Category Archives: Electorate

Caliexit Dreaming


This is a bit silly, but I thought I’d comment on it anyway.   California is mad.    Why?   because the rest of the country is not like them.   Without California (and really a few counties in California) Hillary Clinton does not win the popular vote.   And while we know that this doesn’t actually matter with respect to the Electoral College, it matters to some people.

As an aside, I saw some headline today of some article that said something along the lines of how the rest of the country is being held hostage by flyover country.    This couldn’t be a more asinine view of things.   When there are 3,141 total counties in the U.S. and one candidate wins 3,084 of them, it is not the people in the 3,084 counties that are holding the other 57 counties hostage.   That defies all logic.   No, if the Electoral College were discarded altogether, it would be a few large counties holding the rest of the country hostage.    And this is why the Electoral College makes sense.

Anyway, back to the wonderful folks in California.    There is a movement afoot to secede from the Union.   Now, this is probably never going to happen, because it’s not like a state can just decide on its own to pick up and leave.   Once part of the Union, you’re part of the Union.   To dissolve that, the state needs to initiate it, then the people of that state need to agree it’s a good idea, and then they can only leave if Congress grants them permission to do so and then the states ratify it.

None of that will happen, but as a non-Californian, I’m openly going to question whether or not we should stand in their way.   California claims to pay more into revenues than it receives.    That may or may not be true, and there’d be a mess trying to figure out how to transfer any future payment obligations to citizens in a seceded state.   My guess is we could get that all figured out, if not simply, at least in a manageable way that may span over a couple decades.

Personally, I’m not the least bit convinced that this would be a net loss in the fiscal sense.   Even if the math points in that direction today, I think in the future California will be a larger and larger drain.   They openly encourage a welfare state, sanctuary for illegal immigrants, etc.    Imagine what they’d do as their own country.    You want to see a grand socialist experiment?   I say, let ’em give it a shot.

For the rest of us, I think we would agree that the values of the West Coast are simply not aligned with the majority of the rest of the country.    So, take Oregon and Washington with you.   In terms of the future of politics, that is 73 Electoral votes for all three states (55 for California alone) that are for the foreseeable future going to go blue.   So, for those of us who want a more conservative bent, this only helps.    Further, I suspect there may be some self-selection happen between the Socialist Republic of the American West Coast and the rest of the country as well.    Some liberals in otherwise “purple” states may flock there to bask in the joy of their utopian dream, while the few remaining conservatives will emigrate to Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, helping those states turn or stay red.

It’s all a pipe dream, I know.   Pointless musing.    I know I am not supposed to root for this kind of secession or division, but then again I don’t really want them influencing my life either.   So, see ya.

Electoral Meanderings


As a Catholic, I have a lot of thoughts about the Electoral College vs. Popular vote, etc.

OK, so being Catholic has little or nothing to do with that, but since this is called Catholic Diatribes I figured I’d remind everyone that I’m Catholic.

In no particular order of points, here we go:

  • The debate about whether or not the Popular Vote should be the determining factor in deciding the winner of the Presidential Election is understandable if viewed from a high-level perspective without a lot of deeper thought. Sure, it’s simple enough to think in terms of the democratic process – one person, one vote, most votes win.    But actually, this is not at all how our country is constructed.    And to view it in this way completely dismantles the way our citizens are represented, and the way our country actually operates.   We are not simply one country as a singular unit.   We never have been.    We are a country formed of fifty states plus the District of Columbia, joined together to form a country, but with each of those units having a say.   As I discuss some of the other points, this is the underlying issue that must be considered.    We are not, never have been, and barring a rewrite of the Constitution never will be a pure democracy.   We are a Republic.    Each unit in that Republic engages in a democratic process, but only to elect those who will then represent us.    We don’t vote on every law or regulation or issue – we elect someone who will on our behalf.   So we are not a pure democracy.
  • Making the argument that the Electoral College is unfair because it doesn’t amount to perfectly proportional weight of each individual’s vote can be extended to representation. Right now, every state, no matter how big or small, gets equal representation in the Senate.    Because of this, the folks who live in the least populous state actually have the largest voice in Congress on a per capita basis.    And even though the House of Representatives is proportional representation, there is still a minimum of 1 representative for the smallest states.    So, even in the House, the smallest state has the weightiest representation per person.   Our entire system is designed to make sure that the most populous states have a lower overall weight so that a small area of the country that has a high population density is less able to dictate policy to the rest of the country, potentially extending to large geographical regions.
  • Making the argument that the Electoral College is unfair is arguing that the states do not matter, and that – for this exercise, anyway – the country is a singular entity. This is simply not how we operate on anything.    Yes, there are federal laws and regulations, but those layer on top of state laws and regulation.    In this case, we are saying that we need to replace state elections with a federal one.    Maybe this is reasonable, maybe it isn’t, but it is a very fundamental difference from how we operate today.
  • There are some fun facts around the latest results that help demonstrate the wisdom of the Electoral College. Probably the most amazing statistic is this:   There are 3,151 counties in the United States.   Donald Trump won 3,084 of those counties.    And yet, Hillary Clinton is going to win the official Popular Vote.     That is actually really amazing.    And while I can sort of understand this whole “popular vote” argument, I simply cannot fathom how someone can’t see the wisdom in having a system that allows for the case where the candidate that wins 97.9% of the counties really deserves to be the President, even if he/she loses the total popular vote.
  • Another thing that needs to be considered as well is whether or not the actual results of the Popular Vote would have been the actual result if the winner was determined by Popular Vote. People are suggesting – either correctly or incorrectly – that the results of the election would be the same regardless of how the winner is determined.    This is far from certain.    Think about the fact that Donald Trump spent ALL of his time campaigning in the swing states.   California?   New York?    Almost no time at all, even though they have the highest two populations.    Illinois?    Since that state is driven by the results of Chicago, very little time was spent there.     The reason is simple strategy and resources.    Donald Trump may well have been able to get an extra million votes or two had he needed to spend money and time in those popular areas.    But he didn’t.   Why?    Because it made no sense with the Electoral College.    Losing California by 100 votes is no different than losing California by 3 million votes.     While this may not seem fair, because it means the candidates don’t go to fight for votes in those states, that’s just the flip side of what would happen if elections were driven by popular vote.    In that case, it wouldn’t just be a particular state getting ignored, it would be most of the United States.    The vast majority of campaigning would be in all the most populous areas.   Not necessarily the states, but just those zip codes or counties.    There are 45 counties in the United States that have 1.0 million or more people living in them.    Those 45 counties represent about 25% of the total population of the US.    County #100 has over 600,000 residents.    The top 100 counties represent just over 3% of total counties in the US, but you can bet that the majority of campaigning would be in those counties.    If ALL campaigning was centered on urban areas, the President would end up being even more out of touch with ordinary Americans than they already are.
  • Another fun map to look at is a red/blue map of who won which counties and overlay that with a red/blue map of highest crime rates. Just sayin’.
  • If you still need to be convinced about this, suppose we don’t talk about counties but we talk about a single state that has 51% of the population and all other states having an equal 1% share of the remaining population (for this exercise ignore Washington DC). Theoretically speaking, that one state could dictate who the President would be for the remaining 49 states.    While it may be a stretch to think that everyone in that state would vote similarly, it certainly isn’t a stretch that the difference in popular vote could be gigantic – all one need to do is look at the fact that 4 counties in NYC contributed over a 1.5 million vote advantage for Hillary Clinton – nearly 75% of the total popular vote gap.    California alone is going to have a 3 million vote difference.
  • The reason the Electoral College works is because it is a balance of Popular Vote and equal representation of the states in selecting the President of the entire U.S. – not just a few counties. The Electoral College count is 538, which is the total of Representatives and Senators (plus 3 for Washington DC, which in my opinion was unnecessarily overstated – I’m not sure why they felt it was necessary to treat that like a full state – but whatever).  The House generally represents the states in proportion to population, while the Senate does not.   So, the Electoral College lands in between the two – balancing geography and population.    Quite frankly, it’s genius.


