Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Obama: Splitting Catholics

Jay-Z, Obama and Springsteen

This morning I woke to a mixed Twitter timeline... messages of joy that Barack Obama had been re-elected, mixed with pure rage and hatred. Both came from Catholic Tweeters. Indeed just last week, I made a comment about Obama and was criticised at supporting him as a 'supposed Catholic'.


There several key reasons including those at both federal and state law:

1) His new healthcare law (dubbed 'Obamacare') requires private employers, including most religious private institutions, to provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives. There for Catholic employers (hospitals, schools, universities etc) will, by law, be paying for contraceptives.

2) Obama has voiced his opinion that women's rights should allow abortion within legal limits. Legalised abortion will not end in the US under Obama;s presidency.

2) In Alabama, state law has been passed that prevent Catholics from serving undocumented immigrants, even with basics like food, shelter, and medical services. Gospel values emphasise the commitment to the poor.

3) In Connecticut, legislators have proposed a bill that would force the Catholic Church to change how it is structured and governed—allowing the State to remake the Church in its own image.

Indeed the Bishops Conference of the US have set up a website addressing these issues:

There are also concerns about the increasingly legalisation of same-sex marriage and discrimination against Catholic adoption agencies.

In his speech on being re-elected he said:

“Despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America's future,”

“We want our children to live in an America not burdened by debt, weakened by inequality...that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that's safe, and respected, and admired around the world.”

A country “built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being,” the president added. “We believe in generous, compassionate, tolerant America.”

It seems that despite the vocal opposition by pro-life groups and high profile campaigning by the US Bishops, Catholics were still voting for Obama. However a number of bishops seemed to be relenting and admitting that Obama may still be the better overall choice as they encouraged Catholics to, "vote with informed Catholic consciences."

The Catholic vote was divided, much as was the rest of the nation's voters, leaning slightly in favour of Obama. A final Gallup poll, reflecting tracking from Nov. 1 to 4, showed Catholics favouring Obama by 52 to 45 percent.

Do you think that Catholics should be influenced by Obama's pro-choice stance? Is this enough of a reason to not vote Democrat? Are Republicans really more Christian despite being pro-life?

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