CCK and why is Chad grumbling about Catholics tonight?

Chad over at Clean Cut Kid is having issues with Catholic voters tonight. Apparently, we're part of a coalition with evangelical christians who want to take over SD. I had started to post this as a reply to his comments, but it got way too wordy, so I'm doing it here.

So what does Chad have to say about all of this?:

Despite what you will be reading on South Dakota right-wing weblogs, the fact of the matter is that people are leaving the Republican Party because it has been increasingly radicalized.

Thirty years ago, the Republican Party in this country and yes, even in South Dakota, was in a sad state of affairs. And they found a way out of it: the fundamentalist Christian movement. The party has become increasingly reliant on the activism and turnout of this group to keep their party vibrant. As this group has steadily gained power in the party, those with moderate views have been marginalized.


It all goes back to the growth of power from the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. Their agenda trumps all else because they rely on the fundamentalist and Catholic churches to drive voter turnout.

So while Republican weblogs will try to explain away the fact that some of their most prominent members are leaving the party, keep in mind how much the Republican Party has changed in the last 30 years. I suspect many Republicans have taken a look at these changes and have decided they have "had enough."

When challenged on the catholic thing by one reader, Chad had this to add:

I don't have a problem with Catholics.

I have a problem with the guys who wear the collar and the fancy robes.

I have absolutely no respect for an organization that looks the other way to sexual molestation for decades and then decides they are going to tell their members to vote "values" or they are going to hell.

Read it all here. I don't think I've actually heard a priest describe behavior as sending someone to hell for years. They couch it in terms of follwing Christ's teachings or the gospel, or something like that.

Now, I'm a bit taken back by Chad's comments referring derogatorily to Catholic priests. Let it be said I'm not the greatest Catholic in the world. Actually, I'm pretty mediocre. But even to me, it seems that Chad is painting the entire priesthood with a pretty broad brush.

There aren't any more Catholic Priests who have molested kids than there are pastors of other denominations. It doesn't mean that all priests are bad. Nor does it mean it's prevalent.

If I made a statement of that effect regarding people of a minority or subculture group, Chad and the dems would be all over me. And it would be because I'd be painting with the same broad brush they're using. So why does it make it ok to pick on Catholics?

The problem with the church hierarchy and the few priests that pulled that crap is that for years, they wanted to handle it internally because of negative publicity, as opposed to sending the sickos to jail. And they're paying for that mistake in spades, because to heck with the rest of the world - Catholics themselves think the practice was BS.

Because of that, does that mean I think my parish priest (when I do go) has abdicated his ability to interpret the word of God as it relates to everyday life? No. Do I always like what I hear? No. Do I always do as they tell me? No. But where are we if we do not at least acknowledge the existence of a moral code?

I'm sure some of what irks the other side may be the church's stand against abortion. Well, I can't say I'm all that kicked in the tail about the church's stand on the death penalty. The fact is, the Catholic church could care less what you or I think. It's not a democracy. In this instance, they're affirming life for both the unborn and the murderer.

I'm suprised that Chad is somewhat dismissive of the Catholic vote as being automatically R. He can do that and I won't mind, because it means maybe they won't target them. Foolish them if that's true. There are still tons of Catholics who identify with the D party rather than mine based on social justice issues. (Hint - Those aren't Republican nuns chaining themselves to nuclear missile silos.)

The more the Democratic party treats Catholics, and other church going folk like crap, the more likely my side can lock them in as part of a winning majority. While Democrats keep wondering why they are losing elections, I'll be combing my church directory for those who haven't gotten around to switching parties yet, and I'll send them a registration change postcard.

Bottom line, it's about getting people to vote for you and winning on election day. If you can't get past the fact some people have strong religious convictions, then it's more difficult to come out on the winning side.


Anonymous said…
"...people are leaving the Republican Party..."

Clarence Kooistra is not "people," he's a person. He's a person that finally came to grips with the fact that he is a liberal. Now his political affiliation reflects his political philosophy. This does not reflect a Republican crack-up. It reflects a Republican crack-down.

Now the Republicans have a Republican on the general election ballot in District 25.

Addition by subtraction. Chalk up another Republican victory.
Haggs said…
I found Chad's comment to be a little inappropriate too. I'm a dirty, heathen Lutheran and I kind of grew up in an environment of Catholic jokes. I've never been comfortable with them. If we're all supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ, why can't we get along? We may have different ideas about our faith, but so what?

