Catholics Need To Take a Second Look at Morality

According to CNN, Catholics voted for President Bush over Senator John Kerry by a 51 to 48 percent margin. Hence, Catholics voted for a Born Again Methodist over a Catholic candidate. Many Catholic Bishops have declared abortion a "non-negotiable issue." In the diocese of Brooklyn, which encompasses Brooklyn and Queens, there is not a single memorial to those who have been put to death by our government. Nonetheless, I know of at least one parish in Brooklyn that has a three-thousand dollar memorial dedicated to the aborted. Meanwhile, 36 million people in the United States live in poverty. If the Bishops are not silent, they most certainly speak in a whisper when it comes to issues of social justice and the death penalty. The Catholic Bishop's candidate, George W. Bush, executed nearly 30 individuals in 1999 alone.

Exit polls indicated that voters named Bush's moral values as the number one reason they chose to cast their vote for him. Religion was the key determinant of voting in the 2004 presidential race, according to an exit poll conducted by the Associated Press news agency. According to exit polls, 22% of the electorate said "moral values" was the issue that mattered most in how they voted - compared to 20% who cited the economy, 19% who cited terrorism, and just 15% who said Iraq was the key issue. However, this type of exit polling is quite flawed. Moral values encompass stem cell research, gay marriage and opposition to abortion. Therefore, while the other exit poll questions were specific and pinpointed one issue, the moral question encompassed a slew of issues, all of which Catholics are taught to believe are essential issues. For Catholics to support abortion or a pro-abortion candidate, is considered a mortal sin. Certain conditions must apply for a mortal sin to be committed. First and foremost, the sin must be deliberate, with full knowledge that it is wrong. A mortal sin prevents the sinner from entrance into heaven after death. Therefore, for too many Catholics, a vote for Kerry ensures an eternity in the fires of hell ? see Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God."

To be fair, not all Catholic Bishops have expressed such dire consequences if a Catholic chose to vote for Kerry. In particular, the 400 member US Conference of Catholic Bishops, who published an extensive election year publication, discussed a variety of social justice issues and did not threaten any religious consequence of a vote for Bush or Kerry. The problem is that few Catholics are aware of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but they do hear the messages of their local Bishops and parish priests. Abortion receives an inordinate amount play during Sunday homilies; unfortunately, this is at the expense of social justice or liberation theology. Liberation theology is a movement that came to fruition in Latin America during the early seventies. The movement embraces the idea that it is the responsibility of the Catholic Church to actively fight against the oppression of the poor. This is a change from the Catholic theology that reigned for centuries, where the poor were taught that the greater their suffering in this world, the greater their reward in the next life. This policy, in large part, was due to the church's support of right-wing dictators in Latin America. My fear is that the many Catholic Bishops that professed that a vote for Kerry is a mortal sin are returning to the time prior to liberation theology.

Sister Maura Clark, a Mary Knoll nun, and Archbishop Oscar Romero died for speaking out for the poor and oppressed in Central America. Too many of our Bishops and priests are dishonoring the work of these martyrs by making it apparent that the poor are of little consequence. Furthermore, they're doing this in support of a President who probably believes that if you are not "saved" you will not go to heaven. Catholics believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; and therefore, are not saved in the "born-again" sense. Democrats were criticized this past presidential election for not embracing morality. Morality is caring for the poor and providing national healthcare for the 45 million without health insurance According to Congressman Pete Stark, "Our lack of a guaranteed health care safety net indirectly plunges millions into bankruptcy and financial ruin who, once sick, cannot afford to pay for their high medical treatment costs out-of-pocket."

Conservatives should be as concerned for the living as they are for the unborn. If they choose to condemn politicians that are pro-choice, they should do justice to the Sanctity of Life movement and criticize those leaders who support capital punishment. The Catholic Church cannot afford to lose its Hispanic members, who are now an integral part of Catholic schools and churches, to the Pentecostal churches both here and abroad. According to a Columbia University study "Hispanics report the fewest assets (two thirds report zero or negative net worth) than any other ethnic group in NYC." It's a bit hard to explain to this group that a president that believes in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is in their best interest, or is economically just. It should be just as hard to justify it to you.

About The Author

Peter Mennona, Jr. holds a BA from the New School University. He's been published @, and

[email protected]

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


"Should Not Give Poll Tickets Based On Religion": Rajyavardhan Rathore
Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore Sunday said tickets for assembly polls should not be distributed on the basis of religion, amid questions in some quarters on why the BJP has not given ticket to any Muslim candidate in Rajasthan. "There should be no ...
'Tickets for polls not to be distributed on religion basis'Eastern Mirror

all 26 news articles »

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Of 'nones' and Jesuits and that old-time religion
Minneapolis Star Tribune
But my atavistic tendencies were almost comically dramatized a week ago, when I returned home from three days spent re-enacting a nearly 500-year-old religious ritual — only to glance at the front page of my very own newspaper and learn that “the ...

