Sunday, September 14, 2008

Franciscan University of Steubenville Pro-Life Leader Says "Vote Obama"


FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY OF STEUBENVILLE ALUMNA PROCLAIMS: "My Catholic Faith Pushes Me To Obama"

Kari Lundgren was a pro-life student leader when she was an undergraduate at the conservative Catholic Franciscan University of Steubenville. In a moving and insightful essay, she calls for the election of Barack Obama.

She writes: "As a Catholic, I think Sen. Barack Obama is the best candidate for President of the United States...[While a student at Steubenville] I prayed for an end to abortion and the conversion of souls, I also saw the depressed ex-steel town in which the university resided, and I felt a disconnect between the spiritual fervency on campus and the poverty surrounding it. I was ashamed to have the money to be a full-time student when the neighborhoods next door to the university were filled with dilapidated houses and people forced out of work when the steel mills closed...

The general assumption that a good Catholic voted Republican began to grate on me, because so many of the GOP policies were in direct violation of Catholic teaching about human dignity. How could the party of unregulated corporate greed be the party for solidarity withthe poor? I started wondering if maybe more could be done to solve the abortion problem by addressing the socioeconomic causes...

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know using the logo from Franciscan gives the impression that the University is backing Obama. Shame on you!

Christy said...

That's nitpicking. To me, it gives the impression that the author of the article mentioned is from Franciscan.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, Christy....

Anonymous said...

maybe FUS is backing Obama!

Sean said...

Trust me, if you know anything about Steubenville, you know it is a highly conservative college. It is absolutely amazing that one of their students is an Obama supporter. This shows that the Republicans are in deep trouble with young religious voters.

Rustler45 said...

KARI SAID: "The general assumption that a good Catholic voted Republican began to grate on me...."

You got it all wrong Kari. A good Catholic never votes Democrat. That's the party of the Marxist extremists wackos. Vote Republican only when they stand for something. Sometimes you vote for the lesser of two evils. Republicans are always the lesser of the two. That means they are evil as well. It's just a case of Marxists and Marxist extremists.

Just because the Republicans are evil doesn't mean that the Democrats are nice.

Sean said... "This shows that the Republicans are in deep trouble with young religious voters."

Now just how do you come to that conclusion? All the young religious voters that actually believe in the Catholic faith are voting for McCain and not because they think he's the greatest. They are afraid of voting 3rd party and causing Obama to win.

They don't really have to worry though. Obama is going down fast.

As a matter of fact, I don't know many people who are voting FOR McCain. They are voting against Obama.

BTW the military is very anti-Obama. We all know what he is. It is such that if a military member is pro-Obama all the rest of us know who he is and are disgusted about it. Pro-obama is a super-minority.

You're right the first time in your life Sean. It is amazing that ONE student from Steubenville is an Obama supporter.

Anonymous said...

Read up about Kari Lundgren. It looks like she graduated from FUS over 10 years ago. This story is posted to try and discredit FUS. She is so far removed from Franciscan at this point it is funny!!

Anonymous said...

CatholicVote.com
I am a CATHOLIC, not a so called conservative or liberal!

Dan said...

I am Catholic, too. I think in many ways this shows how even a highly conservative institution like FUS cannot hide the core social values of the Catholic faith. This is similiar to the many young Evangelicals that are not accepting their elder's Republican partisanship but are invoking a broad and multifaced Christian social witness.

Betty said...

If FUS graduates are voting for Obama, it may not mean we are winning the election but it certainly means we are winning the Catholic vote.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

I think what is missing in all the comments to this blog post is Kari Lundgren's own accounting of how she was treated when she began asking the questions she felt were being ignored or downplayed in her studies about social justice and solidarity, two very important elements of Catholic social doctrine (not to downplay other elements, of course, like subsidiarity; I know there are those who would not forgive me if I forgot that one). Catholics can, in good faith, disagree with each other on a range of issues. But there is a mean-spiritedness that enters into the discussion on the part of some who would seem to try to bully others around to their own way of thinking; a mean-spiritedness that is hardly Catholic, and certainly not Franciscan in origin.

The other important point is that Kari was able to escape peer- and targeted academic-pressure in order to observe the human experiences of those her academic institution resided in the midst of. She was able to feel guilty for being able to afford to be a full-time student at a private university, while living among those struggling to survive. She was able to question how studies emphasizing a right-wing economic agenda were in solidarity with the poor. She was able to wonder, "How is that Catholic?".