Post-Election Thoughts


OK, I won’t overdo this.   There are literally millions of articles on the election, and I doubt anything I have to say is a unique insight.   So I’ll just do some quick hits on the things about this that most interest me.

  • During the Primaries, it became clear to me that the media gave Donald Trump all sorts of air time to, in a roundabout way, promote him to the top of the ticket on the Republican side.   The reason for this was to be able to give Hillary the best chance of winning – a near certainty in their minds – and to tie all other Republicans to Trump by association.   The goal was not just to help effect a Hillary win, but to tip the Senate – and even possibly the House – to the Democrats.   It is entirely sweet irony that this backfired entirely.  Trump wins, and the GOP holds both the House and Senate in a year where the GOP had to defend a lot of seats.   The left is apoplectic now that the GOP controls the Presidency and both houses of Congress for the first time since 1928.
  • The left will want to make this all about bigotry, racism, and misogyny.    This election had little or nothing to do with that.   If anything, Trump could have done even better had he held his tongue in a number of instances.    But this was about a relative of that.    The overzealous approach of the left to silence all opinion and criticism of anyone on anything not white or not Christian was pure bullying.   Trump brought the disease of political correctness to the forefront and emboldened people to call BS on the PC left.    Instead of tiptoeing and apologizing for every little bit of harshness and claims of hurt feelings, he basically told us we need to grow up and toughen up, and that this is killing us.    Now, he may have gone too far in some cases – he will still be the President – but people were willing to get behind a guy who stands up against the PC culture even if at times we all recognized that there is still a balance.
  • All the people claiming that they have the moral high ground and that it’s now “love” against all of us mean Trump-voters..   you’re simply wrong.    Just because your sense of morality differs from mine does not by default give you the moral high ground.   And your consistent claims of the moral high ground is one of the very reasons why we tire of you and the policies you support and the cultural and moral change you support.
  • Ultimately, despite how anyone else wants to paint this, Trump proved to us that there are rich folks who are entirely out of touch with every day Americans (political and leftist elites, celebrities) and that there are rich people who are in tune with every day Americans (Trump, in this case).    The demonization of the rich has to stop.   The demonization of corruption and crony capitalism is appropriate.

New Release: Election 2016 (Rated R)


OK, in honor of the politics of 2016, I’ll start my entry today in a crass manner:  Anyone who has previously questioned whether or not our entire culture is a floater in the toilet has since just thrown up their hands and accepted it by now.

I find it difficult to believe anyone witnessing the debacle of today’s politics and the morally bankrupt candidates we’ve selected to run for the highest office in the land to be emblematic of anything other than a complete reduction of all standards to the basest of levels.

So, I won’t really get into the contents of the Trump Video from 2005, and whether or not he’s said other disturbing things during the off-TV moments of The Apprentice.   I mean, if we’re all being honest, does it actually really surprise anyone?   It’s shocking and disgusting, but is there really anyone out there that didn’t already know the guy we’re talking about wasn’t an f-bomb dropper and more than willing to engage in the crudest of what has now been labeled “locker room talk?”   (And, unfortunately having been a jock in my younger years, I can attest to the fact that he’s not wrong.   Yes, the words are about what is legally assault, which is horrible, and is still plenty of what you might hear in a locker room on any given day.   It’s not excusing it and it doesn’t speak well of anyone speaking that way, but it is reality.)

I won’t list the litany of counter-examples of Hillary being a completely disgusting human being in her own right, by dropping every curse word in the book at those charged to protect her, in talking about the American flag, in talking about mentally disabled children.   Again, if anyone is really honest does any of this really surprise us?   It’s always shocking to actually read and hear, but we long accepted that our two nominees are morally bankrupt human beings.

Mainly, the whole thing is just sad.   As a coworker of mine phrased it, “I think we all can agree that this whole thing is just one big garbage fire.”   He will vote Hillary.   I will vote Trump.   But on that statement, we have agreement.    And neither of us will vote for our selected candidates because we like them.    We just dislike the other one more.

I have written of my intent to vote Trump, and I have stated that, in my opinion, it is the clear moral choice to vote Trump.   I do not retract these words, I still feel strongly about that, and I will have no issue with voting Trump.    None of that means I like the man, and none of that means that I don’t wish I had another reasonable option.    The fact is, there is no viable alternative for me.   Even if I embraced the fantasy that voting for the next best viable option (Gary Johnson) I cannot do it anyway, because on the issues where I am hopeful that Trump will actually handle correctly Gary Johnson is as bad – if not worse – than Hillary.   Even the fourth best option, Jill Stein, is left of left on moral and cultural issues.    In order to find any person that remotely appeases my conscience I need to find someone that 99.99% of the population has not even heard of.   And that means it is an utterly wasted vote.   No, I need to settle on Trump.    I don’t think I even need to point out why it can never be Hillary, but briefly stated:  she’s every bit as morally bankrupt (and I even think more so) than Trump is.   And even if some disagree with me on that, it’s like arguing whether the mold on the side of the cheese is more edible than the mold on the top of the cheese.   So, we’ve long moved past the character issue as something us Christians can rely on.   I don’t say this glibly.   It really sucks to not be able to respect either candidate in any way.    But that’s the reality we’re in.     So, I simply need to find any light I can to separate the two of them.    And in the end, there was one question at the second debate that provides that separation.  When questioned on the Supreme Court Appointments, Clinton proudly said she would appoint justices that upheld Roe vs. Wade,  Marriage Equality, and a litany of other litmus tests.    She even claimed Trump would appoint justices that would not uphold these rulings (which she presented negatively).   Trump did not argue with her, and instead doubled down on appointing justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia.

