Friday, October 31, 2008

A Letter from the Murphy's

October 20,2008

Dear Friends,

In the interests of helping expedite a new demand by the McCain campaign, per Rich Davis who today on MSNB's "Morning Joe" show alleged that "enough questions have been raised by the media that "all of Obama's small donors should be disclosed online", my husband and I have decided to step forward and add ourselves to the GOP Hit list the McCain campaign is apparently compiling for use after the election.

My husband and I are Disability Advocates and Adoptive Parents of Special Needs Children, Catholic and Evangelical Christian, Pro-life with the scars to prove it ---particularly on behalf of youth and adults with disabilities, and we are definitely "small" donors but we have strong feelings about this election, enough that we have committed ourselves and our resources to Sen. Obama, Sen. Biden, and the entire Democratic campaign straight on toward morning !!!

We have so, so many friends in the adoption, disability, and Christian communities who will be shocked and horrified at that statement ---and we expect backlash from those who choose to judge rather than listen to our reasons---but in the words of Edmund Burke:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Once upon a time ---actually only 7 weeks or so ago, we had a great deal of respect for Sen. McCain and were pleasantly surprised by his choice of running mate, Sarah Palin, because of our deep respect for Nat Hentoff, one of the strongest voices for life among liberal and social justice journalists, and a friend who had helped us "make the injustice visible" on disability rights concerns in the "lives-worth-living"/euthanasia debate, who believed her choice to birth, keep and raise her child with Down Syndrome was one of principle rather than convenient and cynical politics.

For one shining moment, we actually believed America would be in safe hands no matter which party prevailed in the election! THEN she and Sen. McCain began their Hate-Speech tirades ----and outright Lies repeated over and over without regard to the facts---followed by Race-baiting, Incitement of Crowds to Violent Rhetoric, Vicious Robo-Calls and GOP Hate Literature calling for "Waterboarding" Obama if not outright assassination appeals, and now intentional Voter Intimidation (what else can you call McCain protesters verbally assaulting peaceful lines of Black US citizens waiting for their chance to vote Sunday afternoon so they don't have to take off work during the week---Just Yesterday! In North Carolina!).

As an Attorney with 25 years experience, even though presently a Full-Time Mom, I am horrified reading the history of the Palin involvement in an anti-America militia-based Secessionist movement, let alone the Troopergate reports and documents chronicling the family's total disregard for the Law, let alone Ethical Considerations, in their systematic and intentional Abuse of Power to target their personal enemies by misuse of governmental resources and connections.

When a major candidate, Sen. John McCain, and his campaign chooses to bless behavior that consists of FIRING SOMEONE BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO BREAK THE LAW FOR THEM, as Gov. Palin obviously did, we have reached the heights of hypocrisy as well as the depths of potential "just following orders" evil as did the Nazis.

And how dare a War Hero such as McCain choose a running mate who mayor may not even be able to pledge allegiance to our flag, let alone promise to uphold the US Constitution, whose expressed intentions include allowing her husband (whose public 7 year plus membership in an anti-American organization committed to "infiltrating" the major parties makes most national security clearance out of the question) to fully participate in a McCain-Palin administration of expanded Cheney type Vice-Presidential command, and who would be merely a heartbeat/or declaration of incapacity away from the Presidency and full control of our military, including nuclear arsenals.

Furthermore, contrary to Sen. McCain's *SERIOUSLY INSULTING TO THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY* declaration that "she knows more than any other American I know about special needs" (which just reinforces the evidence of how Out of Touch he has become!), Sarah Palin has NO expertise in this field; she even cut Alaska Special Olympics budgets by 50% or more during her very first months as Governor!!! Using her handy special needs newborn as a stageprop "poster child" to attract gullible parents' votes ( instead of making sure Trig receives the care, environmental stability, bonding love for attachment, nurture, early intervention, protection from stress, plenty of rest, and non-exposure to high-decibel noise at rallies, let alone potential exposure to contagious disease, that he needs and deserves) leads many to question her parenting priorities as well as her obvious lack of credibility on the subject of special needs.

Sen. McCain DISHONORS the entire disability rights movement, from the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, to Education of All Handicapped Children's Act of 1978 (now IDEA –Individuals with Disabilities Education Act),to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, when he and Sarah Palin pander for the "special needs community" votes while patronizing and insulting the intelligence of the grassroots network of self-advocates, parents, family members, allies, dedicated professionals and other disability advocates who risked and sacrificed to free their brothers and sisters from lifetimes of institutionalization and isolation from society.

