It’s time for Catholics to lead true Democrats to start their own party.
Catholic Democrats are in a terrible quandary. They vehemently disagree with the Republicans’ approach to policy, so they won’t vote for them.
And since the Democratic Party’s leaders stand against religious liberty and for taxpayer-funded abortion, as well as stripping marriage of its meaning and endless war, they morally can’t vote for many Democrats either.
The only viable option for a traditional Democrat is to not vote at all.
It’s a terrible travesty that this has come to pass. It is crucially important that we have at least two morally viable parties proposing solutions to America’s problems.
"Splitting the party" is the last thing pro-abortion Democrats want; but Democrats have changed before. The platform position has changed — most notably on slavery and civil rights.
And this year’s Democratic Party, which opposes religious freedom and the right to life, is every bit as harsh.
First of all, the Democratic Party increasingly stands against religion in general — and Catholicism in particular. Many Catholics became Democrats back in the days when John F. Kennedy stood on the Declaration of Independence principle "that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God." Now, with the Health and Human Services mandate, Democrats are legislating as if freedom of religion is a state-given privilege, not a God-given right.
If you don’t believe that, consider this: The new Democratic platform stripped the phrase "God-given" from a passage about the talents of workers. When President Barack Obama led an effort to put "God-given" and a reference to Jerusalem back in the Democratic platform, delegates explicitly rejected the proposal. Leaders cynically added them anyway, creating the image of a party that is afraid to show its real principles and afraid to stand for its real principles when they are exposed.
The same attitude toward God and the Catholic faith was on display in the decision to reject Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s request to say a prayer and then to reluctantly agree, for P.R. reasons, to allow him to pray. Delegates who watched the prayer immediately sent a barrage of profanity-laced emails condemning it.
Many Catholics became Democrats back when Sen. Edward Kennedy, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson were pro-life. Since then, the platform of the Democratic Party has changed to be reliably pro-abortion. This year, the Democratic Party holds that every woman should be able to abort her child "regardless of ability to pay."
In other words, the Democratic Party officially wants to take money out of the paychecks of every taxpayer in America and hand that money to abortion businesses to pay for abortions.
That’s an extreme position, but the platform doubles down on it with the next line: "We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."
The convention featured a speaker who spelled out what is considered "any and all efforts to weaken" the "right" to Internal Revenue Service-enforced paycheck-to-abortionist transfers.
"We believe that a woman considering an abortion should not be forced to have an ultrasound against her will," Nancy Keenan of the National Abortion Rights Action League-Pro-Choice America told delegates.
So if a state’s voters refuse to keep women in the dark about what abortion is, the Democratic Party is against them?
That’s a decision that helps the abortion industry, not women. But it isn’t just abortion-industry voices like Keenan’s who were extremists at the convention.
Michelle Obama also promoted abortion — in words that make Todd Akin look like a science professor. She said President Obama "believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies."
Of course, unborn children — fetuses, if you must — are separate from their mothers. I have experienced this personally, having once been an unborn child. I am not my mother. Even as embryos, we have our own DNA that has already determined many characteristics about us, including our sex.
But abortion businesses need that lie to maximize profits. No wonder Democratic abortion lobbyists don’t want pregnant women to have ultrasounds: The truth would hurt sales.
But the most chilling lines were from the president’s speech.
He clearly knows what makes true Democrats’ hearts beat: looking out for the little guy. He complimented delegates: "You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage. You did that."
Really? The platform says the same health-care plan that helped that toddler could have killed her at taxpayer expense a matter of months before. For true Democrats, the principle that makes you want to help a toddler should forbid you to kill her before (or immediately after) she is born.
He also said: "We believe that a little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty … could become the founder of the next Google or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the United States — and it’s in our power to give her that chance."
Good point. But think about the 1.6 million abortions performed in America each year. How many entrepreneurs, scientists and peacemakers end up in medical-waste bags? True Democrats believe a little girl who is offered an escape from being aborted will do great things, too.
As Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard pointed out, rank-and-file Democrats don’t share the abortion extremism of the abortion industry and the politicians they fund.
A Gallup poll from last year found that one out of three Democrats considers themselves "pro-life."
Of self-identified Democrats, 61% are for parental-consent laws for underage females seeking an abortion, 60% want a 24-hour waiting period before abortion, and 84% back informed-consent laws that would share abortion’s risks before an abortion — and nearly half are for an ultrasound requirement.
With numbers like that, the time might be ripe for a revolt.
But apart from abortion, the degree to which Democratic leaders have embraced war is contrary to the Catholic morality of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI — and the Catechism.
The civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Libya and the redefinition of "combatant" to mean "any military-aged male in a strike zone" are a travesty that someone in politics should be willing to oppose.
Obama’s Abu Ghraib and the "kill teams" of Afghanistan, in which servicemen had their pictures taken with dead civilians, would have been a months-long story under Bush, but the Democratic-majority media in America mostly ignored them (overseas media didn’t hold back).
People who clobbered Bush for much milder actions turn a blind eye when the Democratic commander in chief bombs Libya with a no-confidence vote from Congress and "turns back the clock" (according to peace groups) on Guantanamo.
The time for toleration is past. Democratic voters need to step up and found a new Democratic Party that is true to the traditions of the party that was once a peacemaker in the womb and in the world.
What to call it? Christian Democrats? That term might have too much European baggage. Traditional Democrats? That might sound too stodgy. True Democrats? I like that one.
At any rate, true Democrats need to do something.
They don’t want to be Republicans? Fine. Who can blame them? But they truly are deserving of blame if they simple enable the abortion-war-and-anti-religion policies of today’s Democratic Party.
Tom Hoopes writes
from Atchison, Kansas.