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September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic vote is a key demographic that will decide the 2020 elections. Both parties know this and are making special efforts to reach out to Catholic voters.
However, getting the Catholic vote is more difficult than in the past. A charismatic figure like John F. Kennedy is no longer enough to secure Catholic sympathy. Single issues attractive to Catholics are morphing into more profound debates. The election is less about who will govern and more about how Americans will live and worship. In polarized America, existential questions mean much more than the personality of the candidates.
While Catholics do not vote as a monolithic bloc, the more active and devoted sectors influence the whole beyond their numbers. A growing number lean right after losing their home in the Democratic Party in the late sixties.
Abortion as a Catholic Issue
Over the years, abortion has become a decisive Catholic issue that weighs heavily upon the vote. The Church’s consistent teaching on the matter makes it the logical home for pro-life Americans. Activists who take the issue seriously often end up embracing the Catholic Faith. It is almost a natural consequence of their concern for lives and souls.
While abortion remains a central issue for the Catholic voter, it is no longer a single issue. It opens a Pandora’s box of moral issues that secular liberal politicians would prefer not to address and connect.
Thus, there used to be pro-life “blue-dog” Democrats who resisted the official party line of support for abortion. As long as abortion was a single issue disconnected from any other, such resistance was tolerated within the ranks. That ambiguity ended with the radicalization of the Democratic Party. With every successive election, the Democratic platform doubles down and hardens its position, allowing no opposition and endorsing ever more radical forms of abortion even until birth and including infanticide.
Making Connections with Other Moral Issues
Now, many Catholic voters realize there is something much more sinister behind the Democrats’ refusal to make the least concession to the pro-life cause. They see that abortion is not a single issue but is connected to everything else in the Culture of Death: euthanasia, assisted suicide, homosexuality, transgenderism and even Satanism (which sees in procured abortion a sacrament). The radicalized left no longer hides its anti-Catholic moral program. Rather, it proclaims it.
These Catholics are further alarmed because they see that these anti-life positions will not be optional. Paying for procured abortion and contraception will force them to act against their consciences, as the pro-death forces grow ever bolder. Catholics sense that their freedom to worship the One True God will be threatened should this mentality prevail. Radical ideologies endanger the education and innocence of their children. Big government socialism and communism are not far behind to force this agenda on an unwilling Catholic sector, still stinging from the lockdown/shutdown of their churches during the COVID crisis.
A Dramatic Clash of Worldviews
Opposition to procured abortion unites all those who favor a Christian moral order. Abortion has the advantage of being the dividing issue because there can be no compromise. Its evil is evident. There is no such thing as half an abortion. It is always deadly. It necessarily gives rise to a Culture of Death. Thus, abortion serves as the flash of lightning that instantly illuminates other sinister threats lurking in the darkness.
The issue also unites all those who wish to destroy the moral order, yet it reveals those leftist connections that they would prefer remained hidden. That is why the left hates the abortion issue so much. It forces leftists to radicalize to energize their bases and thus show its true face. When the two sides engage in this fight, the debate becomes a dramatic clash of worldviews.
The Real Debate
Catholic pro-life activists do well to make the election about procured abortion and beyond. To the degree they connect the dots with all the other moral issues, the left must play defense. Catholics need to grill liberal “Catholic” candidates about their pro-abortion irrationality. However, they must go beyond abortion and attack the late Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” lie and how it provides an umbrella for liberal, socialist, and now even communist issues that buttress the pro-abortion position.
In this way, abortion can serve as a catalyst for the rejection of an evil worldview. The massive polarization has weaponized every aspect of life to the point that nothing seems exempt from the fray. The cause of this polarization is the clash of worldviews. One exposed flank of this fight is the brutal killing of the innocent, allowing voters to see the radicalized left’s full program.
The stakes in this election should not be centered on the candidates’ personalities but the irreversible implementation of a leftist program that wants the destruction of the Christian moral order.
Thinking beyond abortion also means starting to imagine a Christian worldview that embraces the Church’s traditional social teachings about the role of the family, community and the Church. It means bringing God and His Blessed Mother into the equation for this fight, which is now far beyond any human solution.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.