Election Coverage / Government Watch / Politics

Why Aren’t Republicans Campaigning on the Left’s Shocking Record of Anti-Catholicism?

AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan

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As the 2022 midterm campaign season enters its final days, Democrats seem to have been doing everything possible to alienate themselves from ordinary Americans. But the GOP has neglected to highlight one key issue that could not only bolster Republicans’ chances in the November 8 midterms, but could also reveal the extraordinary extent to which Democrats are antagonistic toward organized religion and Americans of faith.

One of the Democrats’ greatest political vulnerabilities, though it often goes unnoticed, is their jarring record of hostility against the Catholic faith. Some entities on the right have, on occasion, acknowledged this trend (most notably in a December 2020 ad that was ultimately rejected by the establishment wing of the GOP)—but by and large, conservatives have remained silent on the matter. If Republicans play their cards right, however, and openly campaign on the left’s anti-Catholic attitudes, it would amount to political dynamite that could mobilize voters of faith, particularly Hispanic Catholics, many of whom have recollections of anti-Catholic persecutions in Latin American countries, and solidify the party’s prospects for a red wave—or even a red tsunami.

The Democrat Party’s hostility toward faith traditions—particularly Catholicism, Judaism, and many sects of Protestant Christianity—is nothing new. In 2012, for instance, party operatives controversially removed the word “God” from the official party platform. But in recent years, a more aggressive and militant form of anti-religious bigotry has infused the Democrat platform.

Notably, Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee in the fall of 2020 were unusually centered around her Catholic faith—doubling down on California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s 2017 comments that Barrett’s faith prevented her from serving as a judge. The anti-Catholic spectacle surrounding the Barrett confirmation prompted several Catholic groups to sound the alarm, including the Catholic Coalition Against Religious Tests for Office (CCARTO), which published a letter urging Democrat senators to “stand against religious persecution by their party.”

“The Democrat Party has a Catholic problem with their leadership, including Senators Feinstein, Durbin, Schumer, Booker, and Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris,” the letter stated.

This episode caused even prominent secular figures—including the President of Princeton University—to speak out. In September 2017, Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber issued an unprecedented letter to Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to “refrain from interrogating nominees about the religious or spiritual foundations of their jurisprudential views.” The University of Notre Dame and the Anti-Defamation League echoed Eisgruber’s sentiment, also releasing statements condemning the rhetoric.

The left’s problem with anti-Catholic bias was again raised with the nomination and appointment of now-Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, who infamously spearhead progressives’ longstanding efforts to force the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious order, to violate their religious precepts and pay for birth control. Becerra, CCARTO said in a December 2020 statement, “spent years tormenting the Little Sisters of the Poor in court, trying to force them to pay for things like abortion pills against their consciences.”

Yet another noteworthy instance of the left’s anti-Catholicism can be seen with the shocking series of attacks on pregnancy centers and Catholic parishes following the Supreme Court’s June ruling in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, which allowed states to enact commonsense abortion regulations as determined by the legislatures of those states.

But even though the Democrat Party’s well-established pattern of anti-Catholicism continues to raise concerns for faithful Americans of all stripes, the Republican Party establishment has remained strangely silent on the matter.

Most notably, in December 2020, CCARTO released a powerful advertisement pressing then-Georgia senatorial candidate Jon Ossoff to condemn the left’s anti-Catholic political and rhetorical streaks. The ad, which was reportedly offered to the Karl Rove-led advertisement campaign in the weeks leading up to the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoffs as part of an effort to mobilize the state’s 1.2 million Catholics, was turned down by Rove. Following Ossoff’s victory, Rove and other establishment-minded Republicans predictably resorted to blaming President Donald Trump rather than acknowledging the lost opportunity of campaigning against the Democrats’ anti-Catholic bigotry.

In the closing days of the campaign this year, the GOP has yet another opportunity to bring the left’s anti-religious attitudes to the attention of tens of millions of American Catholics—and some groups have already taken note. Earlier this year, CatholicVote—a Catholic political advocacy group—launched a $3 million ad campaign aimed at Catholic Democrats who fail to stand up for the protection of religious organizations and individuals facing violent threats and attacks from radical liberals (the group designated an additional $2 million toward the campaign in October).

“This is a big historical shift,” said CatholicVote president Brian Burch, noting the major political realignment initiated by the 2016 election of Donald Trump. “Obviously for half a century, the Democratic Party was home of the Catholic vote—Catholic voters from [the] immigrant class, to unions, to [the] working class.” But now, the calculus is changing—and the GOP has a window of opportunity to establish itself, for the first time in American history, as the party of Catholics.

A conservative Super PAC has similarly spoken out on the left’s anti-Catholic bias. Frontiers of Freedom Action is now running ads against five incumbent Senate Democrats in New York, Arizona, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Nevada that emphasize Democrats’ complicity in an “anti-Catholic religious test” for judicial nominees and presidential appointees.

Whether it knows it or not, the Republican Party is sitting on a political goldmine. If it chooses to expose the anti-religious bigotry of the left for what it is and treat Democrats’ anti-Catholicism as a serious campaign issue this fall, it could very well find itself on the path to an unprecedented electoral majority.


