Thursday, November 06, 2014

"I'm Catholic and I Vote!" So?

"I'm Catholic and I Vote!" could well mean "I vote D because my family has almost since we got off the boat from Cobh or Naples. We don't trust those snotty Republicans. The Democrats look out for the little guy; that's closer to Jesus' teaching on social justice." The modern left is a Christian heresy; lots of rank-and-file Catholics can't tell the difference. The religious left ("vote D on principle to fight our conservative white cousins," the déclassé religious right) and the Mohammedans ("vote D to fight the white infidels") are so small in this country as to be negligible (mainliners, nobody's taken you seriously since the year you got your picture taken with Martin Luther King). Really religious Catholics (the ones who try to follow the church's teachings) lean Republican: the Stupid Party as opposed to the Evil Party. And are probably more likely to have this bumper sticker. Is there still an American Catholic vote or did the Sixties (the Rockefellers' contraceptive blitz plus Vatican II) break it up, American Protestants' long-held dream of absorbing this big minority? The lapsed are peer-pressure liberals like almost everybody else; the religious have switched to the Republicans. Locally I'm GOP; nationally Libertarian. Those are my only choices. And I'd prefer a more subtle cultural statement to a bumper sticker. I like Paul Fussell's description of the upper-class attitude to overt displays and questions about one's views, snobbish as it may be: "None of your middle-class business." Better not to show off, and actually do something.

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