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Obama and Catholics

From the PostPew (HT Balloon Juice):

President Obamas support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, despite a summer that included the Catholic bishops religious freedom campaign and the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOPs vice-presidential candidate. On June 17, Obama held a slight edge over Mitt Romney among Catholics (49-47 percent), according to the Pew Research Center. Since then, Obama has surged ahead, and now leads 54-39 percent, according to a Pew poll conducted on Sept. 16. Among all registered voters, Obama leads Romney 51-42 percent, according to Pew.

Cue the discussion about who counts as a real Catholic.UPDATE: Sullivan (who got there first) weighs in:

A small word of thanks to Cardinal Dolan, Robert George and K-Lo for helping shift the Catholic vote massively toward Obama with their summer campaign for religious liberty. And special thanks to Paul Ryan. No actual Catholic could ever find anything but puerile cruelty in the works of Ayn Rand, or rally to the idea that home-care for the elderly should be sacrificed to reduce tax rates for the super-rich. Paul Ryan believes that the basic principles of Rand can be compatible with Catholicism. American Catholics are just not that dumb or confused about their faith.

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Really: "President Obamas support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, [DESPITE] a summer that included the Catholic bishops religious freedom campaign and the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOPs vice-presidential candidate."Not [DESPITE]. But, [BECAUSE OF]!The Catholic hierarchs ill-conceived political gambit to attempt to sabotage President Obama's reelection was so obvious, so blatant, so clumsy, so politically craven, so contrary to Catholic sensibilities, the hierarchs are now even more isolated politically, more irrelevant and alienated from their own people.Chalk up another real bonehead move for the hierarchs. Their leadership is so discredited it is beyond redemption or retrieval. The hierarchs should stick to trying to keep their "brother bishops" out of jail like Finn in Kansas City.

Who is K-Lo?

^Editor of NRO.

The dynamic duo of Romney and Ryan would drive the entire economy into a nose dive as long as it benefits the richest Americans. Income inequality is endangering the Middle Class and making paupers of us all who dont have those millions upon millions of dollars. Read more about the role of Romneys riches in this election and the power of his sacred undergarments at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-magic-mormon-und... The working class of our country cant AFFORD to allow this election to be bought and sold!

"Who is K-Lo?"I had to google her; never heard of her until now either.

Proprietary FYI: the original story is from Religion News Service:http://www.religionnews.com/politics/election/poll-obama-surges-ahead-am...

For a longer view of the trend, check out this link and then click on "Catholics". (H/t to Peter Nixon, posting at a nifty site called dotCommonweal.)http://projects.pewforum.org/2012-presidential-election-candidate-religi... has been ahead pretty consistently among Catholics throughout the year. The June reading looks like an outlier (there are a couple of others as well). What caused that blip in June, I don't know, but conceivably the Fortnight for Freedom could have been a contributor, as it was in flight around that time.Obama's margin among Catholics does seem to be widening since July. It's not shaped very differently than what Pew shows for all registered voters, which suggests that Catholics follow general voting patterns - not a new observation.

A New tape shows Romney saying to Bain clients, 'we buy companies and then in a few years we HARVEST them'How does that fit in with his previous statement that " corporations are people too'Maybe I am reading into "harvesting' a too harsh a fate? maybe it doesn't mean sucking cash/blood/life? maybe it's just mis-speak?A question for the theologians and bishops..Is harvesting people/corps an intrinsic evil? Is this OK with CST?I don't think the pivot to 'compassionate conservative' is going to make it.

I can only hope Catholic laity use the upcoming election to tell the hierarchs, "Thanks, but no thanks. We don't want your stinkin' politics!"

So Romney et al would "harvest" companies.Companies made up of flesh-and-blood human beings.Ew.

This is not the first time people have counted unhatched chickens. It probably won't be the last.

@Mark P. so right!

Obviously, a fortnight wasn't long enough.