My husband, a Life-Long Disability Advocate with extensive legal advocacy and legislative experience since the 70s, deeply fears the type of retaliation and discrimination he, and anyone else choosing to exercise their First Amendment Rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, will suffer under a McCain-Palin regime. We and our special needs children already have enough obstacles to overcome, thank you, without fearing that even our disability and special needs adoption advocacy and community participation as citizens will not go unpunished.

Oh, you say, that could never happen! Well, you are wrong, it has and it can again! Not only have I spent half my life defending my choice to convert to Catholicism from terrible attacks by Christian evangelicals whose actual statements of faith are nearly identical, if not the same, as my own; but I, as Executive Director of Access International, Inc. since 1990 (a disability advocacy fellowship of youth and adults with and without disabilities working together to help each other and others) have received actual written Death Threats from "Right to Lifers" (ie: National Right to Life Association members and donors) whose agenda is anti-abortion EXCEPT for babies with special needs, and anti-life itself for all those "cripples" whose lives are worthless and "unproductive".

We live in VERY DANGEROUS TIMES!!! By the grace of God, we have a Last Chance to redeem our nation from the brink of further international wars and catastrophic economic collapse by choosing a candidate committed to Leadership instead of authoritarian and partisan domination; offering Hope for peace and prosperity instead of hate, division and abandonment of the poor for the enrichment of the wealthy; Celebrating the incredible Diversity of the American dream instead of merely tolerating, or even more often condemning, anyone who is different in color, race, ethnic background, faith, lifestyle or intellectual or physical ability. As for LIFE ISSUES: how can I as a Catholic or my husband as a Christian Evangelical vote against someone who claims to be Pro-Life? Pretty easy when you see through the claims, to the reality that lies beneath.

The so-called "right to life" advocates oppose comprehensive Health Care as a Right for all, and until our nation can provide for the medical and rehabilitative needs of all its citizens equitably, the blood of every person who has died or suffered by being turned away or denied benefits will be on their hands ---let alone the blood of every child aborted by birthparents because they could not, in their minds, afford to carry a special needs baby to term or afford the costs of additional health care, even for a typical child, if they added to their family.

And what about our escalating infant mortality rates in the US? Pera report in the Washington Post on October 15th, the United States "this most powerful and wealthiest country in the history of the world today ranks 29th among all nations. 29th! In 2000, we ranked 27th.

In 1960, 12th." Even more glaring, according to the CDC, African–American infant mortality in the US is more than twice these national averages!

And then we have another 4,000 plus American lives (not to mention our allies' losses, Iraqi losses and innocent civilians) lost in Iraq alone because of Lies by Bush-Cheney, with no likelihood of significantly different national defense strategies anytime soon under the 90% Bush-voting Sen. McCain; and another 40-50,000+ US veterans returning with serious disabilities, whose medical and rehabilitation needs are often barely being met, if at all, and for whom independent living and community options are few and far between due to 5-10 year long waiting lists for help.

Recent statistics from Disabled Veterans of America (2.9 million veterans are disabled; about 181,000 from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars) indicate that Sen. Obama has supported their concerns 80% of the time, as opposed to 20% of the time by Sen. McCain, who has consistently opposed increased funding for medical care from the Veteran's Administration, at one point being only one of 13 Senators to do so in a 2006 vote.

Caring for others throughout their lives is also often tragically overlooked by a "pro-life" movement that demands protection for the unborn, yet often ignores the needs of our 500,000 foster children, roughly 150,000 adoptable special needs children, warehoused in various degrees of state-supervised limbo instead of being nurtured and loved in permanent families; not to mention the growing numbers of homeless men, women and children in our "great nation" which prides itself on tax-credits for the rich.

As Christians who take Christ at his word when he says to follow Him in ministering to the "poorest of the poor" rather than those whose treasures are earthly, we agree with Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Nigeria as he explained in an October 11 interview with National Catholic Reporter:

"The fact that you oppose abortion doesn't necessarily mean that you are pro-life. You can be anti-abortion and still be killing people by the millions, through war, through poverty, and so on...If my choice is between the person who makes room for abortion but who is really pro-life in terms of justice in the world, peace in the world, I will prefer him to somebody who doesn't support abortion but who is driving millions of people in the world to death."

As Disability Advocates, we must agree with Justin Dart, one of the fathers of the Americans With Disabilities Act, who in 2002 with his dying breath adamantly protested : "the richest culture in the history of the world which still incarcerates millions of humans with and without disabilities in barbaric institutions, backrooms and worse, windowless cells of oppressive perceptions, for the lack of the most elementary empowerment supports."