Now, many have claimed that Trump is liberal on social issues and is not a “real” pro-lifer.  And it’s true he doesn’t often openly address the issue if not asked about it.   He has responded in a pro-life manner when asked, and I agree that it’s a bit iffy just how committed to the cause he personally is.    But here’s the thing:   even if the impetus for appointing justices in the mold of Scalia are because of 2nd Amendment Rights, Freedom of Speech, etc.  then the byproduct of that is that those justices are FAR MORE likely to also favor freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and challenge Roe vs. Wade, among other things.    They will be FAR MORE willing to rule in favor of state’s rights than to allow federal government infringement when unnecessary.

If there is no other issue that separates them, this is still a clear moral choice.   Perhaps not with respect to the person, but with respect to how that person will govern.

As I have stated elsewhere, “I know with certainty the evil the one will do.   I hope with uncertainty the good that the other will do.   And to me, that makes it an obvious choice.”

Really, I can’t say it enough:  This election sucks.

If Charlie Johnson is correct about things to come, the whole thing actually doesn’t even matter.   But I still feel called to fight and care anyway.   Maybe I shouldn’t worry about it, but I think it behooves us all to fight the fight until there is no more fight to win or lose, either way.

Us Catholics – and all Christians – seem to be in a bit of a tight spot be being forced to support a guy who has said the things he’s said.   I don’t think we need to feel that way if we keep our wits about us.   There really can be nobody of any repute that can call us hypocritical of voting for Trump.   Anyone who claims that is being disingenuous.   I think the balancing act we need to work out is making it clear why we “support” him, and also making it clear why we’re not necessarily thrilled with it.   There is no reason to defend his wrongdoings, and yet we can also support his election based on everything I wrote about here.  Also, it’s important to note that regardless of what happens, we ultimately must accept that God’s plan is playing itself out.   God’s plan may seem either obvious or utterly ridiculous, but we really have nobody to blame but ourselves for Him doing what He needs to do.   Had we stood up against the cultural rot we’re soaking in long ago, we wouldn’t have the choice between these two candidates, who are not just flawed but grossly so.

One wonders, though…  if THIS is the Year of Mercy, what in the world is in store for us when the year ends on November 20?    Egad.

Responding to Actors Speaking Politics



This has nothing to do with Catholic anything.   I just thought this was not only hilarious, but pretty much says it all as far as my opinion on all those holier-than-thou entertainers who decide they need to help inform us unthinking underlings on politics.   Or, really, anything.

It’s worth the view, even if you’re not a Trump fan.   (Which, to be honest, I’m getting sick of people saying as an obligatory addendum to nearly everything.)

Quick Note


This doesn’t really have to do with anything, really.   Just wanted to say that anyone at all who believes Donald Trump was openly advocating for the assassination of Hillary Clinton is an unhinged, unthinking idiot.

Even if some morons took it that way, or his point that the voting block of gun owners can lead the way to defeating Clinton in November was made clumsily, to make that extrapolation just means you have no wits about you.


That is all.

Following Your Conscience


Hello, everyone.   OK, so I could write a series of a half-dozen posts on why I will post in a flurry for a while, and then stop entirely for an extended period.    But simply put, this is an outlet for me.   So many other things take priority over this, and if this needs to fall by the wayside as an obligation, then so be it.   Some are called to write a blog for a higher purpose, some of us mainly like to vent and if others happen to follow us along the way for whenever we vent, then I guess that’s fun.

Today’s diatribe is about conscience.   Somewhat intriguing to me is the word itself:  “con” and “science.”   Depending on how you read that, it is either “with science” or “against science.”   Or, put otherwise, it’s a mystery within a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma.   Or something like that.

I must admit, I have long been frustrated and irritated by the use (or misuse) of the application of conscience.   We have boiled this wonderful gift from God down to an utterly perverted version of its intent, and it is now used as a determinant to take whatever action makes us feel good about ourselves, with nary a critical examination of whatever it is we are (or aren’t) doing.

It seems we have long forgotten the precursor to following our conscience:   that it be well formed.    This is not just a nicety, it is absolutely critical.   A malformed conscience is quite easily perfected.   First of all, we know from the wisdom of the catechism that sin darkens the intellect.   When the intellect is darkened, many things follow.   Among those things is a suppression of feelings of guilt.   Everyone hates guilt, it seems.   It’s been placed alongside “shame”,”sin” and “fault” as archaic religious relics of the past.    This is unfortunate.   Guilt is a gift from God to pull us back into a right relationship with Him.   Sure, it’s true that overly scrupulous individuals can overdo it on the guilt.   We need to guard against feeling as if God doesn’t love us anymore, or that we cannot be forgiven.    While that needs correction, the answer is not to swing entirely to idea that guilt is a bad thing, and that we should just feel good about everything we are and everything we do.   Which is mostly where we tend to find ourselves today.

When my wife an I were undergoing marital instruction, our Priest at the time (an otherwise good many and good priest, from what I can remember about him), informed us that the use of contraception was essentially something left up to us – whatever our conscience dictated.    The effect of that was no different than had he just handed us condoms.    First, allow me to openly confess that (a) I should have known the teachings of my faith better, and (b) I certainly had no thoughts to look into the matter further – we had been given the green light and that was good enough for me.   At least, that’s how I read it.   As a result, I used contraception entirely guilt free for the first few years of marriage.

But then we ran into these pesky super-Catholics who informed us that this wasn’t quite right.   Thankfully, to cut a long story short, we discussed, learned, and followed our much more informed conscience and now I have 9 kids.    There are days when the kids are being really annoying that I jokingly ask God why He had to let me in on this teaching of the Church.   I hope He knows that I’m joking…   sort of…

But today’s rant is more about this idea of conscience as a Catholic in a public matter, such as voting.   We’ve seen key GOP leaders step away from Donald Trump and make a general statement about people voting their conscience.    I know very good and well-meaning Catholics and other Christians who are saying they can’t vote for either major candidate based on their conscience, and that they will instead vote for some third party candidate.   I’ve even seen some men of the cloth make such statements.

This may sound blunt, but here’s my response:   Get real.

Listen, I get the reality of the situation.   I was very vocal during the primaries that Trump was NOT my guy.   I had numerous reasons for this opinion, which didn’t come down to feelings and emotions nearly as much as a general assessment of abilities and character, and from a strict standpoint of moral positioning I thought many other candidates were stronger.    But whether or not it was because the way the system is set up or Trump was intended to be the nominee all along and others don’t see it as I do, the situation has now changed.