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Steve Greenwell
3 months ago

It does not help matters that many Evangelicals believe that the Church of Rome is the second Babylon, even though the screed the notion comes from is almost as credible as “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Nor does it help that the current Pope’s understanding of economics is another, Marxist gospel.

Honey
3 months ago

Rove is yesterday’s news, obsolete in the extreme. Forget about Rove.

We had better win big next week or the country will be yesterday’s news and obsolete, too. Marxist and without liberty.

Pensylvanians, vote for Mastriano for Governor. Do not allow Shapiro to win.

anna hubert
3 months ago

I do not think it’s Catholic faith exclusively they attack any faith except Islam is not welcome and of course the faith of Marxism is the only true faith and they are true believers

DOcFoss
3 months ago

The GOP historically has run candyass campaigns, while the Dems will say and do anything to get elected or stay in power. Plus the political infighting these morons with RINO leanings have keeps the GOP from uniting solidly like the Dems. Like when Reps voted to impeach Trump.
GOP lacks balls-Trump excepted-to kick the Dems in the ass and win. For a change.

Morbious
3 months ago

As long as the RCC continues its stand against abortion, the demon partys chief sacrament, the latter will continue its venomous attacks. My guess as to the doltish R party being a day late and a dollar short is this: many Rs are non catholic Christians and many doubt the sincerity of catholics considering that, as the religion of dem immigrants, theyve slavishly voted D for decades. But times they are a changing. It should be obvious that no one sect can dominate a political movement. Does it make any sense to shun conservatives who happen to believe in infant baptism, transubstantiation and a priest hierarchy in order to feign doctrinal purity? At least they’re having infants to baptize.

MariaRose
3 months ago

Historically Christianity and Catholicism is associated with being run as a male-prevalent in the authoritarian position. Today’s trend to be counteracting that opinion. We can include Mormon teachings as a sub-branch with this same emphasis.
Religion and politics mix like oil and vinegar in certain policies which is why issues like abortion can only be addressed per state legislation levels before asking for a legislative guidance on the federal level.
As far as politicians go, most of them lost their religious convictions to get themselves elected and only use the terminology as a label such as Biden’s and Pelosi’s Catholic faith despite abortion being against anti-Catholic.

jocko
3 months ago

BECAUSE REPUBS ARE FN… STUPID. THEY HAVE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES BUT THESE DUMBASSES NEVER LEARN, AT LEAST SOME ARE PATRIOTIC

Stephen Russell
3 months ago

Blame the Estd GOP& RINOs

Scout
3 months ago

I’m getting so disillusioned with the Republican Party that I’m going to vote rep but with reserve. They have so much to talk about like so many say and yet they say NOTHING. Why is that? Are they going to give the dumorats this one too? Only if the Republicans vote them out will we have the AMERICA we need. Come on all you veterans and those who support us vote them all out of office. We need a better government than we have now.

Hal-
3 months ago

More succinctly, why does the Catholick Church tend to mostly support DemocRats????

Dan W.
3 months ago
Reply to  Hal-

I have read comments on these comment pages questioning the legitimacy of the Catholic Church and questioning whether Catholics are true Christians. Maybe that has something to do with their lack of support of the GOP.

PaulE
3 months ago

To answer the author’s question, the reason why is because the American public can only process and focus on so many issues before it loses track on the details on each issue. There are literally dozens of significant issues the Republican candidates could be discussing on a daily basis in this country. They could literally spend hours a day at each campaign stop just going through each one, if the time existed and the public was willing to stand there for hours on end. However, given the nature of the modern realities of limited amounts of time they have at each campaign event, debating, as well as the even less time they have to communicate their message in 30 or 60 second TV and radio commercials, they have to focus on the issues with the greatest impact to the largest possible audience.

In this election cycle, that means focusing on the impact of Biden’s and the Democrats’ man-made energy crisis we have in this country, that has damaged so much of our economy, generated the highest rate of inflation in the last 45 years. There is also the major issue of our intentionally wide open southern border, as well as the rampant crime in major Democrat controlled cities all across this country being promoted by Democrat policies. Things like being able to afford to eat and pay one’s bills, while also having to contend with the threat to one’s personal safety because of rampant crime and one’s tax dollars being used to provide a fully subsidized lifestyle to millions of illegals aliens tends resonate with more voters than the Democrats’ long-term stance against any organized religion except Islam. Democrats have been against most organized religions for decades as it conflicts with the socialist ideology they truly embrace going back to the early 20th century.

When you only have so many hours in a day and you have to reach as many people as possible, one has to focus on the issues with the greatest impact to the most people in the least amount of time. In an ideal world, where we had the luxury of unlimited time and the people were willing and able to spend several hours or even days debating and processing all the myriad of pressing issues impacting our country, then we could cover every issue in much greater detail.

John
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Great answer! Good insights.

David Millikan
3 months ago

“PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR GOVERNMENTS. GOVERNMENTS SHOULD BE AFRAID OF THEIR PEOPLE.”

David Millikan
3 months ago

They should also campaign on the Weaselcrats making sure that ENERGY SUPPLIES WON’T MEET DEMAND FOR THIS WINTER and AFTER.
And WHY 1 out of 5 AMERICANS
are SKIPPING MEALS DUE TO
HIGH INFLATION.

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