Please decide today to join us in supporting Sen. Barack Obama for President, Sen. Joe Biden for Vice-President, Sen. Tom Udall for New Mexico's next Senator, and ALL the Democrats who share their Vision for America WITH JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!

And who will endorse the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, "the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century", which has already been ratified by more than 110 nations across the world, but NOT the United States of America.

The time has come for Americans to join in making their decisions of conscience, just as others who have gone before: In 1996, confronted by a Republican Party calling for "a retreat from Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln democracy," Dart campaigned for the re-election of President Clinton. This was a personally difficult "decision of conscience." Dart had been a Republican for most of his life, and had organized the disability constituency campaigns of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush, campaigning against Clinton in 1992. But in a turnabout that was reported in the New York Times and the Washington Post, Dart went all out for Clinton, even speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The Darts yet again undertook a whirlwind tour of the country, telling people to "get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does." At his speech the day after the election, President Clinton publicly thanked Dart for personally campaigning in all fifty states, and cited his efforts as "one reason we won some of those states."We want to personally echo Justin's words as we endorse the Obama-Biden candidacy for the Presidency of the United States:

"Our lives, our children's lives, the quality of the lives of billions in future generations hangs in the balance."And"get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does."

Thank you for listening! Please will all the rest of the "small donors" for Obama step forward here to state their cases as well!

Perhaps that way the GOP Hit list will end up so long they won't be able to target everyone.

Very TRULY yours,

Lawrence & Patti Murphy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Catholics for Obama Website


Catholic Democrats has launched a new Web site Catholics for Obama. It provides a petition for Catholics to sign and a booklet, The Catholic Case for Obama, by the eminent Catholic layman Patrick Whelan, MD PhD, with a preface by Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

I would highly recommend this Web site, which provides a comprehensive resource for Catholics to better understand how Senator Obama and the policies he supports best reflect Catholic Social Teaching.

At the Web site, you will have the opportunity to sign a petition endorsing Senator Obama's candidacy for President. Signing the petition will add your name to thousands of other Catholics who are putting themselves forward as witnesses to our enthusiasm as Catholics for the election of Barack Obama.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Message from Martin Sheen


Reflection on Faith and Politics by Catholic Actor Supporting Obama
Martin Sheen, star of The West Wing and a devout Catholic, sat down with the Matthew 25 Network to discuss his Catholic upbringing in Dayton, Ohio, the influence of faith in politics and his support for Senator Obama.

You can listen to Martin Sheen's video message here: http://www.matthew25.org/sheen_message.htm

We hope you will take the time to view the extended interviews on faith and politics with Martin Sheen and Doug Kmiec, former Reagan legal counsel and author of Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama. All the interviews are posted on the Matthew 25 Network website.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Polls Show Obama Lead Due to Catholic Vote





New opinion polls show not only a respectable lead for Barack Obama, but that much of the lead is due to the strong preference of Catholic voters for Obama. A Zogby poll released Friday (a firm usually thought to favor Republicans) shows a 10 point national lead for Obama. Among Catholic voters, the lead zooms to a 22 point advantage. Non-evangelical white Protestants give Obama a 4 point lead. White Evangelical or "born-again" voters back McCain by 60 per cent to 34 per cent for Mr Obama.

The poll follows one by the Pew Foundation that shows the same results. Currently, every significant national poll shows Obama in the lead among the general public and with Catholic voters. A run down includes: Diageo/Hotline (+7), ABC News (+11), Kos (+8), Gallup (+6), Tarrance (+3), IBP (+1), CBS News (+13) and Greenberg (+8). Of course, the only poll that counts is the one on election day. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN!

Friday, October 24, 2008

EWTN: "McCain is Not Pro-Life"


EWTN clearly has a conservative tilt. So it is quite remarkable that they firmly assert that John McCain is not pro-life. See it for yourselves.



EWTN "on abortion John McCain's position is not consistent with Catholic teaching"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YTFJPir9BM

Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor in Chief, CNS News Service, interviewed on EWTN:
"On abortion John McCain's view is not consistent with Catholic teaching."
A lot of McCain for President Catholics are in some sort of denial.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bill Donohue Prepares for the Padded Room


Right Wing Catholic Bill Donohue Appears to Go Totally Nuts
Has near breakdown as Catholic vote speeds towards Obama

Bill Donohue, hard right political activist and head of the "Catholic League" (unrelated to any official arm of the Catholic Church) has practically descended into a fit of nonsensical rage as millions of lay Catholics prepare to vote to make Barack Obama our next president.