Once the primaries are done, you need to do a complete and honest reset.    Trump was not my guy.   Now he is.    Am I utterly enthusiastic?   No, not really.   Am I committed?   Absolutely.   There is a difference.

So, let me talk about this whole “conscience” issue with respect to Trump.   It is one thing to say that you desire someone who is more upright, Christian, etc.    It is another thing to play a part in delivering the country to an even worse fate because of a (I believe) misinformed idea of what applying your conscience really means.    Voting your conscience is an act of will, not an emotional response.   One can, at once, understand the imperfection of someone they are going to vote for – and even feel not that great emotionally about doing so – while still feeling good about the decision to do so based on the given choice.

Frankly, I know we all wish it would be different that there were viable third party candidates so that a vote for one  wasn’t the equivalent of a vote, or at least a half-vote, for the major candidate you oppose more.    But wishing it won’t make it reality.  And no reasonable person can honestly assess that there is enough of a groundswell of support for a third party candidate to make that person viable.   By all means, give it a shot in the next few months, but if it becomes plain and obvious by election day that there is zero shot that your third party candidate has a chance, then in my harsh opinion, you are using your conscience as an excuse to avoid responsibility for electing the very person you are helping to elect by your choice to not vote for the stronger (even if still weak) candidate.   It is an irresponsible choice to make, and you are washing your hands of all responsibility because of your “conscience.”  Not only do I believe this is wrong and problematic, but I honestly think you may even be held to account.

I guess there is a potential caveat here.   If you really, honestly, in your heart of hearts, believe that the two are equally evil and this determination has been made not just on the character of the people, but an honest reflection on what you think they will actually do, then I guess that’s fine.   I think you’re bonkers if that is the judgment in this particular case, but that’s just my opinion.

Even worse, in my opinion, are the Catholics and Christians who have utterly convinced themselves through what can only truly be an improperly formed conscience that it is preferable to vote for politicians who hold pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage positions because they have somehow convinced themselves that the issues of education, union rights, and failed welfare state programs are morally equivalent to or even superior to those other issues.   The former are disqualifying issues with no moral ambiguity.   The other issues are differences of opinion on the right way to go about things.   It is not intrinsically moral or immoral to have an opinion on either side of the appropriate level of taxation, or the right level of funding for social programs.   It is not intrinsically moral or immoral to have an opinion that the state is inefficient and charity is best left to family, friends, churches and private organizations that specialize in these matters.   It is, however, intrinsically immoral to support policy that allows us to kill an infant in the womb.   Period.

So, where does that leave us?    I argue that:

  1. Given a well-formed conscience, and
  2. Given no realistic chance of a viable third party candidate
  3. And the existence of any difference in moral equivalence between the two major party candidates
  4. Voting for anyone other than Trump of Clinton is a shirking of responsibility and a perverted sense of what it means to follow one’s conscience


Given that conclusion, I present the following as evidence that a well formed conscience must lead one to support Donald Trump – even if reluctantly and purely as a matter of will. Let’s accept as given that each have many character flaws, that neither are as upstanding or moral as I’d like, and that this is in no way a suggestion that I expect Trump will make the world’s greatest President:

  1. Trump has repeatedly referenced state’s rights.   Even if he personally doesn’t take a stand on an issue to my liking (e.g. transgender law in NC) he at the same time does acknowledge the right of NC to pass such a law and I do not believe he would interfere in any way with their right to do so.   Barack Obama, and I also believe Hillary Clinton, uses the threats of the Justice Department and the withdrawal of federal funding to bully states.   Further, they broaden the issue at hand in almost every circumstance, doubling down and demanding all public institutions accept whatever the next level of societal degradation is at hand.
  2. Trump has released a list of what he considers to be a representative sample of the kinds of Supreme Court justices he would appoint.   Whatever you might think of Trump personally, what matters much more is what he will actually do as President.   His list is impressive, and is very promising.    Could he disappoint?   of course he could.   But all we can go on is what he has said, and what he has said is that he would literally plug the hole in the dam preventing an utterly progressive and left-leaning activist court.   There is zero question about the kinds of justices Clinton would appoint.    This issue is of such utter importance that if no other issue at all matters to you, or if you are concerned about other aspects of a Trump Presidency, this should override it.    That is because this is the once decision that impacts the next entire generation.    All other faux pas can be addressed and corrected in the relative near-term.   This cannot.
  3. Trump may not be convincingly pro-life, but he publicly makes the claim that he is.    He may be willing to live with exceptions that many of us find problematic.    He may have a history of flip-flopping on the issue.   All of which isn’t great, but it’s also relative.   Compared to Clinton, he is much more favorable to at least giving consideration to pro-life voices.    Further, the main impact a President will have on this issue is in the appointment of Supreme Court justices (see #3).   I find it simply frustrating that good and well-meaning pro-life people say they can’t vote for a candidate who doesn’t see things as they do without thinking through what that person can actually do about it in the first place.   Yes, there is the bully pulpit and there is the face of the country perspective, but in practical reality there are only a handful of things the President can impact through executive order or through the signing of legislation.    Do you really think Trump will veto pro-life legislation that makes progress?   I doubt he will.    I certainly do not think he will take the Little Sisters of the Poor to court to require they cover abortion and contraception.   I do not think he will issue Executive Orders expanding abortion rights.   He may or may not issue EOs to restrict them.   Now contrast in your mind what you think Hillary will do…  certain vetoes, likely executive orders, and continued use of HHS and Justice.    Trump may or may not defund Planned Parenthood, but I’ll bet if Congress passes a budget without funding Trump will not veto on that basis.   You know Hillary will.


The intellect needs to inform the conscience.   The conscience cannot simply be a feeling.

Go forth and apply a well-formed conscience to your decision-making.




The Diabolical Nature of Promoting Gay Marriage


This post is not a point by point argument against the idea of gay “marriage,” nor is it a defense of traditional marriage. Many, many posts and articles have been written on the topic and will continue to be written on the topic. This post is, at its root, about something else.

The debate is not a new one, as we all know. It has been bubbling and bursting in all sorts of places over the last couple decades, and the pro-gay-marriage side has to be recognized as gaining traction, of influencing the minds of many who previously were against it. Although most states that have taken the issue to ballot have succeeded in keeping marriage defined as between a man and a woman, it must be noted that the margins have declined and the proponents are ever more vocal.

We have now reached a time where it seems that any public figure speaking against it is publicly chastised for intolerance. It is no longer a debate about two philosophies or matters of opinion. The one side has now successfully entered the arena of political influence, public pressure, and political correctness to an extent never seen before.