Hmm... I thought I was going to have a point, but it's 3 AM and I can't remember it.
Anonymous said…
I don't have a problem with Jews. I have a problem with the guys who wear the funny prayer shawls and the fancy yarmulkes.

Had Chad said the above, he would be swiftly condemned as an anti-semite. And rightly so. But say the same of Catholics, and it is ok.

Anti-Catholic bigotry is the last acceptable form of religious discrimination. No one would make a movie about evil homosexuals, evil blacks, evil Jews, or evil Muslims, but it is okay to make a movie about evil Catholics (hello, Divinci Code).

Anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism of the left. Even before the molestation issue came up, the left had been only too happy to particpate in or softpedal descration of Catholic Churches. I recall specifically the rash of instances in the late 80s and 1990s of homosexual groups coming into Mass and throwing the Eucharist on the ground. There was an incident involving involing a feminist group going into a church and spreading menstral blood from tampons all over the altar because of their views on the role of women in the Catholic faith.

I know DianeM recommended some books, I'll recommend one. The New Anti-Catholicism by Philip Jenkins.
Anonymous said…
These attacks on Catholics and the Catholic Church should be unacceptable to all of us. Bigots like that may next choose that they do not like Lutherans, Jews, or Baptists. Maybe this bigot will decide he doesn't like Blacks, Polish folks, or Gypsies --- gee, he sounds a lot like a Hitler stereotype.
Catholics are not a homogeneous group, but they are generally a more conservative group that have grown up in blue-collar, hard-working middle-income families. I think we look for the values in our politics, like those I just described, that we saw in our FDR-leaning parents. Today, many are increasingly finding the party that respects hard work and supports solid families - as the GOP --- which probably means that bigot and his friends will now increasingly attack a people that largely identified with Bobby and jack Kennedy. They dealy with this same anti-catholic bigotry - as did many of us. We just wish the biggots would go away.
Anonymous said…
The problem with your post, and commens here, is the failure to look at what I actually said.

There are Catholics in my own family. I'm not against the Catholic faith, their teachings, or anything else. It has a beautiful history that should be celebrated.

I just find it hypocritical that an organization that looks the other way for decades on the issue of sexual molestation has decided they are going to tell their members to "vote values". And that's not to say "all" priests have this problem. Obviously they don't. But to say the problem isn't (wasn't?) prevalent seems to be kind of shortsighted.

But my biggest problem with the Catholic hierarchy isn't really even this contradiction. What really upsets me is how they (and many Protestants) have painted Christianity as some radical one-issue movement that is no longer concerned about social justice for the less fortunate. As a Christian, that offends me greatly.
PP said…
CHad, I disagree. I looked at exactly what you said.

"It all goes back to the growth of power from the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. Their agenda trumps all else because they rely on the fundamentalist and Catholic churches to drive voter turnout."

"I don't have a problem with Catholics.

I have a problem with the guys who wear the collar and the fancy robes."

Molestation by priests is not prevalent. Yes, it has happened and it has been covered up. But you make it sound like it happens all the time. Amazingly enough, despite your assertions, I managed to get through 6 years of Catholic school and serving as an alter boy without being groped once.

You also make it sound like priests preach abortion all the time - again, they don't, and it's actually pretty rare (if ever) when you hear the word in mass.

On the other hand, you do hear about issues of social justice constantly.

Again, I'd say you are very welcome to go ahead and have your opinion. Because every time you voice it, that means more voters come over to my side. And I'll welcome them whether they're mediocre catholics like myself, or devout.
Anonymous said…
He has a problem with priests/bishops telling their congregation about voting and sinning.

"Catholic Bishop: Vote My Way or Go to Hell"

"Pedophilic Catholic Bishops Declare Voting for Kerry a Sin"

"Will a Kerry Vote Send Faithful Straight to Hell?"

"Bishop Sheridan will deny Communion to Catholics who vote pro-abortion..."

I have a few more...
Anonymous said…
To Chad for thinking that all Catholics are Reps, this is ridiculous. Our district has a Democrat legislator who also happens to be a very sincere Catholic. I don't necessarily agree with him on many issues or vote for him, but I do respect him as he is a good person.