Donohue, who regularly spews rage to the degree he makes Rush Limbaugh look like a policy analyst for the Brooking Institution, has reached the bonkers level.

On October 20, Donohue practiced his favorite sport of putting out press releases intemperately defending the right wing cause. On this occasion he had a fit over two Catholic organizations (Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good) receiving contributions from the Open Society Fund.

Donohue snarled: "Why would any Catholic organization take money from a man like George Soros? Because legitimate sources of revenue aren't available? And why would Soros have any interest in funding Catholic groups? He doesn't give the Catholic League any money."

As it turns out many Catholic organizations receive support from the Open Society Fund, including Catholic Charities, several dioceses and other episcopally approved and officially church connected organizations. True, it might not meet Donohue's definition of giving to a Catholic group -- namely his own nutzoid organization.

Faced with looking like an absolute fool, Donohue came back with a lame response that “Unlike the three Catholic organizations cited by Korzen, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance are apologists for abortion."

Neither of these groups supports abortion, as they repeatedly have stated. Pressed for some thin thread of evidence that these groups are pro-abortion, Donohue whined he could not find a statement from them supporting legislation to ban partial birth abortion. Actually, both of these groups were founded after the law banning partial birth abortion was signed into law.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

'Catholic Right' in Near Meltdown


Tough Times for the Catholic Right


by Chris Korzen




Right wing Catholic groups celebrated earlier this month when Scranton bishop Joseph Martino ordered his priests to read a letter at Mass tacitly proclaiming that it was immoral for Catholics to vote for Obama. Things have been going south for them ever since.

These organizations - groups like Bill Donohue's Catholic League, Deal Hudson's InsideCatholic.com, Fidelis, and Catholic Answers - had hoped this year for a reprise of 2004, when independent Catholic voters propelled Bush to victory in Ohio. Once again, they dumped millions into advertising and media campaigns in an attempt to convince Catholics that abortion is the overriding issue at the ballot box.

But this time around, the faithful aren't buying it. According to the polls, Catholics have consistently named the economy as the number one concern affecting their votes this year. As E.J. Dionne wrote in his Washington Post column yesterday, "Catholics, who are quintessential swing voters and gave narrow but crucial support to President Bush in 2004, are drifting toward Barack Obama. And this time, some church leaders are suggesting that single-issue voting is by no means a Catholic commandment." Indeed, this week both Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gambino Zavala and Memphis Bishop J. Terry Steib cautioned against approaches to Catholic voting that overlook key social justice concerns.

Like so many things, saying that a candidate's position on abortion makes him or her unfit for the Catholic vote works better in theory than practice. The Catholic right's message loses its effectiveness when voters realize it uses the same logic that impelled Catholic voters to re-elect Bush in 2004 - whose presidency turned out to be a disaster for Catholic values and the nation as a whole. Republican apologists like Deal Hudson conveniently avoid this recent history. But as Melinda Henneberger points out on Slate.com, Catholic voters in Pennsylvania remember all-too-well the past eight years.

A subtle but key shift in the Democrats' abortion messaging has played a key role in changing the Catholic political landscape. While continuing to affirm its traditional pro-choice legal stance, under Obama's leadership the party has embraced abortion reduction measures that provide health care, child care, education, and other essential supports for vulnerable pregnant women. Despite criticism from the right, it's a message that resonates remarkably well with the swing electorate - Catholic or otherwise. Obama's independent voter dials hit the roof when he answered the abortion question in the third debate; McCain's flatlined.

The Catholic right is also flummoxed by a resurgence of Catholic organizing around social justice issues like war, health care, and the economy. Groups such as Pax Christi USA, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United have a long way to go before they match the money, members, and infrastructure of the right's machine. Nonetheless, they have managed to keep up with their competition this year, reaching millions of Catholics through TV and radio ads, direct mail pieces, phone banks, and local press coverage. "Progressive Catholics have finally gotten their act together," Brian St. Paul, editor of Crisis Magazine and InsideCatholic.com told Religion News Service's Daniel Burke this month. "They are more organized and effective. Certainly they are a force."

In an outrageous display of just how desperate the right has become, Catholic League president William Donohue seized this week on "shocking" revelations that Catholics in Alliance had received grant money from George Soros' Open Society Institute. Right wing media organizations like InsideCatholic, Catholic News Agency, and LifeNews.com fell over themselves to report on this "evidence" that the group promotes a left-wing anti-Catholic agenda, only to find, embarrassingly, that OSI supports an agenda often very much in line with Catholic teaching, and has funded programs of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and many dioceses of the Catholic Church. It was not one of the right's finer moments.