Religion Notes 11/17/18
NEW PASTOR: The Rev. Mike Van Zee of Newport, Tenn., has formally accepted the position of senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church of Menomonie. The position has been open since the Rev. Larry Borner resigned in May, and Mitch Nelson, assistant ...

Patheos (blog)

Outgrowing Our Religion: Are We Ready?
Patheos (blog)
But I do know it's one of the best metaphors for outgrowing your religion that I've ever seen. Just like Forrest's leg braces, the faith of my youth provided structure for me growing up. I honestly don't know how to disentangle the healthy and ...

and more »

Appalachian State University

Is Alexa My Neighbor? The Future of Religion and Artificial Intelligence
Appalachian State University
The “Philosophy and Religion in The Contemporary World” colloquium series concludes with Dr. Randall Reed's talk on artificial intelligence. The advent of home artificial intelligence devices like Amazon Echo (“Alexa”), Google Home and Apple's Siri ...

'It's fun to be Catholic'
“You taught me that being Catholic can be fun.” Veteran catechist and retired TV sportscaster Gary Montgomery nearly fell to the floor when he read that line in a note he once received from an eighth-grade student of his in religious education class ...

American Thinker

The Religion of Leftism
American Thinker
Leftism pretends to be a system of thought, but it is nothing more or less than a secular religion. It is godless, but godlessness is the most bigoted and intolerant of all belief systems, and the Ultra-Orthodox Church of Atheism adheres to no doctrine ...

The Morning Sun

Mid-Michigan Religion News
The Morning Sun
Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Service Set. Worship is at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant. Andrew Miller's Reflection, “What to Do in Changing Times” based on Mark 13:1-8. What does the End Times mean to you? What is your ...
Religion briefs for Friday, Nov. 16Aiken Standard

all 159 news articles »

Eureka Times Standard

On Religion: Jordan Peterson's secular approach to the soul
Eureka Times Standard
(Editor's note: This is the second of two columns about Jordan Peterson and YouTube religion debates.) It isn't every day that a University of Toronto psychology professor is asked to officiate a wedding. Then again, Jordan Peterson has outgrown the ...
Jordan Peterson's secular approach to the soulArkansas Democrat-Gazette (blog)

all 6 news articles »

Religion: Lincoln's Thanksgiving
Waco Tribune-Herald
Perhaps more than any other historical figure, Abraham Lincoln continues to shape the American psyche. The success of Stephen Spielberg's movie, “Lincoln,” gives some indication of our continued fascination with the 16th president. When we think of ...

Google News

Why More Priests Need To Train As Fighters (And Why We Dont See Many Boxers In Church)

"Therefore I do not run like a man... Read More

Ultimate Truth:The Invitation

Religion is so many things. From what we can see... Read More

A Poor Man, With Rich Mans Dreams

Matthew 19:17-19:23A Poor Man, With Rich Mans Dreams Have you... Read More

Let Her Be Covered Part Two

The framework for the message this morning will consist of... Read More

Great Seats

And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit... Read More

The Green Cross

"We desperately need to recognize that we are the guests... Read More

Theology, Hollywood Style

After years of watching TV shows and movies, I think... Read More

Resurrection Faith (Part 1)

At the heart of Christianity is a cross; and one... Read More

What is God? Does Proof Exist?

Apology:I don't for a minute profess to know what God... Read More

The Story of Joshua and Caleb

The story of Joshua and Caleb is one of the... Read More

Choose Your Friends Carefully

For those of you who have entered into a true... Read More

The Emmaus Journal ~ What Kingdom Are You Looking For?

The Emmaus Journal What Kingdom Are You Looking For?The awe... Read More

Reconstrictionism + Dominionism = Warfare Theology

The Christian Church believes that at the close of the... Read More

Finding God in the Clouds

It was a cool August night during the Summer before... Read More

Following Instructions To The Letter

The dictionary explains wisdom as having good judgement, understanding, comprehension... Read More

America for War

The Americans themselves billed the vote for now President George... Read More

Gays and Lesbians Attempt to Distance Themselves From Catholic Priests

There is a new term being thrown around "phenophilia", no... Read More

3 Clues To Know Where You Fit In Ministry Part 1

Clue Number 1: You Have TalentYou were born with at... Read More

The Armorbearer Coach & The Character of Christ In You

And even though Jesus was God's Son, He had to... Read More

Balancing the Apple Cart

About forty women squatted in small clusters on the floor... Read More

Early Spring Cleaning

Has anyone noticed how fast 2004 is going? Hey, we... Read More

Why Go To Church - Want To Know 13 Reasons?

It's not necessary to go to church in order to... Read More

Does God Promise Long Life?

Over the last 10 years or so I have met... Read More

The Rapture: A Twinkling of an Eye

A father savagely murders his nine children. A stay at... Read More

The Study of Saints and Why Its Important

Sainthood?that title given by the Catholic Church that seems to... Read More