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By: Tracy Karol
Obama and Catholics: A game of hide and seek
Barack Obama may quite well be the luckiest man in America.
Somehow, he’s managed to play a balancing act with the far left – making promises about so many different things to different audiences I don’t know how he keeps them straight. (I’ll hit on those later).
But his latest flip flop as he courts Independents, moderates and even goes after President Bush’s faith-based initiatives have to take the cake. Somehow he’s managed to get the support of a group called Roman Catholics for Obama.
It’s no secret that Catholics, including myself, have often voted for Democrats in the past. Even pro-life Catholics vote for Democrats. I’m Catholic, I’m Hispanic, and, being pro choice, while Independent that often was the deciding factor for me in choosing a candidate.
However, I do know the Church’s teachings on abortion, and while I may not agree with them, I never felt it was my right to take away another woman’s right – to a point. I felt, and do feel, that in the very early weeks a woman should have the right to choose what to do with her own body (although I believe education is a better option, but that’s another topic). And naturally if the mother’s life is at stake, that raises an entirely different issue.
When I discovered, however, how far Barack Obama was willing to go with his stance on abortion (it’s no wonder he’s been labeled the most liberal senator, a title he took away from Ted Kennedy), I was appalled. This was early on in the primary, and it opened my eyes to some [disturbing] things about the Obama.
In 2002, Congress passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which gave caregivers the right to provide medical care to infants who were born alive as the result of an “oops” abortion. A nurse, Sharon Dunsmore, wrote about one such instance in which she quoted the pediatrician as saying the infant had “the audacity to survive.” Familiar words? Audacity is a theme with Barack Obama, it seems.
In any case, babies like this were, at that time, not given any care under the law, and healthcare providers were forced to allow them to die alone, often in closets or corners, when these babies clearly could survive with minimal care.
Who would oppose such a bill? Well, no one really. It easily passed, with even Ted Kennedy supporting it, as well as NARAL and other pro-choice groups.
But then, Barack Obama was not yet a United States senator at that time, so he couldn’t vote on that bill. He did, however, vote on similar legislation in the Illinois State Senate. And his votes shocked and appalled the Catholic community.
In 2002 and 2003, Obama, as a state senator in Illinois, voted against similar legislation, and he went even further as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee when he blocked another attempt to bring legislation to the Illinois Senate. Would he have voted any different at the federal level, and if so, why?
Now Barack Obama is pandering to the middle and has gotten [some] Catholics on his side, and not just those who traditionally vote Democratic. All the senators who voted for the Born Alive Infants Protection Act are backing him, along with some surprising endorsers: Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Democratic Governor Tim Kaine (Va.), Democratic Governor Bill Richardson (N.M.), Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.), Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), as well as Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. Other pro-life Democrats are also backing Obama.
A quote from The Catholic World Report makes clear its confusion on some Catholics' obvious, well, confusion about Barack Obama:
But no group of Catholics seems quite as odd as the one titled “Roman Catholics for Obama ’08,” which dubs Barack Obama “the best and right candidate for Catholic voters.” The group asserts: “[W]e, as Catholics, believe Catholics can and should vote for Barack Obama because his platform aligns well with Catholic Social Teaching.”
There’s much more, such as the group’s belief that Obama is against the death penalty (he’s not) and other ramblings. He certainly seems to have it fooled. But then again, fooling people is something he’s raised to an art form.
I was confused on this issue, because as I said I am pro-choice, but early on I was completely appalled by what I had heard about Obama’s stance on abortion and I thought it couldn’t possibly be true – until I did the research. So I called another Catholic, someone who is also pro choice, but who is a more “observant” Catholic than I am – my mother.
“It’s murder,” she said. “You’re right, I’m pro-choice, but what that man condones is just murder, nothing less.” She’s also a lifelong Democrat, who won’t be voting for Barack Obama.
For more information on Catholics and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act: http://www.ignatius.com/Magazines/CWR/kengor_june08.htm
How else is Obama balancing the left with the middle? His stance on the war in Iraq, which he doesn’t seem to know (or simply says something else to another audience); pandering to anti-gun groups unless speaking to gun owners (whom he later calls bitter people who cling to their religion); promising [improved] healthcare and to improve the economy (but failing to mention the astronomical rise in taxes to middle class and the slum of his own senatorial district).
He even tells the public and press what they can and cannot ask him about – his wife, his past, his associates.
With Obama, it’s all a game of hide and seek. If you can’t catch him, maybe he can hide the truth (whatever that may be) long enough to win this election. Then God help us all.
Steve adds: Like Tracy and her mother, I am Roman Catholic. I do not see how anyone who claims to be Roman Catholic can vote for Barack Obama. Alas, if infants born alive in botched abortions could vote, I'm sure Obama would be much more concerned about them. When NoBama Mission says Barack Obama is "dangerous," this is what we mean. A presidential candidate who has no real respect for life? As Tracy says, "God help us."