The Catholic right isn't on the ropes quite yet. On Sunday, the Washington Post reported on the movement's redoubled efforts to sway Pennsylvania Catholic voters over the abortion issue, and it will be back to make a splash in the 2010 and 2012 elections - especially if the economy turns around. Regardless of who wins on November 4th, however, it's likely the Catholic right won't be able to claim victory - a remarkable turn of events from four years ago.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Bishops Speak Out Against One Issue Voting


Bishop of Memphis Calls on Catholics Not to be One Issue Voters


The Most Rev. J. Terry Steib, Bishop of Memphis, called upon Catholics to avoid being one issue voters. He asked them to follow their consciences and weigh all the moral issues they face before casting their ballots.

“We must recognize,” he wrote, “that God through the Church, is calling us to be prophetic in our own day. If our conscience is well formed, then we will make the right choices about candidates who may not support the Church's position in every case.”

Citing words from a statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” a voting guide issued last November by the Bishops of the United States, Steib wrote that "there may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible o nly for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil."

“A person might choose not to vote, but voting is a necessary part of our witness to Jesus Christ and a witness to our Baptism. So, sometimes hard choices will have to be made.”

Steib wrote that within the past few weeks some denominations have taken on the task of challenging the policy of the IRS concerning the Church and politics and that they were deliberately endorsing candidates and urging people in their congregations to vote for those persons in order to force the IRS to determine if the current policy of forbidding such endorsements is proper.

The Bishop called upon Catholics to be prudent when they form their consciences. “Prudence is not easy to define, but according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prudence helps us to ‘discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.’"
He posed the question facing many Catholics, asking what is a voter to do when presented with candidates whose views do not reflect the full teachings of the Church.

Bishop Steib's statement that Catholics should not be one issue voters was also proclaimed this week by the Most Rev. Gabino Zavala, a Roman Catholic bishop in California.

Bishop Zavala "What I believe, and what the church teaches, is that one abortion is too many. That's why I believe abortion is so important. But in light of this, there are many other issues we need to bring up, other issues we should consider, other issues that touch the reality of our lives."

The full text of Bishop Steib's statement is here: http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2236

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Should Catholics Trust McCain on Abortion?



Kari Lundgren, the Franciscan University of Stuebenville Alumna who wrote the earlier piece on Catholics and Obama has another article that might be interest. In it she quotes the exchange in the recent presidential debate in which McCain says:


SCHIEFFER: Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn't. Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator McCain?


MCCAIN: I would never and have never in all the years I've been there imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court. That's not appropriate to do.


SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?


MCCAIN: I thought it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of decisions that were bad. I think that decisions should rest in the hands of the states. I'm a federalist. And I believe strongly that we should have nominees to the United States Supreme Court based on their qualifications rather than any litmus test...I voted for Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences when presidents are nominated. This is a very important issue we're talking about.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Catholic College Hosts Election Discussion


What’s the role of Catholic social teaching and the common good in the 2008 presidential election?

Come watch a re-broadcast of the final presidential debate and join a lively moderated discussion examining how candidates’ positions would impact the common good raised up by Catholic social tradition.We will also look at Maryknoll’s election reflection guide, “Loving our neighbor in a shrinking world” which presents five areas of U.S. foreign policy crucial to the well being of people around the world.

(Guide available at http://www.maryknollogc.org/2008elections/index.htm)

Trinity Social Hall (Main Hall)
125 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC
Saturday, October 25,
1-5 p.m.1-2:30 p.m. – Replay of Oct. 15 presidential debate
3-5 p.m. – Discussion moderated by Kathy McNeely, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC), and Lou Maroulis, Maryknoll Affiliate

Co-sponsored by Trinity University (Washington) Campus Ministry

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

OBAMA ENDORSES BISHOPS' POSITION ON HEALTH CARE


BARACK OBAMA SAYS THE CATHOLIC WAY IS THE RIGHT WAY ON HEALTH INSURANCE


Presidential candidate Barack Obama has come out in agreement with the U.S. Catholic bishops on the important issue of health care coverage. Senator Obama agrees with the Church leaders that health care "should be a right for every American."

The Catholic bishops have called health care a "fundamental human right" and an "urgent national priority." The Catholic Church in the USA has supported universal health care longer than any other social actor, going back to 1919 -- before even the American Federation of Labor or the Socialist Party endorsed it.