A salient quote from Archbishop Chaput:"The way we lead our public lives needs to embody what the Catholic faith teaches -- not what our personalized edition of Christianity feels comfortable with, but the real thing; the full package; what the Church actually holds to be true. In other words, we need to be Catholics first and political creatures second. "The more we transfer our passion for Jesus Christ to some political messiah or party platform, the more bitter we feel toward his Church when she speaks against the idols we set up in our own hearts. Theres no more damning moment in all of Scripture than John 19:15: We have no king but Caesar. The only king Christians have is Jesus Christ. The obligation to seek and serve the truth belongs to each of us personally. The duty to love and help our neighbor belongs to each of us personally. We cant ignore or delegate away these personal duties to anyone else or any government agency."

"The duty to love and help our neighbor belongs to each of us personally. We cant ignore or delegate away these personal duties to anyone else or any government agency."So why has the Catholic Church here in the US over the years taken and sought substantial government funds to subsidize hospitals and schools and social service ministries?

The duty to love and help our neighbor belongs to each of us personally. We cant ignore or delegate away these personal duties to anyone else or any government agency.Either the archbishop is saying that the existence of food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security doesn't absolve individuals from their personal responsibilities to do what they can for the poor, the elderly, and the disabledin which case who here will disagree with him?or he is saying that the existence of federal programs whose purpose is to assist the vulnerable is an illegitimate substitute for voluntary charity, in which case he has committed himself to the position that all such federal programs should be abolished. I doubt that's really his position, but if it is, he should say so directly, and if it isn't, he should check his premises. More generally, with all his talk of kingship, he seems to forget that we live in a democracy: l'Etat, c'est nous.

We need some general principles to guide our judgments about when to delegate our authority to help others. There is an old principe that when circumstances are such that the local government cannot do what the national can, then the national government should assume the responsibility. But what are those things that the locals cannot do? The Ryan- conservatives seem to think that there is *nothing* that the locals cannot do if they tried, so the feds should do nothing. And what about those cases when a local government refuses to do what it ought to do?

With the HHS mandate, it looks like the Church is facing the loss of most federal funding for social programs. That is fair enough; if the US government (which in our system is supposed to represent the will of the people), decides it no longer wants Catholic charitable and social organizations to handle or help with federal charitable/social work, that is one thing. It probably is not the smart thing, but it is not infringing on religious liberty. It would just mean the Catholic social work (charities, schools, hospitals) would continue in a scaled-down fashion.However for the US government to prohibit Catholic Charities (for example) to carry on their good work - without any federal money - simply because the bishops cannot in good conscience pay for bc pills and/or abortions, or perform gay marriages, well that is another matter altogether isn't it?

Ann - I think you are referring to the principle of subsidiarity.While it is true that things that can be done locally should be handled locally, it is also true that the individual states cannot have standing armies, enact treaties with other nations, or handle the post office. Some things of necessity need to be done at the highest levels.The interstate highway system is, in my opinion, a good example of something that needed to be done at the federal level. It is also (again in my opinion) a good example of how to handle a large federal project; designed and started under Eisenhower. I know this is a drift in the discussion, but since you mentioned subsidiarity and since from all indications, we Americans have reached the point where most folks honestly think we need to have health care handled at the federal rather than the state/local level, I tend to trust Republicans to design a national health care plan and get it set up.

Ken --About Republicans setting up health care ==Here's a really extraordinary article over at David Frum's blog by an American Enterprise Institute scholar, J. D. Kleinke, on that very subject. According to him, Obamacare is pure Republican legislation -- at least all of tis ideas were first proposed by Republicans, and Romney got the basics put into reality in Massachusetts. But Frum thinks Kleinke might be fired for it (as Frum was fired by the AEI) or criticiing the GOP. Do read it. You might think better of Obama, the Great Compromiser. http://www.thedailybeast.com/davidfrum.html

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About the Author

Eduardo Moisés Peñalver is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of property and land use law.