Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Old news: Good Catholics aren't Democrats anymore

"Mike, didja hear Pat's become a Republican?"
"Go on! No, I saw him at Mass on Sunday."
Salon's not hip: The Democratic Party is facing a Catholic apocalypse. That train left the station about 40 years ago when the old party of labor unions and yes, conservative Southerners turned its back on its base, sharply turning left following the Sixties' lead. Religious people across the board are much more likely to be Republicans. Longtime readers of this blog know I'm no shill for the GOP; I started blogging partly to protest the war in Iraq even before it began. Locally they're often an honorable choice. Nationally I've functionally opted out since 2004: Libertarian or sometimes nothing.

While it's flattering to think of ourselves as kingmakers, that there's still a Catholic vote, we're not; there isn't anymore. Not only because the Democrats abandoned us but because we shot ourselves in the foot with Vatican II; American Protestants had their dream of absorbing, protestantizing, the country's big Catholic minority handed to them. But the church, being the church and once being so big here, isn't going away; the few actual Catholics are regrouping politically. What's happening is the the big rank and file of Catholics who still vote D are slowly coming clean by no longer identifying as Catholic. (Millennials more and more don't.) My guess is we are or will be too small to be a swing vote.

Plus there is actually an Irish Catholic GOP tradition in my Pennsylvania county, and there have been Italian Republican enclaves reacting against Irish domination of the local Democrats.

The Dems' moderate socialism (the New Deal) plus our social conservatism used to be seen as American shorthand for Catholic social teaching. Sometimes the left tries to identify itself similarly, easy to do since leftism is a Christian heresy, but mostly they hate us now because of abortion and homosexuality. Like how they turned on Pope Paul VI regarding birth control, when the Pope turned out to be Catholic.

From Ad Orientem.

1 comment:

  1. The comments at Salon pretty succinctly illustrate why the Dems are losing serious Catholics - almost all posts are of the "Good riddance to the sick freaks!" variety. The GOP may be just as bad as the Dems when it comes to governing, but at least they PRETEND to show believers something other than utter contempt between elections. Actually, I prefer this honest and frank hatred to the insincere flattery, sentimental mush, and fraudulent double-speak of Bad Catholic politicians like the late governor Cuomo, God rest his soul.

    It's interesting to read that Catholic politicians are getting elected in the South in disproportionate numbers. Perhaps Catholicism's intellectual tradition of Scholasticism and generally rational approach to religion produces better legal minds than Southern Protestantism- certainly seems to be true of the Supreme Court, where most of the solid "conservative" justices are Catholic.

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