Senator Obama's position is long standing. As an Illinois state senator, Obama introduced the “Bernardin Amendment,” which would have inserted language from a pastoral letter by the late Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin into a universal health care program. The amendment contained Cardinal Bernardin’s teaching: “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for society to ensure that every person is able to realize that right.” The bill, which did not pass, was to be funded with money taken from tobacco companies.

The Senator does not support a government run program like in the UK. His health care plan relies on economies of scale, based on large numbers of people choosing to enroll in the same kind of health insurance plan that covers the U.S. Congress if they are unhappy with their current coverage or don't have any. It leaves an importan trole for Catholic and other faith based health care providers.

McCain's plan is to tax employer sponsored health care and would result, in the opinion of many experts, with the end of broad insurance plans but with families paying most of their costs out of pocket. Dr. Patrick Whelan, a respected Catholic layman and leader of Catholic Democrats said "Sen. McCain's plan to tax employee health benefits just like all other income is a radical experiment that could result in an additional 20 million working people losing the health insurance they currently have."

Monday, October 13, 2008

D'uh!!


"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign-policy issues. I still need to be educated"


-- John McCain (4/09/08).


"The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have, he won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately"


-- John McCain (10/13/08).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Early Returns from Rome Look Good for Obama!


From Rome: Archbishop and Nun Speak Out for Barack Obama

Sister Cecilia Gaudette, an American citizen living in a convent in Rome, has registered to vote and says she will vote for Democrat Barack Obama. "I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she says. "I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern," she adds. Sister says she is very hopeful for world peace. Sister might also be Senator Obama's oldest supporter. She is 106 years old. May God keep her well!

I thank Fran for alterting us to the statement of Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, that he would “obviously” vote for Barack Obama if he could cast a ballot on Nov. 4. The Archbishop also stated that if Obama was elected "it would have a good impact for the United States on the rest of the world. It would mean that for the first time, we would begin to think that the Americans are really serious in the things they say about freedom and equality and all that."

The Archbishop is currently in Rome for the World Synod of Bishops. He is the primary spokesman for the African bishops.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Democratic faithful tour Ohio citing party values

Obama Faith Tour Reaches Ohio

Effort seeks to spread its message of service to people of every faith


Summit County Councilman Frank Comunale wore a Catholics for Obama button and listened intently as [Pro-life former Congressman Tim ]Roemer described Obama as a man who lives out his faith by what he does.

''I'm a person of faith and in the true sense of Catholic social teaching, Barack Obama and Joe Biden resonate with the things that are most sacred to me — protecting and educating children, instilling them with hope and faith and being zealous about protecting them their whole lives,'' Comunale said. ''When he's elected president, we will have the first community organizer in the White House.''

In addition to Roemer, the tour includes conversations with Catholic Pepperdine University professor Doug Kmiec and evangelical leader Don Miller, who spent time at Kenyon College in Gambier; Denison University in Granville; Ohio State University and Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware on Thursday.

http://www.ohio.com/news/30733684.html

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain Campaign Getting Ugly


Cultivating Prejudice, Racism, Fear and Ugliness.




The McCain campaign is on the ropes, and sadly it's no surprise they're responding with attacks and outright lies. Some pretty unspeakable things have been said in the past few days -- deeply offensive smears that we'll hear over and over again until Election Day. John McCain and Governor Palin are setting a new low in presidential politics with their dishonorable campaign.

Some of the comments by McCain supporters are not things for the faint-hearted. At a campaign rally in Ohio with Sarah Palin, one supporter make the clearly racist remark that "Obama has the bloodlines of a terrorist."

At a Clearwater, Florida rally with Sarah Palin, one supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

At another rally, a McCain supporter called out "kill him" akin to the crowd in Jerusalem asking for Barabbas' release (so much for pro-life).

In Wisconsin, supporters at a rally with McCain used obscene gestures. A man having a temper fit was applauded by the crowd.

One commentator noted that "If [McCain strategist] Steve Schmidt and the other architects of this increasingly disgraceful candidacy didn't anticipate such an outpouring of violent, racist bile, they are imbeciles. If they did, they are worse."

The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen writes: "McCain/Palin have reached a point where they have to decide whether whipping right-wing activists into a frenzy, based solely on lies, is the responsible way to seek national office. The Republican candidates are not literally calling for violence against their political rivals, but they're nevertheless standing by, saying nothing, while their supporters are shouting words like 'kill,' 'terrorist,' and 'treason' at their rallies. And given that this rage-filled hatred is in direct response to the McCain/Palin campaign lying to their supporters, now would be the ideal time for these candidates to take a look in the mirror and consider the consequences of a relentlessly negative, breathtakingly dishonest, anger-driven campaign."