We know that human experience, in itself, does not need theology to illuminate the obvious: that we are social subjects, those living as individuals with individual rights in tension with social responsibilities and the experience of relating with others. While our faith frames those things in theological terms, we know they can appeal just as powerfully in humanist terms; because human experience is the same, whether guided (and given deeper meaning) by faith or just struggling along to understand absent the guidance of faith. We have the ability, with or without faith, to look at someone in our community and see that they are struggling; and feel compelled to respond, both in charity and for justice.

I think that is why those on the right feel the need to "over-theologize" and accuse those of us on the left of being secular; because the same thing we frame using Church doctrine can also be framed in humanist language. But one cannot accuse someone else of being less than Catholic or spiritually corrupt using humanist language. One has to pervert sacred theology and invoke a "righteous anger" to achieve that.

In other words, you cannot invoke humanism when being ugly; but you can invoke humansim with or without the aid of theological argument.

ec said...

From Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Finn in Kansas City (whose opinions as successors to the apostles ought to be worth something to Catholics):

"Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion?

In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years?

Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason."

ec said...

Also, I'm tired of Obama supporters referring to his position on abortion as "nuanced."

It's intellectually dishonest and an abuse of the language. (Nuanced adj.: having nuances: Nuance n.: 1 : a subtle distinction or variation )

There's nothing subtle about Sen. Obama stance on legalized abortion; he is completely in favor of it as his voting record makes abundantly clear; that he has occasionally tried to hide his record and beliefs in order to gain votes does not make his position "nuanced."

You might as well say John McCain has a "nuanced" stance on the Iraq war...

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

Sure their opinion means something as Successors to the Apostles, particularly within the jurisdiction of their diocese. So reach out to all the folks in Kansas City and let them know what their bishops' opinion is. Not that that will have any impact on the voting demographics in Kansas City.

As for the rest of us, the "proportionate reason" argument exists for a reason, and it does not exist solely as a clever way of announcing there are no proportionate reasons.

From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, aka, Pope Benedict XVI, whose opinion as Successor of Peter should mean something:

"N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons" [emphasis added].

Kurt said...

Personally, we cannot conceive...

The Episcopacy is deserving of respect. ALL of the episcopacy and not just the selected bishops that say something you agree with.

To their credit, the only demand Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Finn put on other Catholics, invoking their office, is that they ask themselves serious questions. They make no demand as to how they answer it. The very precisely note that the conclusion they come to is "personal" and episcopal.

Rustler45 said...

DEMO SAID: But there is a mean-spiritedness that enters into the discussion on the part of some who would seem to try to bully others....

And you would know about that wouldn't you Demo? You did an excellent job of demonstrating true mean spiritedness in your unkind mean spirited remark about Sarah Palin's baby. So tell us about mean spiritedness.

"In other words, you cannot invoke humanism when being ugly; but you can invoke humansim with or without the aid of theological argument."

That's great Demo! Now practice what you preach.

And I just love this next one:

DEMO SAID: "I think that is why those on the right feel the need to "over-theologize" and accuse those of us on the left of being secular...."

Ya know what Demo? A heretic is a heretic is a heretic, but you guys seem to think that you can talk your way around it.

You have learned Marxist rhetoric in a most excellent manner. As a political "science" (i.e., communist) major you should be proud.

Definition of "mean spiritedness":
Liberals just love that term "mean spiritedness." Here's what it means to them.

1. Any terminology that disagrees with Democrat socialist (i.e., Marxist) ideals.

2. Being so mean that you won't let someone kill their baby since "babies are a punishment."

3. Killing killers who kill because of low self-esteem.

4. Using grapic pictures of aborted babies.

5. Wanting to keep what is rightfully yours and calling it private property.

6. Pointing out that the poor really could take a job.

7. Spanking children.

8. Pointing out that prisons really are full of bad people.

9. "Forcing your morals" on others.

10. Refusing to give pro-choice politicians communion.

11. True faith, hope, and charity.

12. Allowing your child to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. That is just meen meen meen.

13. Insisting that government stay out of the Church's charitable organizations.

14. Insisting that marriage is between a man and a woman.

15. Insisting that the priesthood is not for women or homos.

16. Insisting that abstinence is the correct method before marriage.

17. Insisting that one go to confession before receiving communion.

18. Hinting that liberalism is a mortal sin.

19. Doubting the humanitarian merits of socialism.

20. Suggesting that pro-choice and pro-abortion are the same thing.

DEMO SAID: "... two very important elements of Catholic social doctrine (not to downplay other elements, of course, like subsidiarity...."

Please fill us in on "solidarity" and "subsidiarity."