We saw it coming. Even as ballot measures for same-sex marriage were being defeated in elections and in the courts, more and more companies started to provide “diversity training” related to sexual orientation. Our Universities and Public Schools found new and innovative ways of introducing the same-sex relationship as normal, and warnings that this was part of the slippery-slope were met with scoffs and ridicule of paranoia and prudishness.

Within Hollywood, more and more stars “courageously” came out of the closet, and within a few short years such pronouncements went from being a shocking revelation to a badge of pride to be celebrated.

And then came Massachusetts, where the courts famously legalized same-sex marriage. From there, both sides moved quickly and each had victories they could hold up as emblematic of the way Americans feel about the whole thing. But it was still rather taboo in the political arena to be too vocal about it. We had reached the stage of “respecting” individuals and trying to compromise with the concept of civil unions. Civil Unions seemed like the political dream position, in that they could take both sides of the issue. Support same-sex unions, support marriage – a win-win!

But that still was not good enough.

And here we are today. With a President who not only voiced support for it, but then proceeded to go all-in at the convention to promote it as good, moral, and right. And anyone who dares disagree is not only intolerant, but a bigoted and hateful person.

Of course, we know that is not true. But the idea has grown, and as evidence I challenge anyone to state – in the most benign way you can think of – the fact that you are not in favor of same-sex marriage in almost any social situation. Unless you’re surrounded by entirely like-minded people, there is almost sure to be a very swift reaction. Not a discussion. Not a series of questions to try and gain some insight about your thinking. There will almost certainly be anger, accusation, and dare I say hate. If you are fortunate, you’ll avoid blasphemous charges against religion and Christ, or denigrations of the Bible. You’ll probably be mis-classified as an evangelical or fundamentalist and probably anti-science. It is not at all unlikely that there will be a very quick leap to comparisons to Hitler or Nazis. It all depends on the person.

There is a particular verse of Scripture that I think of nearly on a daily basis. It is not my “favorite” verse. In fact, it’s a somewhat sad and depressing verse. Isaiah 5:20 reads “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! (NAS, Isaiah 5:20-21)”

Every day I see around me the evil that I know to be evil (based on the Bible, Church teachings, and my own conscience) being presented as good, and vice-versa.

But why do I use the term “diabiolical?” To be honest, I am borrowing it from a recent conversation my wife had with a Priest.

It has not gone unnoticed by those of us watching the Democratic National Convention that the issues of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage have emerged as prominent positions. And while we always knew that the Democratic Party platform always alluded to such things and gave support to them, there was at least in the past some attempt to do so at arm’s length. The balance was to keep the support of proponents while recognizing that they needed to keep opponents happy enough to not be bothered by it.

This has changed. And it does show the amount of progress those who favor socially liberal policies have made. Even if it is a failed assessment, the Democrats are now willing to – and betting that – a full embrace will not hurt them, and possibly even benefit them. It’s the frog in the boiling water syndrome, and it appears to have merit. After all, to the extent that I have seen some African-American pastors take issue with the emnbrace of same-sex marriage by President Barack Obama, it does not seem to be enough to keep them from selling out to politics due to whatever issues they have convinced themselves are – in the end – more important than what they know in their herats is a moral deception. They recognize the moral problem with it according to their own statements, and yet are still willing to offer their support to the candidate and party. Why? You’d have to ask them. I’m sure they’ve rationalized it to their satisfaction. Whether it’s to God’s satisfaction will have to be between them and God, I suppose.

But I digress a bit. Back to this conversation with the Priest. My wife noted correctly that we are not hearing about “same-sex marriage.” We are being given phrases that everyone knows applies to that, but in ways that are meant to defuse any possible objection to it. Three times Michelle Obama used a phrase along the lines of “Should be able to walk down the aisle to marry the one you love.” This was, in its context, a clear allusion to same-sex marriage. The language is not an accident.

This Priest pointed out something else, and here’s where the word “diabolical” enters the fray. He was not using it to describe the person of Michelle Obama, nor of anyone else. He was using it to describe how Satan works. And Satan is the great counterfeiter. And the use of 3 is his great tool.

Yes, we are getting into that whole “spiritual warfare” thing that us Catholics start feeling a bit uncomfortable about. But what else can it be called when obvious evils to the lot of us start being promoted as just the opposite?

Anyway, you may or may not know that 3 is a very important number in our Catholic life. Most obvious is the representation of the Trinity. But you may or may not know that when a Priest blesses an object or your house, they will often sign it three times. It is a very powerful thing. Christ died at 3:00. With God, there are no random coincidences that are meaningless.

Not to be outdone, the devil counters with his own sets of 3. Now, this Priest would know much more about this than I do, but he immediately caught the fact that Michelle Obama presented this evil as good three separate and distinct time within her speech. He went on to point out how often, if you pay attention, you will notice the diabolical as being presented in threes. It is not by accident. Now, I have not studied the issue, but I felt it a very powerful observation.

Beyond the number 3, the entire process of “converting” minds and hearts to the acceptance of something that is against God’s design is intrinsically diabolical in nature. The word often conjures up images of demons and possession. You tend to consider the diabolical as menacing, scary, and heavy-handed. In reality, it’s a much more appropriate view to see it as the manipulation necessary to convince otherwise good and well-meaning people that bad is good in a way that isn’t any of these things. Through a combination of acceptance of general perversions as normal, desensitivity to a great many moral wrongs, devaluation of marriage in general (starting with easy divorce and use of contraception), devaluation of life and the beauty of child-bearing, language that suggests it’s all about love and goodness, along with a dose of intimidation, guilt and ridicule at just the right dose against any and all who oppose it… it has been a decades-long coercion to acceptance. The diabolical forces had a plan, were patient, and have greatly succeeded.

They will never fully succeed, regardless of what it seems. We know that the ultimate victor in all of this is Christ and His Kingdom. And we should never accept defeat, anyway, up to the last person standing who is willing to profess the goodness of God’s design for us and the institution of marriage. The question is not whether God will be victorious, but what our part will be in seeing that about. Will we be the instruments of victory by pushing back? Or will we allow this to become ever more pervasive and see the victory come about through, well, less pleasant means?

One final comment: the use of the word “evil” is difficult to soften. It is a very harsh word. It is natural to feel a bit uncomfortable or even verbally assaulted when certain beliefs and positions are challenged as “evil.” It is not my word, it is often enough used in Scripture, and is not limited to any particular kind of sin. Evil can be used to describe the general consequences of our fall. Natural evils exist that are not a particular judgment on any individual (war, famine, poverty, etc.). In addition, the source of evil are (generally speaking) not individuals who are sinning. ALL off us participate with evil whenever we sin. That does not make us evil. Satan and the demons are evil, and the source from which we defile ourselves through participation with them.