John Cole observed: "The base is reacting. Whipped into a froth by their venomous cheerleading vice-jingoist in chief, a self-styled pitbull in heels, they are now shouting 'treason' and 'traitor' and even getting one fellow inspired enough to yell 'kill him."

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates says: "[McCain and Palin] should be shook by the people they're attracting. We are getting a good look at the elements of the base now. These are not people just posting anonymously in internet forums -- these are people who literally believe Obama is a terrorist and showing up at rallies. [McCain and Palin] need to watch what they say. Somewhere, slumbering in this country, there are men who aren't clued in that this whole 'terrorist' thing is mere strategy. They have guns, and all their lives they've wanted to be famous. Don't give them a reason. This is still America. We are never that far from the past."

Blogger Jack Turner writes: "I was at Obama's rally at Independence Square in Philadelphia back in April. When he mentioned Hillary Clinton's name, the crowd booed, and he told them to stop. Barack Obama intervened when his supporters booed his opponent. He called for civility. Yet, when faced with supporters who label senators terrorists and call for their assassination, John McCain and Sarah Palin said nothing. This is how evil spreads, from domestic violence to genocide. People in a position to stop it choose to do nothing."

and "Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. [...] Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness. America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now."

As Catholics for Obama - Biden, this is a time for us more than ever to turn to the comfort of our faith and prayer. We need to respond to this hatred with love. We need to seek strength from prayer -- the Daily Office, the Rosary and, above all, Holy Mass -- and from meditation on Scripture and the spiritual works of the Church Fathers.

It is likely to get worse in the coming days. But the answer is to return hate with love.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Work Bears Fruit


OBAMA SURGES WITH CATHOLICS

The efforts of so many faithful Catholics (please see many of the fine organizations linked along the right hand side of this blog) and other people of good will, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have surged to an 11 point lead in the latest poll conducted by 'Faith in Public Life'. 51% of Catholics say they will vote for Obama, with only 40% for McCain. This is 16 points ahead of John Kerry's performance with Catholics four years ago. Among young Catholics (ages 18-34) 55% say they will vote for Obama.

Also interesting in the poll was that while past surveys have consistently found that the Republican Party has been perceived to be more “friendly” to religion, it found that Obama is perceived to be slightly more “friendly” to religion than McCain (49% to 45%).

The increasing Catholic support for Obama has put states such as Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa and Pennsylvania in the category of very likely to vote for Obama. Remaining battleground states with large Catholic populations include New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Nevada.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Black Catholics Excited About Obama's Campaign


Black Catholics see Obama candidacy as a path to racial equality


Catholic News Service recently wrote of how many African American Roman Catholics are excited about the historic presidential campaign of barack Obama.


Father Bryan N. Massingale, S.J., an associate professor of theology at Jesuit-run Marquette University in Milwaukee, warned that bias is still a reality today

Shirley Harris-Slaughter, 62, a black parishioner of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Detroit noted that African American are thankful Obama can overcome the very real racism that exists today.

Though black Catholics from across the U.S. told Catholic News Service they believe many black voters connect with Obama in part because of the color of his skin, they stressed that most are inspired by the 47-year-old senator for the same reason millions of Americans from many ethnic groups are enamored with him.

"Exposure to more positive black role models may provide white Americans with affirmative opinions of that segment of U.S. society, said Deacon Steven C. Rubio, a black Catholic who ministers at St. Matthew and St. Ambrose parishes in Baltimore."I think when you look at the images where most of us garner our information, which is mostly what is televised on the evening news, the amount of imagery that white America sees about black Americans is about crime," Deacon Rubio said. "When you are constantly fed a diet about a group of people, you are going to form a negative image of that group."By stressing the Catholic Church's teaching that racial inequality is a sin, the church can help promote harmony among all ethnic groups, he said.In their 2007 statement, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," the U.S. Catholic bishops called for an end to racial inequality."It is important for our society to continue to combat discrimination based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, disabling condition or age, as these are grave injustices and affronts to human dignity," the statement reads. "Where the effects of past discrimination persist, society has the obligation to take positive steps to overcome the legacy of injustice, including vigorous action to remove barriers to education and equal employment for women and minorities."

Beverly A. Carroll, assistant director of cultural diversity for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, and a black parishioner at St. Peter Claver in Baltimore says that "Racism has to be considered as a life issue too."

