A Defense of Single-Issue Voting

by Steve Ray on September 25, 2020


A Defense of Single-Issue Voting

Howard Kainz: Without a firm insistence on the right to life, all civil rights are in jeopardy.

Catholics in the United States have traditionally been associated with the Democratic Party. In the 19th and 20th centuries, when so many Catholics were from working-class, immigrant families, often subjected to prejudice (and easily inspired by the social-justice encyclicals of popes Leo XIII, Pius XI, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II), Catholics mostly gravitated to the party that seemed to embody commitment to equality, concern for immigrants and the underprivileged, and against profiteering by bosses and landlords and the capitalist elite.

8db121b8-db82-4145-9a95-172a39180f46Those of us who are pro-life, and bring up the subject of politics to fellow Catholics, will often hear the counter-claim that they are for “social justice” – as if these were two opposed ideologies.

And they harbor the stereotype of Republicans as people who show no concern for the poor and disadvantaged, and continually oppose progressive implementation of civil rights. That conservatives give more to charity, for example, is dismissed with a wave of the hand, as if contributions to churches and missionary work, etc., can’t compare with the “charity” of government ruled by Democrats.

          Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 8.05.20 AM  The strangest misrepresentation of Republicans has to do with civil rights. Historically, every civil rights advance up to the 1964 Civil Rights Act was engineered by Republicans – the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Reconstruction Act of 1867, anti-lynching bills, anti-poll-tax bills, desegregation of public schools, final implementation of President Truman’s desegregation of the military, and the establishment of the 1958 Civil Rights Commission. In 1967, President Nixon’s “Philadelphia Plan” applied “affirmative action” to the building trades. And thereafter, it expanded to other economic sectors in which there had been a pattern of discrimination.

How, then, did the stereotype of Republicans as pin-striped, cigar-smoking, elite power-brokers, indifferent to civil rights, get established in the minds of so many, including Catholics? The fact that the Republican Party has offered multi-millionaires or billionaires as candidates for the presidency in the last three elections has not been helpful to the image.

Click here to read the rest of Professor Kainz’ column . . .


1) Bishop Donald J. Hying writes:  How to vote according to our Catholic faith

2) Survey finds correlation between Catholic Mass attendance, political views

3) Excellent summary below by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield Illinois

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Govern September 25, 2020 at 9:15 PM

I might be missing something, but to me, the murder of millions of innocents far outpaces any other evil in my lifetime. Those that support abortion are morally corrupt. Nothing that they do to help others in need, or with life issues, can make it up. It is like saying that Nazis who killed Jews were OK because they loved their families. Sometimes a single issue is so big that all other issues do not equal it. I believe that the divisiveness in our country has its roots in Roe vs Wade. There is no middle ground on the question of abortion, and their should not be.

STEVE RAY HERE: could not have said it better Tom! Thanks as always for your excellent input!

Pat Hamilton September 29, 2020 at 11:43 AM

I also find it most curious that the Catholic Church devotes ONE month to pro life issues. We do not even hear prayers for the unborn and against assisted suicide in the weekend Mass prayers of the faithful in a consistent basis. Why do we not hear those prayers at EVERY Mass? And why is it that a Catholic woman convert has founded an organization that speaks more powerfully and more frequently against abortion and for all life than all our priests and bishops (Lila Rose/Live Action)? Is it any wonder that the richest, most powerful country in the world does not have its own sons entering the priesthood, but must import our priest from Nigeria, India and other countries? We pray for vocations at almost every Mass, but what is there to inspire the faithful? And finally, why did I not see any Catholic clergy at the Return/Prayer March this past weekend? (Please let me know if I just missed it!)

STEVE RAY HERE: Oh, you didn’t miss anything. You are right on point. A lot of Catholics are asking the same questions. I love the Catholic Church but there has never been a golden age and this sure is not one either. Too many bishops and priests today are more politicians than pastors.

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