So, do try not to overreact with the usage of the word here. This being a particularly sensitive subject for many, it can be read incorrectly as a judgment of the person, as opposed to what is really intended – the overall movement in favor of it and the nature of the act itself. Any act that one considers a sin is by definition an evil act, despite the harshness of the word. Some things are more evil than others, and this post is not about the relative nature of our sins. The reason for pointing out the evil nature of this particular topic is not to suggest where such a sin lies on the relative scale of things, but to point out a situation where many are not only dismissing it as not being bad, but actually being good. There are other such sins in our culture as well (abortion and use of contraception are big right now).

It may be impossible to convince opponents of this, but there truly is no offense intended to anybody here, and some language is simply unavoidable in explaining my thoughts on the subject.

It Appears That I Am Not Alone in My Assessments of Catholics


As it regards the most recent election results, anyway, the Bishop of St. Louis seems to think that Catholics bailed out on their faith.  Good for him.

Click here for the story.

In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

After almost 50 years of having 50 percent of Catholics abandoning their Catholic identity, we cannot expect to turn this culture around by short-term political efforts.

Thanks, Bishop, for just saying it like it is.

And then, there’s the incomparable Archbishop Raymond Burke (my former Bishop – whom I almost trampled over in one unfortunate incident…) He shares the same point of view of the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s Document on Faithful Citizenship that I do… muddy, confusing, and a direct contributor to electing a pro-abortion President.

ROME, January 27, 2009 ( – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.

The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of “other grave reasons,” as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position.

Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louise Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly … there was also a number who did not.”

But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.

“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”


And the fruits have started producing. Embryonic stem-cell research has already expanded and will continue to be expanded. Obama almost immediately lifted the ban on overseas abortion funding. This stimulus package contained millions of dollars for contraceptives to Family Planning.

I continue to hold out some glimmer of hope that Catholics who voted for Obama will not be afraid to stand up and fight against FOCA. But I’m not holding my breath.

So… Some Fellow Catholics Are Upset With Me


I knew when I posted “I’m Mad at my Fellow Catholics and I’m Pulling no Punches and Deal With It” post that there probably wouldn’t be a lot of indifference about it. Some would love it, some would hate it.

The blog post was picked up and posted on the discussion forums. The link to the actual thread is found here.

There is a lot of support for my post on the site, as can be reasonably expected. There are also those who either disagree with me, or feel that the post was uncharitable and divisive. I stand by everything I wrote, but proving that I am unafraid to present their view, I thought I’d post their comments here. I responded to a few points later in that thread, and I will post those here as well.

You sound bitter.

Every time I consider returning to the Church something like this reminds me of why I left.

So now that I read the full version I stand by my initial assessment. It seems like “unapologetic” and “pulling no punches” are just cop outs for being rude, judgemental, and disrespectful. Acknowledging that you have done those things in your comments after the fact does not somehow legitimize them as an outflowing of emotion, it just makes it strange than you saw these problems and left them in.

Sounds like a knee jerk reaction to me.

well on this forum you are preaching to the choir.

We will all have to answer to the Lord when we die. I find it strange though that so many are interested in who is in danger of damnation.

I will answer my questions of conscience in the Confessional with a priest. I choose not to look to internet forums to inform me of the state of my soul or my suitability to receive the Lord in Holy Communion.

Doesn’t Christ ask us to look to the splinter in our own eye before well, you know the rest?

The fact that the position of the Church on abortion is settled does not mean it’s position on voting is.

Do not fret. It only leads to evil.

And yet the Church itself, to my knowledge, hasn’t come down firmly on either side of this debate, suggesting that even for Catholics it’s not that simple.

Yes, the Church has decided firmly on abortion being wrong.

Yes, the Church has decided firmly on supporting abortion being wrong.

Has the Church decided firmly on voting being equivalent to “material support”? This is a yes or no question.

For us Catholics the priests, bishops and primarily the Holy Father are in authority over our moral formation and in sheparding our souls..

A fellow layman has no feet to stand on. If they choose to point to authoritative documents and pronouncements they may choose to do this but I contend this is not charitable and may be seen as glib or obnoxious.

Frankly I have no idea why noon-catholics would take time to even post on this forum. though I certainly respect all of my fellow Catholics I contend that the church that our Christian brethren and non-christian brethren find here is NOTHING like the real time church. Except maybe in a SSPX church or something.

You are not likely to find much charity here.

Prior to the election, I witnessed a discussion on another Catholic forum.

The specific discussion was ecomonics vs. abortion rates. The one arguing pro-life above all other issues was writing from a country where people are actually starving to death. When this was pointed out and they were told there were many being born that starved to death, their response was, at least they’re starving to death as Christians!

Abortion is truly not a “single issue”. That’s why the Church wrote about a dignity of life for all. They defined a right to life to include food, shelter, healthcare, education and the ability to work. Without these things, people are going to continue considering abortions.

While republicans picked around the issue without fully trying to overturn the decision, they continued policies that left and are leaving many without the right to life as defined by the Church.

There is no difference of splitting Church teachings to support injustices of one political party, as some are accusing others of. One had to really form a faith based conscience and act in making a moral decision that they felt would help ALL life the most.

People have said, we could find other ways to work on the other issues, yet other ways were not sought out over the last eight years. Now, there was a candidate chosen that voted, admittedly, over 90% of the time with the administration of the last eight years. Those policies were supposed to make the wealthy, wealthier with the idea that that money would make it’s way down to the common person. Yet, the common persons were losing their houses, jobs and going without healthcare. But, they “claimed” to be pro-life!

If as people have been saying, there were other ways to work on the other issues, we are where we are. Now, do we continue to maintain this divide and despair, or do we find other ways to work on the “single issue”? Together, Catholics still have impact with politicians. Politicians who affect the decisions the president makes. Divided, the impact is cut in half.

Does coming together mean, people have to change their outlook to include constant un-charitable attacks and condemnations on the ruling people, as evident on these forums? I do not see this bringing people together, which is sad. We cannot make changes through hate, Christians know this whether they’re willing to overlook their own bitterness over the outcome of this election or not. Love your enemies, even though they may not truly be an enemy, they are placed into feeling that way by the activities going on on these forums and across the country.

Mat 5:43 You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:
Mat 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this?
Mat 5:47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?
Mat 5:48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

There are many, who have devoted their life to the Church and Christ, yet they did not all agree on this election.

I’m not going to speak ill of any of the clergy, number 1, it’s not my place to judge them. I am to look to the clergy for guidance. The problem with this election, the clergy were split. There was not ONE voice. Now the laity are raising up the clergy that speaks an agreement with how they think.