Polls are showing that over 90% of African American Catholics intend on voting for Barack Obama. Black Catholics are providing critical support in such battleground states as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Missouri. Supporters of Senator Obama have worked to help with voter registration drives at historically Black Catholic parishes. Non-partisan efforts are also underway at many of these parishes to make sure that all of their parishioners vote on election day (or before in early voting).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When Johnny Met Cindy


The Washington Post has an interesting piece on the first Mrs. McCain (Carol) and John McCain's adultery with Cindy Hensley as well as other women.

It states that Mrs. McCain "endured much in more than 14 years of marriage" to John McCain. "She had raised their three young children alone while her husband languished in a North Vietnamese prison camp for 5 1/2 years. Her tribulations grew immeasurably after a near-fatal car accident that immobilized her for months and left her scarred for life."

By the late '70s her husband "engaged in what he later termed 'dalliances' with other women." And in '80, John McCain was deep into an adulterous relationship with Cindy Hensley. He became engaged to Cindy while still married to Carol.

Carol, having raised John McCain's children and endured so much more, was not even mentioned in passing the biographical video played at the Republican Convention.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Yet Again, A Pro-Life Catholic Scholar Endorses Obama


Dr. Callahan is an author, lecturer, college professor and licensed psychologist. Her most recent book is Created for Joy: A Christian View of Suffering. This article appeared in American magazine, a national weekly published by the Jesuits.

Why Catholic Pro Lifers will vote for Obama

Dr. Sidney Callahan

Why am I as a 'mass going' staunchly pro life Catholic, voting for Obama? Of course I disagree with his views on Roe vs Wade, but I think that his policies and programs more comprehensively follow Catholic social teaching than McCain's--and they even result in fewer abortions.
There's a lot of evidence that providing aid and support for women, children and the poor, lowers the number of abortions. Pro lifers can choose to see present results rather than repeating exhortations for the future.

After all, to roll back and change laws in a democracy, the legislators, the courts and the majority of voters have to be convinced, and this process of moral reorientation on abortion can be a slow process. Think of the arguments you have with your friends and family.

In the interim, when immediate overthrow of a flawed law is impossible it is morally permissible, as John Paul II expresses it, to recognize "the art of the possible" and try to "limit the harm done by such a law."

Moreover, Catholic pro life advocates for Obama desperately want to limit the grave moral evils and dangers to life arising from pursuing preemptive wars, defending the use of torture, continuing the death penalty, and flouting of Constitutional and international law. As billions are spent on the destructive Iraq war, the needs of the poor, the ill and the schools are neglected, and the whole economic system falters....

for the rest of the article, go here: http://www.americamagazine.org/

Friday, October 3, 2008

Obama Prepares for Al Smith Dinner


McCain and Obama to Appear at Al Smith Dinner


Other than the presidential debates, the remaining joint appearance of the top presidential contenders will be the Archdiocese of New York's annual Al Smith Dinner on October 16th. Unlike the debates, the candidates will be wearing tuxedos.

Senator Obama gladly accepted the invitation from the Archdiocese to appear at the dinner and help raise money for New York Catholic Charities. The dinner is a charitable and social event and doesn't present much of a chance for the candidates to campaign as Obama is certain to win New York State. Like with McCain's recent withdrawal from Michigan, there is no active McCain effort to win Connecticut or New Jersey, the neighboring states in the New York City media market.

Barack Obama, who once worked as a community organizer for a Catholic sponsored project, is the first presidential candidate who once had his office in a rectory.

Al Smith was the Democratic nominee for President in 1928 and Governor of New York State. The Republicans referred to him as a "rum-soaked Romanist."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Catholic Legal Scholar Endorses Obama


Pro-Life Pittsburgh Catholic Scholar Cafardi Backs Obama

Professor Nicholas Cafardi, a civil and canon lawyer who is a professor and former dean at Duquesne University School of Law, a Catholic university in Pittsburgh, PA, has become the most recent pro-life Catholic legal scholar to endorse Barack Obama for president. He is also a trustee of Franciscan University of Stuebenville (FUS).

Professor Cafardi is no lightweight in Catholic legal thinking and served as legal counsel to the diocese of Pittsburgh for 13 years. He addresses the abortion issue directly and up front. Then he continues to remind us that in 2003, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said flatly that "reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist." McCain voted for it; Obama opposed it.

He concludes: "I have informed my conscience. I have weighed the facts. I have used my prudential judgment. And I conclude that it is a proper moral choice for this Catholic to support Barack Obama's candidacy."

Amen, brother. Read the whole story here:

http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2058