How to be a Catholic Democrat

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And not.

Many top Catholic scholars and members of media and public servants regretfully left the Democratic party of their fathers when the party abandoned their principles so profoundly, they couldn’t compromise such fundamental values.

Others stayed in the party, either capitulating to political expediency or (conversely) determining to reform the Democratic politics according to its rich heritage.

So here’s an example of both.

Nancy Pelosi.

“Well I don’t think that is the entire Catholic Church,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said about the lawsuit brought against the Obama administration by numerous Catholic institutions in the U.S. “Those people have a right to sue, but I don’t think they’re speaking for the Catholic Church and they’re are people in the Catholic Church, including some of the bishops, who have suggested that some of this may be premature.”

“You know what? I do my religion on Sunday in church and I try to go other days of the week. I don’t do it at this press conference,” Pelosi said curtly at her weekly press conference.

And Ray Flynn, popular former mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican.

Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn expressed concern about the HHS mandate driving a wedge between Catholics and the Democratic Party as he addressed a Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally at the Boston Commons…

“As a proud lifelong Catholic Democrat, I fear that this dangerous policy is causing a serious rift between the Democratic Party and Catholics – and people of all faiths for that matter. Sadly, this unthinkable move threatens a long and proud relationship.”

In the days of Roosevelt, “It was unthinkable for most Catholics not to vote the straight Democratic ticket.” The era continued through the 50s and 70s…

[I]t was both the Church and the Democratic Party who were always there to help. They were working for better and safer work conditions on the docks, medical care, educating kids and helping the poor. People in those days were loyal to the Church and the Democratic Party.”

“You can’t imagine how I felt when I saw my longtime friend Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City filing a legal challenge against the Obama Administration for their discriminatory policies against religious institutions in America. I am proud of Cardinal Dolan, but ashamed that this administration has let it come to this.”

“It is outrageous that the administration has taken action to trample on the rights of religious institutions and people of faith. Despite what you hear from the media and some politicians, this is not about access to contraception; it is about the principle of whether the federal government can force religious organizations to take actions that violate their own faith and their own conscience. Catholics will not stand by and be silent!”

I had a very engaging conversation with Ambassador Flynn Thursday. He made a passionate case for citizen involvement in this current heated struggle to preserve historic, constitutional, religious liberties. “Catholics cannot afford to lose this struggle,” he said, adding that though it’s not a Catholic issue, it’s been framed as one and deeply threatens the existence of social ministries.

“We’re in a battle here,” he said fervently. “I can’t get over it that here we are in 2012 being challenged this way. There’s an elitist group of people coming around telling us what we can and can’t do. We have always valued human rights and religious freedom, and there are a lot of wonderful, decent people out there who are working to serve those in need.”

Then he added: “There is no force more powerful than truth, and it will prevail.”

He also wanted radio listeners to know that “Information is the most powerful tool,” so access it and spread it.

Here’s an important site of bi-partisan thought leaders, including Flynn.

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