Rustler45 said...

DEMO ON THE POPE: "...it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons"

RUSTLER RESPONDS: THERE ARE NO PROPORTIONATE REASONS FOR VOTING FOR OBAMA.

Your argument fails.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"RUSTLER RESPONDS: THERE ARE NO PROPORTIONATE REASONS FOR VOTING FOR OBAMA.

Your argument fails."

No it does not. You, yourself cannot decide via fiat that there are not proportionate reasons.

Katherine said...

proportionate reasoning is, by definition, a matter of private reasoning and not ecclesial discipline.

Rustler45 said...

DEMO SAID: "As for the rest of us, the 'proportionate reason' argument exists for a reason, and it does not exist solely as a clever way of announcing there are no proportionate reasons."

As of yet none of you have been able to verbalize such "proportionate reasons."

KATHERINE SAID: "proportionate reasoning is, by definition, a matter of private reasoning and not ecclesial discipline."

Oh really? This private reasoning should be obvious to all. So far, you haven't come up with any.

Now quit keeping it a secret.

Rustler45 said...

Demo, you keep harping and whining about good-faith dialogue, so why have you answered the question below the quote from you?

DEMO SAID: "... two very important elements of Catholic social doctrine (not to downplay other elements, of course, like subsidiarity...."

Please fill us in on "solidarity" and "subsidiarity."


Don't you know what those two are or did you just throw them out to sound knowledgeable.

Rustler45 said...

Typo correction:

Demo, you keep harping and whining about good-faith dialogue, so why have[n't] you answered the question below the quote from you?

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"Demo, you keep harping and whining about good-faith dialogue, so why have[n't] you..."

Oh, please. For somebody who keeps whining about other people whining, you're doing an awful lot of whining.

Rustler45 said...

DEMO WHINES: "Oh, please. For somebody who keeps whining about other people whining, you're doing an awful lot of whining."

Nah Demo, I just want the questions answered. You're whining is nothing more than smoke screen to keep from answering. What are you afraid of?

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"Demo, ...so why have[n't] you answered the question below the quote from you?"

Which question? This one

"Please fill us in on 'solidarity' and 'subsidiarity'?"

Martin Murrow said...

FUS is basically the Young Republicans at prayer. When a FUS pro-life leader has come over to Obama, the McCain campaign is in deep trouble. Kudos to you, Katherine along with "Catholic Demcorats" and "Roman Catholics for Obama." In 2004 we were silent as Republicans pretended to be the only spokesperson for the Catholic faith. Once progressive Catholics spoke up, the Catholic vote started coming home.

Anonymous said...

Huh? FUS doesn't even have a College Democrats club. It is dominated by Republicans. Sam Brownback spoke there just this month to standing-room only. FUS is McCain/Palin land!

BTW... McCain is winning CHURCH-GOING Catholics by 16 points!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah the McCain camp is in big trouble because a "rebel" student at franciscan is supporting Obama. Give me a break. There has always been some little sort of opposition to Republicans at Franciscan.

And you guys are rejoicing that One of those liberals got out and wrote a blog post. OMG! I am in CRs here and we have registered over 500 people to vote so far. That is a quarter of our student population.

Our School will never support a pro-infanticide, pro-gay marriage, pro-sex ed for kindergarteners, jerk who claims that he really cares about he poor and the environment but flies around in his own private jet.

One thing is for sure, Franciscan is 99.9% for McCain over Obama.

You guys are a joke.

BTW Kari Lundgren is an even bigger joke. Go read her blog post. Its lacking heavily in intelligence AND Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

BTW the Catholic Church does not support moral relativism and therefore doesn't allow for their followers to vote for a pro-abort over a clear cut "culture of life" candidate like John McCain.

John McCain has done more for social justice than Obama has.

Steven said...

Wow, one graduate out of thousands from FUS supports Obama. Big freakin' deal! Come to campus and take a look around...Obama has made absolutely no inroads.

Katherine said...

FUS doesn't even have a College Democrats club. It is dominated by Republicans

I think that is the point. Even in the very den of the right wing, cracks are appearing. McCain's Catholic outreach director dimisses 90% of Catholic colleges as inauthentic. CUA, with a traditionally Republican student body is contributing great help tp Obama.

Conservatives are trying to redefine Catholicism as only what is present at a small and narrow number of schools (FUS, Christendom College, etc.). Go to it! The best thing Catholics for Obama has going for us is the tendency of conservative Catholics to retreat into their ghetto rather than to engage broad numbers of people.

Anonymous said...

