A Catholic Votes for George W. Bush

Weigel, George
September 2004
America;9/27/2004, Vol. 191 Issue 8, p12
The author discusses why a Catholic would vote for George W. Bush. In 2004, millions of Catholics will vote enthusiastically for George W. Bush because this Texas Methodist has a clearer understanding of, and a more serious commitment to, the Catholic vision of the free and virtuous society than his Catholic opponent. They are going to vote for George W. Bush--and millions of Catholics are, frankly, appalled at the thought of their fellow Catholic, John Kerry, as president of the United States--because of two dramatic changes in ideas and institutions over the past four decades. Catholic social doctrine has changed; so has the Democratic Party. John Paul II has also developed the church's social doctrine by teaching that abortion, euthanasia and the range of questions raised by the new biotechnologies are, in fact, social justice issues. Addressing the life issues is a crucial part of the church's social doctrine. In Evangelium Vitae, which completes Centesimus Annus, the pope insisted that when grave moral evils--"wrongs"--are legally defined as "rights," the entire democratic project is threatened. A democracy that arrogates to itself the power to declare entire classes of human beings--the unborn, the radically handicapped, the elderly--outside the boundaries of common concern and protection is a democracy at war with itself (a point Lincoln made a century and a half ago, in his 1858 "House Divided" speech). Like certain fellow Catholics in the U.S. Senate--Joseph Biden, Thomas Daschle, Richard Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Edward Kennedy, Barbara Mikulski and others--Kerry has voted time and again to block the confirmation of Catholics who want to apply the elementary principles of justice (which, to repeat, coincide with the teaching of the church) to abortion jurisprudence in the federal courts.


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