-causing drugs. These Obama-Catholics have put all that behind them in light of Obama’s respectful “compromise.” (It’s worth noting, that President Obama’s grand speech declaring that insurance companies, not religious organizations, would be forced to pay for contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, was just speechifying—a promise of fig leaves to come. No rules have actually been changed yet.)

Yes, our good, but misguided, friends are ripe for an intervention. They need help.

By the way, I sadly think it’s past the intervention point for the Doug Kmiecs or Sr. Carol Keehans of the world—their disappointment over the initial conscience-quashing HHS regulations proved but a momentary (strategic?) pause in their unrestrained adulation of Obama-the-good. A promised cosmetic change to the regulations and they both inhaled deeply—again—and floated back into the elevated status of Obama-believers, those who know better than the rest of us that the great Barack “understands the truth of a human person” and rules accordingly.

No, let’s tend to the average person of faith, naïve perhaps, but unwilling to desert the first African-American President, whom they see as an upright family man with a big vision and a very, very hard job.  It’s time to have a sit-down with these people, particularly Catholics, and help them admit they’ve reached rock bottom in this relationship with Obama. It’s time to let go.

How to help your friends see the light? Two excellent articles provide food for thought, from two different angles: sin and psychology.

In Carrie Severino’s light-hearted, but pointed, column over at the Daily Beast, she argues that Catholics who remain enamored of President Obama exhibit the classic signs of co-dependency in an abusive relationship.

And over at his new blog, Notre Dame Law Professor and constitutional law expert Charles E. Rice (my father) makes a compelling case that our Catholic Bishops, individually, as an expression of their personal conviction, ought to tell Catholics in the pew that to vote for Obama would be a sin—an act deeply offensive to God.

Provocative, no?

Read and tell me: What do you think?




3 thoughts on “A Catholic vote for Obama: Is it a sin? A sign of co-dependency?

  1. Before we start talking about “Sin” I have a question, have the catholic Bishops said, or has the Holy Father said, that I must vote for someone other than Obama or it is a sin? I do know what the Church says about the these two religions: Mormonism and Methodism. I know as fact that President Barack Obama is a baptized Methodist. Also regarding sin, as some Presidential candidates are talking quite forcefully about war with Iran, even a Catholic candidate, it gives me cause to review the Church’s stance on what constitutes a Just war. Additionally, the Holy Father has been very clear about the church’s stance on climate change yet we have a Catholic candidate who refuses to acknowledge its existence. I am weary and wary of hearing that one is somehow a traitor to the Cross ( I have read liberals are the equal of Judas) if they were to vote for Obama. This does not seem to me to be in accordance with the teachings of the Church. Please tell me if the Catholic church has issued an order NOT to vote for President Obama? If this is not the case then to attempt to tell me that I am under some kind of order or I am a sinner, seems to be directly in conflict with Church teaching.

  2. I agree that there are some things deeply wrong with the policies of the Obama administration. But I’m afraid we also have to look with unclouded eyes at the proposed policies of Romney. He has already taken a quite agressive, war-ready stance towards Iran. Involvement in war, particular as a provoker, is definitely a sin against life, just as is abortion.
    War inherently ends up including, as “side effects” rape, plundering, and the killing of countless women, children, unborn children, and innocent men, no matter how good the reasons for going to war seem to be. Also Romney is a solid supporter of Israel, and bears apparently little concern for the plight of the Palestinian people. Obama’s not much different. Bring to mind any parables where helping or failing to help the smallest among us is equated with either helping or failing to help God Himself?
    So what do you all think? Who is to be voted for by a conscientious Catholic, if anyone?

    As for me, I have the disheartening feeling that it would be a sin to vote for (and thus endorse the policies of) either of these sold-out, morally patchy front-runners.

    • You are absolutely right. It’s a choice between Herod and Pontius Pilate. Neither are pro life. A vote for either would be sinful.

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