McCain, military chaplains, materialism & more


After reading David R. Carlin’s endorsement of Sen. John McCain (“Two Cheers for John McCain,” May 9), I could not but feel disappointed by the continued whittling away of reasons why Catholics should vote Republican. Carlin makes the usual argument for abortion as a “Catholic issue,” then discusses his other reasons, which are more “American” than Catholic, as if they too were in line with Catholic moral teaching. Why is it so easy to argue against abortion and forget the Republican position on capital punishment? Why is it so easy to dismiss the corporatism that drains funding for public services that help reduce abortions in the first place? Why the amnesia about how we backed Saddam against Iran for so many years (until two weeks before he invaded Kuwait)?

I think the Vatican has been more than explicit on all these issues. Let’s not pretend that voting for a Republican makes one any more morally consistent or any more Catholic. “Patriotism,” hard or soft, is not faithfulness, and pacifism captures much more of the gospel than preemptive war. Passing off Americanism as consistent with Catholic social and moral teaching is disingenuous and regrettable.


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