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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, August 08, 2008

New York Times Article on Obama Wooing Catholic Vote

Here is an interesting article recently published in the New York Times about Obama and Catholic voters. The article has some interesting discussion about the possibility of Obama giving a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic Convention to Senator Bob Casey, son of the pro-life Senator Casey who was shut out of the 1992 Democratic Convention for his views on abortion.
Mr. Casey's appearance would be an important signal to Catholics, especially those who follow church teachings and oppose abortion. Mr. Obama could also use his choice of a vice-presidential running mate to reassure Roman Catholics. Among those that his campaign is vetting is Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a Roman Catholic whose faith has been part of his political identity. At least three other Catholics have also been mentioned as possible running mates: Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Although abortion is central to the political crosscurrents around Catholics - Ms. Sebelius has vetoed a number of bills that would restrict abortion rights in Kansas, prompting the archbishop of Kansas City to suggest that she stop receiving communion - part of Mr. Obama's strategy is to emphasize that there are other issues on which they can base their votes. It would be a way to address the perception that Mr. Obama has a "Catholic problem."
The article has some more claptrap from Doug Kmiec:
Douglas W. Kmiec, a conservative Catholic legal scholar at Pepperdine School of Law, said that although the formal teachings of the American Catholic bishops put primacy on the sanctity of life, including fetuses and embryos, doctrine allows for voting on other grounds, including the Iraq war, which the Vatican has opposed from the start.

Mr. Kmiec, a Republican who served in the Justice Department under President Ronald Reagan, said he was supporting Mr. Obama because his platform met the standard of justice and concern for the poor the church has always defended. This year, Mr. Kmiec was denied communion by a priest at a gathering of Catholic business people because of his support for Mr. Obama. Mr. Kmiec said, "The proper question for Catholics to ask is not 'Can I vote for him?' but 'Why shouldn't I vote for the candidate who feels more passionately and speaks more credibly about economic fairness for the average family, who will be a true steward of the environment, and who will treat the immigrant family with respect?' "
Interesting, no mention of Iraq War. That makes Kmiec's "proper question" even more intellectually dishonest. Kmiec is implying that McCain intends economic injustice, environmental destruction, and violations of immigrant's human rights, which is just not true. (I'm not saying that McCain's policies are all wonderful, but he's not the demon that Kmiec implies him to be.)

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