When considering Chad's comments, just consider the source.
lexrex said…
keep up the name-calling, chad. you just keep digging yourself deeper.
Anonymous said…
The problem is with conservative Catholics that think its ok to force everyone else to live by their religious doctrine. They have involved themselves in politics and are actively doing this. There are plenty of Catholics who think its a stupid thing to do (get involved in morality politics). That is the core of the issue. I think Chad's words were a bit off base. There are plenty of Protestant groups making just as much trouble as some of the Catholic morality police are.
Anonymous said…
I think anonymous 8:54 has it about right. When I made my original post, it certainly wasn't intended to single out the Catholic hierarchy. There are certainly Protestant ministers who have found themselves with a sexual molestation problem. And there are Protestant groups who are a huge part of the pulling to the extreme right that we have seen in the GOP in recent years.

In other words, it's not a "Catholic thing" as it may have come out.

I just with we could get churches (Protestant or Catholic) to rally their troops for social justice issues the way they have been able to do so on issues like abortion and gay rights.

I think there is a lot of common ground to be found on social justice issues. We just have to find it and solve some of the world's problems.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like Chad is trying to backtrack with hollow platitudes like "there is a lot of common ground." It is pretty difficult to find common ground with someone who can find no other way to express himself than through that kind of vitriol. The good news is, the more he keeps up the nastiness, the worse he and his crowd look.
Anonymous said…
I'm not Catholic. Still, these are disturbing words. More public school teachers than priests molest kids. Many schools try to hush up these incidents. Would it be right to get all suspicious and critical of schools because there are so many molesting teachers?
Anonymous said…
Chad you are off base. Check the voting record, a majority of catholics are democrat.
Anonymous said…
Hey--This is Ronald. Thanks for the support. Gets kind of lonely cruising in CCK.
Anonymous said…
I remember hearing a Dem telling another Dem - the worst thing about Catholics is that they vote for their beliefs.

HUH?>?? This person actually believed that it was wrong to vote for what your faith teaches you. I could not believe it.

I'm just glad I'm a Catholic Republican. then you know how I will vote - just my beliefs.
Anonymous said…
the claim that we, as a church, are not involved or concerned with socail issues, is just plain wrong. There are many groups we support, like Catholic Family Social Services across the diocese, and many more specific programs in Sioux Fallls - like the Banquet. Chad, I don't know you, but if you give me a call I will help arrange for you to meet with some of the diocese staff that can lay out for you the substantial personal and financial investment made by the Church and it's members in social causes. I think even the social activist bastions called Dakota Rural Action and the Peace and Justice Center have at times been funded by our Church. In fact, I will get you on the next shift at our KC Hall to cook pancakes for one o fthe causes like an immigrant family or a sick child - that we are raising money for. I am in the phone book - call. Lee Schoenbeck, Watertown.
Haggs said…
Anon 9:55,

Personally I would question what those two people meant by "beliefs." Everyone votes their beliefs. I know I do. That's why I'm planning to vote against HB1215 and Amendments C & E in November.

I think when Democrats talk about "people voting their beliefs" they might be refering to some legislators who are turning their beliefs into laws. I mean, if you believe two homosexuals in a loving, committed relationship shouldn't be married, that's your right... but legislating that belief is where things go wrong.
Anonymous said…
Just as everyone is lambasting Chad for claiming that the Catholic Church focuses too much on abortion and not enough on other social justice issues, a Catholic priest calls Warren Buffett the "Dr. Mengele of philanthropy if he doesn't repent" for giving his money to the Bill Gates Foundation, which primarily funds antipoverty programs worldwide, but gives under 1% of its money to Planned Parenthood on the condition that the funding cannot be used for abortion.

The irony of it all...
Anonymous said…
So let me see if I have this right.

The Catholic Church pushes for political solutions to "social justice" issues and Chad loves that.


The Catholic Church pushes for political solutions to "right wing" issues and Chad screams about separation of church and state.

Which is it?

Somehow I doubt those who think that the churches should never speak on social and political issues would have condemned Rev. King speaking out from the pulpit(s) in Selma and Birmingham.

Speaking of which, the Catholic Church EXCOMMUNICATED segregationist politicos. I did not hear the liberals at the time scream with a hue and cry.

Funny that they only bring up the Catholic Church and separation of church and state when the Catholic Church is not pushing their particular issues.
Anonymous said…
Anon 3:18 pm, it's in black and white. Scroll up.

Anon 8:54 said, "The problem is with conservative Catholics that think its ok to force everyone else to live by their religious doctrine...."

Chad followed with, "I think anonymous 8:54 has it about right."

So, in Chad's world, the problem occurs when conservative Catholics stand up for their beliefs. No problem at all when the liberal Catholics try to further their agenda, though.

Gotta get rid of those people with conservative convictions. They are the problem, right Chad? You said it....or at least agreed with it.

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