Laity judging, condemning and certainly using a lack of charitability to get their point across to other laity is not how the Church operates. The laity, on either side of the issue, have no authority in Church matters.

The laity need to write or call the Church leaders and say we need guidance, of the same mind and judgment. Once the laity hears the Church’s directions with ONE voice, Catholics will comply. I certainly would.

We both agree abortions need to be stopped. Now how can we proceed to end it from the reality we find ourselves at?

“I’m Mad at my Fellow Catholics.”

That’s just too bad because I believe that the majority of Catholics have made reasoned, well-thought-out, and prayerful decisions about who they vote for,

I realize that some people are Catholic Republicans who now have to deal with losing the White House and the Congress and I understand how that feels. But ranting and raving against fellow Catholics and calling them names? Maybe it’s the 54% who are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

The thread title should be changed to “I don’t think everyone of legal age should have the right to vote.”

Anyway, laity arguing with laity, neither who have authority in Church matters, is not productive, in my opinion. I will be watching for ways to continue to work for moral issues important to all of us. If we continue the divide, we will not have the impact that is currently available to us and things will only get worse.

You don’t get it. Abortion is the most important issue for me too, but the virtue of Prudence requires that I look beyond words to actions and actual effects. It has become abundantly clear to me that the Republicans have been giving lip service to “pro-life” to get Christian votes and doing very little about it, while advancing their real objectives, most of which are anti-Christian. Christ said we are to be “As wise as serpents, and harmless as lambs.” The first part means we shouldn’t take what a politician says he is going to do about abortion at face value. And McCain/Palin made it abundantly clear that pro-life issues were far down the list of issues for them; being pro-life was an afterthought, to get the votes of the “the base”.

Lastly I will say that McCain was not a pro-life candidate. Abortion was not an issue this election. If anyone thought abortion would be outlawed under McCain they are sadly mistaken. If anyone also thought that McCain would be able to get a strongly pro-life Justice to the Supreme Court with a Democratic majority in the Senate, they are also mistaken. If you did not vote for Chuck Baldwin, you did not vote for a pro-life candidate. Your anger would be better channeled to support his movement, to possibly become a viable candidate in an election to come.

If you voted for McCain, you also did evil then, since he supported stem cell research. Cut and dry, right?

We are the laity. Who can tell us who received the information as it was intended? Only the authors, the ONE voice I keep speaking about. If the highly educated, spiritual men of the Church do not agree among themselves on the meaning of the document, surely confusion will ensue.

Apply the confusion to seeking to form a faith formed conscience in which to make a moral decision and I honestly cannot say who is right. I can only say that I am comfortable with my conscience, which includes all sections of life. All sections being parts of an equation that one cannot do without the other.

I will argue the issue no further. I will await the one voice necessary to let me know I am wrong, if I’m wrong. No matter what is spoken from the one voice, I will comply. I can only hope and pray all Catholics will, even if that one voice does not agree with what they thought it should be.

Even though I said I would not enter into the circular and divisive discussions, your persistence to push the issue made me decide to try one last time to try and explain our differences on interpretations, as I see them. If you disagree, that’s fine. We both answer to the one who has authority to judge us and what’s in our hearts. We do not have that right ourselves, according to my faith formed conscience.

My responses:

Prodigal, you wrote:
Again, I know you applied this paragraph to one section of life, the unborn. I apply it to ALL life, the unborn and those already born.

You seem like a nice guy who has thought about this. I personally believe that you have convinced yourself that this is a valid point.

But I think you are reading into this exactly what you want to read into it and appeasing your conscience in the matter. That is rationalization.

You are correct in pointing out that ALL life has dignity and is to be respected. However, certain sins against human dignity outweigh other sins. Further, different people can equally appreciate the human dignity of others and equally love our neighbor, and have completely different perpectives on how we can best deal with these unfortunate souls through government policy.

If you want to equate the evil of abortion with euthanasia, I’m OK with that. Both are intrinsically evil acts. Both are murder. One is more predominant, while the other is more visible, but the act itself is horrific in either case. But this could not be your excuse for voting for Obama, since he said he felt his largest msitake in Congress was coming to the defense of Terri Schiavo.

If you want to equate capital puinishment with abortion, then that is in error. It is not I who says that, it is the catechism. I am against the death penalty based on our technology and circumstances, and the guidance of JPII. But there is not a doctrinal position against it as an intrinsic evil, and it is something that Catholics can, in good conscience, debate. Therefore, even if we are in error on our application of this as a source of justice, it does not hold the same weight in either egregiousness nor in magnitude. And even if you hold this position, Obama has said nothing abouot any change in policy on this, and so even that cannot be an excuse for voting Obama.

If you want to equate Iraq, or war in general, with an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, then that is also in error. I understand that JPII was against going into Iraq. I am not personally certain it was ever a good idea, myself. I give great deference to JPII’s position on it, but also recognize it not as a doctrinal statement of faith and morals. And even if in error, it is a question of reasonable debate and different people coming to different conclusions on the matter from a moral perspective. War is an evil in and of itself, but engaging in war is not intrinsically evil. Further, you have said you like to speak in terms of reality, but the reality regarding Iraq as it stands today is that we have reached a point there where the policies of McCain and Obama will be virtually indistinguishable, at least as far as further combat, anticiapted casualties, and so on. If anything, it may in fact be argued that terrorists couold be emboldened there, thinking Obama won’t do anything. I don’t necessarily buy into that, but it could happen. In which case, ironically, an Obama Presidency causes even more casualties going forward. That’s all conjecture, and we don’t know. But all I’m saying is that in magnitude and moral equivalence, this issue, particularly from where we are now, cannot in any way be equated to abortion, and despite the public differences in rhetoric, there is no practical differentiation in the results of the two candidates to be expected here.

This basically leads me to believe that you have put your eggs into the basket of believing that Democratic policies are morally superior to living people outside of the womb who are in need, versus Republican policies. I have major issues with this in the context of what you bolded and underlined, however. Different people have different opinions on this and there is NO DOCRINAL MANDATE on government policy in this area, other than the general admonition that we care for the poor. But many of us believe that too much government is misled compassion that hurts more and more people in the long run. Charity is a good thing, but dependence on charity is not. Tax policy affects the economy, which affects the poor. We can debate all these things ad nauseum, and I suspect we will never agree on the better approach. That’s OK. I can respect that you believe one approach is superior in its effect and impact. I happen to believe more good would come from raising the expectations of private charities and families and getting government and its inefficiencies out of the way. But wahtever side you come down on, neither of us are taking a DOCTRINAL position. We are taking a POLICY position on how to best effect the doctrinal position of caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. However, with repect to abortion, the doctrinal position is clear: the very act of it is intrinsically evil.