Shameful and desperate is how I'd characterize this. Man, you're Catholics--doesn't that mean anything to you? Bearing false witness is a sin against the 8th Commandment, people. I pray that you focus on Jesus only, not some political ravings that facilitate posting anything to win, no matter the cost. And the cost IS steep. The student goes to Carnegie Mellon--say it with us...

Rustler45 said...

"Conservatives are trying to redefine Catholicism as only what is present at a small and narrow number of schools (FUS, Christendom College, etc.)."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA

That's really classic Katherine. Conservatives are "redefining" Catholicism!!!!

You just don't grasp conservatism do you. By definition conservatism doesn't redefine things. That's for the Marxists. Those schools are conservative because the believe in the true faith of Catholicism not the other way around. Are you so wacko that you think that refusing to give communion to a heretic is "redefining" Catholicism? You Katherine don't know what Catholicism is.

KATHERINE ACCURATELY SAID: "McCain's Catholic outreach director dimisses 90% of Catholic colleges as inauthentic."

And the Cardinal Newman Society agrees with that and lists only 21 schools as authentically Catholic. Those of us who believe the Catholic Church is the one true faith and that it does not teach that you can believe things that contradict the Teaching Magisterium know how to find out which "Catholic" schools are wacko and which are not.

You would be very comfortable in any of those wacko schools.

Anonymous said...

I'm FUS Class of '05. I'm pro-life and pro-Obama. Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

I graduated FUS class of 2000 and want you to know that you make some great points in your blog. While I'm not voting Obama (I feel compelled to vote 3rd party), I agree with most of what you have written about. I too think it is embarrassing how the FUS campus often times cannonizes Republican politicians while overlooking many of their policies in direct contradiction of well formed Catholic world view. This shitty, simpleton way of looking at the world has got to stop. It's great to see someone discussing the larger picture of what our Catholic faith compels us and the issues that to often the students at FUS dismiss as superfluous.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Steubenville and attended Catholic schools up until graduating high school, under the shadow of FUS from the age of eight. While I've never been a part of the Charsimatic movement that the school is known for, I've always held it in high regard and have been very close to people who attended the school there or are simply very influenced by it.

But I have to say, the close-minded and blind opposition toe Democrats and their candidates such as Obama has struck me as little more than pure hypocrisy. The teachings of the Catholic Church urge one to value life, this much is irrefutable, but to accept without question that the Republicans are the closest one can get to protecting this and that Democrats are the pawns of Satan is disgusting. God gave you all a brain and the ability to logic: USE IT.

This campaign, particularly on McCain's side has descended into one of perpetuating hatred, fear and lies with little to no respect for their opponents and a VP-wannabe who thinks this behavior and inciting what are little more than lynch mobs can be justified by some holy crusade with little knowledge of what she's actually doing.

As for me? Well, I'm actually okay with people not sharing the same ideological and/or political ideas with me, so long as I'm treated with the same respect as I try to give to others. In fact, I encourage differences. It's the only way to keep the world from shifting from one extreme to another when even basic biology tells us that we must remain at a certain balance to not only survive by the thrive.

And I'm voting for Obama. I'm both for Obama and against McCain. Why? Because McCain's past record and current behavior tells me that he is only using the religious base as cheap, political means to an end, which is tragic and horrifying, an ultimate betrayal to those who do hold to these beliefs (and rightfully so) and that he doesn't hold much regard for life, both for the mother and child after the child is born by doing nothing to support them and help them create a life where they're not a drain on the government and for the brave and honorable soldiers off at war that McCain has claimed he doesn't want to end until there is a proud/honorable victory. Pride over livelihood? That smacks awfully close to ego, Senator McCain.

And then you have Obama who wants to fix the economy, make the government respect women as much as the men (not just with reproductive rights) but with protecting them against domestic violence (like with the VAWA written by Joe Biden) and equal pay for women, provide health care, and make college more accessible, all things that will not only encourage more women to make the right choice in their pregnancies by choosing to keep their children and then by providing the children a much fuller life, one worth living. That, to me, is a man who values life so much more.

So, yes, there are some Catholic Democrats in Steubenville, and that, in part, has a lot to with a man who genuinely seems to care for his fellow man - his fellow American - and who gives hope that the president is not the only man who can change the country and the world for the better but that I and my fellow Americans can.

Anonymous said...

Lundgren fails to point out that the issue is not just about abortion in this country, but a Dem administration that will almost assurdly encourage the exporting of abortion through the UN to countries overseas.

Katherine said...

I doubt it.