Roman Catholics and the Religious Right

Roman Catholicism and American Catholic Supreme Court Justices
Catholicism and American Politics
In the early 1980s, there was only one Catholic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. This changed in the mid 1980s when President Ronald Reagan
appointed Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy to the court, both Catholic.

The first President Bush appointed Clarence Thomas (a Catholic) along with David Souter, an Episcopalian. President Bill Clinton appointed two Jewish Judges: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

The second President George W. Bush appointed John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both Catholics. As of 2008, the Supreme Court has a Catholic majority.

The majority of Catholic judges have been appointed by Republicans, while Protestant and Jewish judges have been appointed by Democrats…

Current Supreme Court Judges
Chief Justice John Roberts
adjunct professor at Jesuit Georgetown U. Law, Roman Catholic
John Paul Stevens
Antonin Scalia, Roman Catholic, Jesuit Georgetown University
Anthony Kennedy, Roman Catholic
David Souter, Episcopalian
Clarence Thomas, Jesuit College of the Holy Cross, Roman Catholic
Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s husband is a law prof. at Jesuit Georgetown U Law
Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito, Roman Catholic, Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus, 1954
In 1954, lobbying by the Order helped convince the U.S. Congress to add the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. President Dwight Eisenhower wrote to Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart thanking the Knights for their “part in the movement to have the words ‘under God’ added to our Pledge of Allegiance.”[34]

Roman Catholics, Roman Catholic Joe McCarthy, Anti-Communism
“…Major Protestant and Jewish organizations did not support McCarthy the way the leadership and much of the rank and file of the Knights of Columbus or the Catholic War Veterans obviously did…The controversial lawmaker did not receive public favor from Protestant or Jewish leaders or journals in a way that suggested he held a place in their hearts comparable to the place he clearly had
in the hearts of Spellman, Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles, and many other leading Catholics, or in their papers.

“But now right-wing fundamentalists like Carl McIntyre found themselves supporting the Catholic McCarthy, willing to overlook his wrong theology
for the sake of his right politics—a political and social issues alliance of
conservatives in both faiths that was to carry over into such crusades as
those against abortion or for prayer in schools.18″
—Robert S. Ellwood, The Fifties Spiritual Marketplacep. 32–34

President Richard Nixon and Roman Catholicism
“The President thirsted for a restoration of the old-fashioned values, something a restless nation could rely on and believe in…And in the fall of 1971, after a long arduous session with his domestic advisers, in which aid to parochial schools was again debated, Nixon confided a secret longing for something of “enduring spiritual value.”

“You know, Chuck,” he said earnestly, “I could be a Roman Catholic…I honestly could. Except if I converted, everyone would say it was some political gimmick…making a pitch for the Catholic vote. All this business about Catholic schools,
you know, it’s not politics…” p. 64, Chuck Colson, Born Again

“While the entire government was drifting aimlessly, a four-star Army general spent the last days of Mr. Nixon’s Presidency taking almost full control of the governmental machinery, negotiating with his chief’s successor, asking the Pentagon to disregard any order from its constitutionally designated commander, and in the final hours working sensitively behind the scenes
so that the Secretary of State and congressional leaders could persuade the
President to step aside…Fortunately for America, General Haig is a man of responsibility and integrity.” p. 257, Chuck Colson, Born Again

    More on Alexander Haig
    Haig, a Roman Catholic, attended St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Catholic school run by Jesuits), in Philadelphia and graduated from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He then went
    to the Roman Catholic University of Notre Dame for one year, before transferring to and graduating from West Point in 1947.

    He studied business administration at Columbia Business School in 1954 and 1955. He also received a Masters degree in International Relations from the Jesuit Georgetown University in 1961, where his thesis focused on the role of the military officer in the making of national policy. Haig is also a Knight of Malta.

Watergate and some Roman Catholic Folk

    Robert Bork—Solicitor General, Att. General, Judge for DC Court of Appeals, Roman Catholic.
    John Wesley Dean III—received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Jesuit Georgetown U., 1965.
    Gordon Liddy—studied at the Jesuit Fordham University.
    John Mitchell earned his law degree from the Jesuit Fordham
    University School of Law.
    Judge John Joseph Sirica received his J.D. from the Jesuit Georgetown University Law Center.

What is the Catholic League?
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973, by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J. [S.J. means he is a Jesuit], the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics—lay and clergy alike—to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination.

National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 1978
The seminar concluded with a message from Roman Catholic bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Washington, DC. (Billy Graham Center Archives)

Evangelical Catholics by Keith A. Fournier, 1990
Foreword by Charles Colson
The term “evangelical” is not the exclusive domain of Protestant Christianity but a part of the rich heritage of all Christians. Keith Fournier call all evangelicals to the cooperative effort of battling an “increasingly pagan world.”

Catholic Bishops in American Politics, Timothy A. Byrne, 1993
Over the past twenty years the American Catholic bishops have played a leading role in the antiabortion movement, published lengthy and highly detailed pastoral letters on nuclear weapons and on the American economy, and involved themselves, collectively and individually, in several national election campaigns…

Public Catholicism: The Challenge of Living the Faith in a Secular American Culture May 1996
by Mary Cunningham Agee, Richard John Neuhaus, William J. Bennett, and Henry J. Hyde, Ralph Reed, Deal W. Hudson, and others

An American Conversion: One Man’s Discovery of Beauty and Truth in Times of Crisis, Deal Hudson, 2003
Deal Hudson, and American conservative political activist, was raised Baptist and converted to Catholicism.

When I became president of the Baptist Student Union at the University of Texas-Austin, I began to confront aspects of evangelical culture that eventually caused me to look else-
where in the Christian tradition for my spiritual home…

…But something seemed wrong about a Christian outlook that excluded all the world’s greatest writers and artists form the conversation about truth.