Thus, there is simply no way that policy views and differences on social justice can or should trump abortion as a moral issue. Not without some serious rationalization. And I believe that an honest reading of the USCCB document says that.

In full disclosure, I am the original author of the linked article. I know it is probably not written in the most charitable of ways, as many define charity (which has for too long been, “keep your mouth shut and don’t make waves and just speak about how much God loves us and don’t mention sin…”). I make no apologies for the article as written. I knew when I hit the submit button on it that many would not appreciate it. I haven’t lost any sleep over it.

You do not fully understand the direction of the Bishops on this matter.

There is, in fact, a gray area, but there is also a non-gray area.

Let’s start with the black and white: If one candidate clearly holds a correct position (from a Catholic perspective) on these major life issues, and the other candidate does not, then the moral obligation is to support that candidate. Only “proportionate” reasons may be applied for this not to apply. While this is a “gray” area, there have been many statements made on the “proportionate” reasons, and in all I have read on the matter from Bishops who have spoken on it, it is a very strict standard. You literally have to believe that the person holds some view or incompetence that would lead directly to policy of an intrinsically evil standard.

Another gray (but not all that gray) area is when one candidate is not perfect. McCain, for example, has supported ESCR. Thsi is problematic, but our guidance here is still quite clear. On 1 of 5 of the issues, McCain is deficient. On 5 of the 5 issues, Obama is deficient. The Church understands that there are elections where a choice like this needs to be made, and in this case you opt for the least deficient standard.

Where the gray-ness comes in is whether or not the Catholic should vote for neither of the two candidates if there is a third candidate who is not deficient in any of these issues. Certainly, that is a good and valid option, and I would never fault anyone for taking that road. My issue is not at all with someone who chooses to do that, even if it – practically speaking – give a half-vote to Obama. It is clearly a vote on principle and a well-formed conscience.

But the Church also realizes that there is a real choice here: if the “best” candidate is, in all practicality, a completely non-viable candidate, and if you believe that NOT voting for the least imperfect candidate could lead to tremendous harm with the election of the other candidate, then it can be very much considered good judgment based on proper discernment and a well-formed conscience to cast your vote for the major candidate who is more in line.

In a perfect world, Catholics would have voted as they should have in the primaries to begin with and nominated someone who holds to all these values. I did that, and then when my guy wasn’t nominated, I had to make a decision based on the nominated candidates.

I openly question whether those Catholics who voted for Obama and talk about how they feel it is the right moral decision to do so, whether or not they will be willing to write letters and protest and do whatever is necessary to push the guy they elected away from signing FOCA or implementing other immoral policies. Will they be willing to send the message that, despite their support this time around, he will lose that support if he pursues these intrinsically evil policies? I would hope ALL of those Catholics would do that, and not just the Catholics who opposed Obama. Any of those Catholics that do not, I think it all the more shows that they have placed party and politics ahead of truth.

A rebuttal to my last post, with my responses:

1) Please support your statement that the Church realizes this.

response: I am not at the moment in a position to spend much more time doing google searches and citing documents. What I can say is that I have heard enough discussion from trusted sources on this very question, people who claim fidelity to the Magesterium, say as much. Papal Encyclicals and Council Documents are often accompanied after the fact by much clarification for those who have an interest in pursuing such clarification.

2) John McCain did not have a chance to win this election either.
Response: This is clearly fallacious. The argument here is that if the Catholic vote shifts to McCain, he wins easily. If you argue this insensibility within the context of the argument being made then you don’t even realize what we’re arguing about.

3) I said earlier that, being more forward thinking, you could have lost the battle but not the war. What I meant was this:
As a thought experiment, let’s presuppose that abortion doesn’t really matter to most “swing voters” – everyone it does matter to is either a strong Republican or strong Democrat.
Let’s say all the Catholics and fundamentalist protestants had switched support for the anti-abortion third party candidate. This will siphon Republican votes only under this scenario. McCain goes down hard in 2008.

I understand this argument, and again, I am not arguing against those who voted third party. You seem more concerned about criticizing Catholics who voted for McCain over his stand on ESCR than you are about criticizing Catholics who voted for Obama while claiming to be pro-life. And while I understand the purity of your argument, your position makes no sense to me. My argument is that Catholics should have (1) voted for a completely pro-life candidate in the primaries on BOTH tickets, and then (2) the election can be based on all these other issues. Absent #1, individual Catholics have a choice to make.

Your approach would make much more sense if there is not a huge difference on these issues between the major candidates. For example, I definitely would have voted 3rd party if Giuliani had been the GOP nominee. So I am not a blind partisan. I look at the issues important to me, and I’m only partisan to the extent they line up. I’d vote for a pro-life Democrat, too. I am NOT anti-Democrat. I am “anti-Democratic Platform on Life Issues.” I’m fine with that. They chose that platfdorm, not me. But the stark reality is that, despite McCain’s imperfections, there was such a huge difference on these issues that I truly felt my best vote was for McCain.

What happens in 2012, after the Republicans realized that the only reason for the split votes was abortion? They adopt the pro-life stance as a major component of the party platform at convention, you have a major party fighting for that issue as one of the, if not THE most pressing issue of the day, and you set about getting the so-called pro-life Republicans to actually contest the issue.

But you(strongly pro-life, anti-Democratic Catholics) didn’t do what might have worked. What you did was ridicule, judge, and insult your Democratic leaning brethren. Which, you know, doesn’t work.

Response: This is patently false. In my view, what I saw was a bunch of Catholics try to be pastoral, and try to be nice, and not making waves, and then when the Bishops wrote letters to be read at Mass I saw Obama supporters shrug and roll their eyes, or even laugh. I saw little insulting going on. I did see some Bishops stand up for truth. I saw other laypersons try to do the same. Your characterization is wrong, and this will be my last response to you on that matter. Most of what I saw was charitable, and the rest was proper admonishment, as we are directed to do by St. Paul.

And I know you think my missive was insulting. You have a right to your opinion. I think that’s a shallow reading. It was not insulting. It was calling a spade a spade. It’s how I operate. I’m sure some people felt that Jesus was insulting when he tossed over the money-changer’s tables, too.

Nobody – NOBODY – was more insulted and ridiculed than Palin. And there is no greater reason she was ridiculed than the fact that she held more traditional, pro-life, values. I’m sure others will disagree. That’s fine. But that is my opinion. So don’t talk to me about how we were insulting. The far left was downright hateful and vitriolic every step of the way. There reaches a point where some feel compelled to respond in kind, and that’s unfortunate. But it was not emblematic of the whole.

I’m sure the discussion will continue. I won’t post any more on it here, but check out the forum, if interested.