Indeed, as I read the history of philosophy—especially Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant—I discovered deep affinities in the Western intellectual tradition with the Christian worldview that I was learning through regular Scripture study…without knowing its importance in the Catholic tradition, I was seeking the harmony of the faith and reason taught by the Church. p. 13, 14

Catholics United 2004
We began our online advocacy in the spring of 2004, when a group of Catholic activists and friends formed the Catholic Voting Project to promote the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ 2003 document Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility. The mission of CVP was to encourage a public dialog…by allowing Catholics to learn how their political views matched up to those of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the two major presidential candidates.

Bill Donohue Still Shilling for Karl Rove
“Today, Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a 501c3 tax exempt organization, issued a press release labeling Obama’s Catholic advisors as Catholic dissidents…

“According to the book, Onward Christian Soldiers by the Republican operative, Deal Hudson, Karl Rove recruited Bill Donohue to participate in Republican organized efforts to court Catholic voters…

“Ironically the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights pays Bill Donohue over $343,000 a year to defend the rights of Catholics…said Salt…”

Baiting Pro-lifers By Appealing To Their Moral Vanity
An article from: National Right to Life News, Deal W. Hudson, July 28, 2005

Rev. Falwell’s Moral Majority: How it changed politics and religion
May 18, 2007, By Patricia Zapor, Catholic News Service

The Present Position of Catholics in America: Rights, Duties, Challenges, Robert Royal, FRI President 2/11/2008
First Annual St. Thomas More Lecture, Fairfield University, [Jesuit]

”…Today, the number of Americans identifying themselves as Catholic is somewhere between 65 and 70 million, a little less than one-quarter of the population and equal to about the next 15 largest faith groups combined.

“By everyday social measures, Catholics have become one of the most successful religious groups in America. There has been one Catholic president and several presidential candidates in recent decades, whole armies of lawyers, doctors, business leaders, biomedical researchers, and academics.”
Faith and Reason Institute For the study of religion and culture

Onward Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States
Deal Hudson, 3/11/2008

Review by Deal Hudson
“Many books have been written about the so-called “Religious Right” in American politics. What makes Onward, Christian Soldiers distinctive is my exploration of its Catholic dimension. What is usually treated as an exclusively Evangelical movement is closely intertwined with the travails of the post-Vatican II era in the United States…

“In, Onward Christian Soldiers, I document the surprising role of Catholics in the creation of the religious conservative movement. Paul Weyrich, a member of the Melkite Greek Orthodox Church, gave Jerry Falwell the idea for organizing the Moral Majority, as well as the name itself.

“The anti-ERA organizing efforts of Phyllis Schlafly, a Catholic attorney from
St. Louis, was the first time religious activists were brought together to oppose
the liberalizing trends of the 70s. Weyrich and Schlafly are, without any exaggeration, the godparents of the Religious Right.

“…It was Catholics like Dr. Willke who made the abortion issue important for Evangelicals. Dr. Willke explained to me that it was predominately Catholics who participated in the early days of the pro-life movement. It was the Catholic involvement among religious conservatives in the late 70s and early 80s that pushed abortion to the forefront…

“…The political left in the Catholic Church has remained at the head of most significant Catholic institutions…while the Republican Party was forced to embrace a pro-life, family values platform considered extreme by its traditional mainstream Protestant leadership….”—Deal W. Hudson, director; Morley Institute for Church/Culture

John McCain Meets Pro-Life Catholic Leaders,
Pledges to Oppose Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor, June 13, 2008, Washington, DC
“Presidential candidate John McCain met with pro-life Catholic leaders in Philadelphia Wednesday, according to Catholic columnist Deal Hudson. The meeting also included a private time McCain had with Priests for Life director, Father Frank Pavone, who said McCain pledge to carry the pro-life mantle…

“Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Frank Keating, and former Vatican ambassador Jim Nicholson also appeared at the meeting, with Nicholson introducing the candidate to the Catholic leaders…

“Nicholson introduced McCain and said that the need for outreach to Catholic voters was apparent…

“McCain has the backing of National Right to Life and numerous pro-life leaders across the nation. On the other side, Obama has the support of top pro-abortion groups Emily’s List and NARAL and Planned Parenthood is soon prepared to issue its endorsement and has already attacked McCain and started organizing for Obama.”

Joe Biden loses Barack Obama, the Catholic vote
By Gerald Warner, 9/19/2008
“There are 47 million Catholic voters in the United States. One quarter of
all registered voters are Catholics. At every presidential election in the
past 30 years the Catholic vote has gone to the winning candidate,
except for Al Gore in 2000…

Will a funny thing happen on the way to Washington?
By Edward Luce, October 17, 2008
“At what was the first—and probably last—humorous occasion of this dyspeptic campaign, John McCain and Barack Obama gave comic speeches on Thursday at the annual dinner in memory of Al Smith, the great Catholic-American.

“Both revealed a side they have kept well concealed in recent months. ‘Contrary to popular opinion, I was not born in a manger,’ said Mr Obama. ‘I just call him‘ That One‘, said Mr McCain of his opponent. ‘He doesn’t mind at all: He even has a pet name for me: George Bush.’”

Award to Justice Breyer Spurs Catholic Protest
Monday October 27, 2008, Washington
“Fordham University’s plan to give an award to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has drawn criticism from alumni and the leader of the Catholic church in New York over Breyer’s support for abortion rights.

“Cardinal Edward Egan has spoken to the Catholic university’s leaders to ensure ‘that a mistake of this sort will not happen again,’ said New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling.”

American Roman Catholics
A listing of some American Roman Catholics, not all of whom are Right Wing.

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics


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