Why do conservative Catholics support Obama so strongly?

Let’s see what the story is, from Hot Air:

I know I’ve said this before on the site, and I know many devout Catholics’ experiences are different, but having grown up in the Church, there’s nothing here that surprises me. Most Catholics I know treat the Church’s commands as essentially hortatory, to be politely ignored when need be — as in the case of torture — which is why I can’t quite fathom the outrage over a pro-choicer as adamant as The One speaking at Notre Dame. His job approval this month among Catholics is 70 percent, and 65 percent among those who attend church weekly. They’re fighting a losing battle here.

Allahpundit then goes on to quote the findings here:

Even Catholics who consider themselves “conservative” politically are more likely to approve than disapprove of Obama’s job performance [49/40]…

In fact, 53% of Catholics voted for Obama for president in November, almost identical to the 52.9% of the popular vote Obama won in the 2008 election. Catholics’ 67% approval of Obama in his first 100 days is slightly higher than his overall 63% average approval rating for the same period. Thus, relative to the population, Catholics have become a bit more supportive of Obama as president than they were in the election.

This news makes the Wintery Knight sad… so sad, that he is tempted to cry tiny icicle tears.

I am an evangelical Protestant Christian who believes in the inerrancy of the Bible (in the autographs). I think that one of the reasons why evangelical Protestants are more politically conservative than Catholics (and some mainline Protestants) is because there is more emphasis on free market capitalism in evangelical Protestantism.

Evangelical Protestants are also more conservative on the exclusivity of salvation than Catholics are. We believe that salvation is based on knowing God, not on doing good works. I think some Catholic voters are being swayed by Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor, even by government redistribution of wealth. This is also true for mainline Protestants, who seem to be increasingly concerned with social justice instead of economic liberty, and they are also soft on exclusive salvation.

UPDATE: Commenter ECM says that I should not make too much of this poll, because it is done by Gallup and their polls lately have been way off.

UPDATE: And now I’m going to rebut my own post: Pastor Joel Hunter says Obama Displaying “Wisdom and Balance” During First 100 Days. (H/T The Pugnacious Irishman)


As someone who is completely pro-life (concerned about the vulnerable outside the womb as well as inside the womb), I am encouraged by the vision (and budget) President Obama has cast for empowering those marginalized with the resources they need to become responsible citizens.

…By supporting sex education and contraception, we reduce the number of unexpected pregnancies and thus reduce the likelihood of abortion. Also, by supporting expectant mothers who are feeling pressure to have an abortion because of financial concerns, education interruptions, or the baby having development problems, we again decrease the likelihood and therefore the incidence of abortion.

…Even the overturning of the Mexico City Policy had a pro-life side to it, in that sex education, contraception and family planning almost certainly will decrease the number of abortions performed.”

It’s the social justice that does them in, and I should write something about how social justice suddenly became the main job of the church instead of spreading the Gospel and answering speculations against it. What do you expect when people abandon truth? If religion is about meeting people’s needs, then everybody goes to Heaven and we should all focus on making people feel good about their sins in the here and now.

EVERYBODY: Say it with me: when you subsidize something, you get more of it. When you tax something, you get less of it. Subsidizing pre-marital sex gives you more pre-marital sex, and more accidental pregnancies, and more abortions. Reduce government subsidies and support for risky sex, and you lower the number of abortions.

UPDATE: Maritime Sentry has a much more reliable Rasmussen Reports poll shows that Catholics are more serious about their faith than the flawed Galup poll indicated.

9 thoughts on “Why do conservative Catholics support Obama so strongly?”

  1. The Stand to Reason Podcast from a few weeks backed talked about that. Some of these Catholics bought the line that Obama’s policies will reduce abortions. Yeah, sure, gov’t funded abortions domestically and internationally are sure to reduce the number. Eliminating the conscience clause, parental notification, partial-birth abortion bans, etc. will reduce them as well in the wacky world of Obama.


  2. I think you might have to narrow your definition of Protestants down to the point where you’re an army of one, chief :)

    Look at the collapse of mainline Protestantim–they sure as hell aren’t more conservative than true Catholics (see below). See: Espicopalians, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, etc., et al, blahblahblah. When they’re not ordaining gay clergy, they’re divesting themselves in Israel, worshipping Baal on the side and, generally, doing everything but following/preaching scripture. (I seem to recall a few weeks ago one of them stating that abortion was a sacrament.)

    You also have to look at Catholics as two, distinct, sub-species:

    A. Real Catholics, i.e. those that actually go to church every week, go to Confession, ya know, actually pray, etc.

    B. CINO, i.e. those that say they’re Catholic but don’t actually go to church much if ever, but keep saying they are Catholic because, for most of them, it’s as much a part of their upbringing as being Italian or Irish, etc, in other words it’s treated as being a part of a social club, not a religion. These people couldn’t defend a single church teaching in any meaningful way if their lives depended on it.

    (There’s a ‘C’ group, but they’re what you’d call ‘liberal’ Catholics and exist mainly to undermine everything the Church is about.)

    (And even within ‘A’ there are hundreds of different divisions of varying conservatism/liberalism.)

    However, it’s the ‘B’ group that you’re always hearing about that loves Obama and thinks that socialism is pretty cool (but remember: so does Mike Huckabee, a protestant, last I looked!)

    Also, if you actually read the Catechism of the Catgholic Church, you’ll find that, by and large, a lot of the ‘bad’ things about Catholicism are media constructs to drive a wedge between the Church (i.e. group ‘A’) and all ‘right-thinking’ people, e.g. over war and the death penalty and, of course, abortion.

    As a personal anecdote, I once dated a super-liberal chick who prayed the Rosary but hadn’t been to church in a decade but was also pro-choice, super-socailist, etc. and, when you asked her what religion she was, she’d reply “Catholic”. I, of course, was natural remind her that you can’t actually be pro-choice and really be Catholic…needless to say that relationship didn’t go the distance.

    And in any event you should know all this since the media’s charicature of Evangelical Christians is exactly the same thing: a horrific cartoon character strawman that only exists in some backwater mountain town in the Ozarks (or, more likely, from a viewing of Inherit the Wind when they were kids).

    Hope that clears a little bit of it up for ya ;)

    I may no longer be Catholic (not even part of the social club, in fact) but don’t let the media warp your perceptions fo what Catholicism is and isn’t.

    (And for anyone else posting after me, yes, I’m painting with broad strokes or we’ll be here for days.)


    1. Espiscopalians, Presbyterians (PCUSA, not PCA), United Church of Christ? I hope I am not offending anyone by saying that those denominations are really not orthodox. You could have added ELCA and the United Methodists as well, to that list. So, point taken.

      The reason why I was so alarmed is because the poll was of conservative Catholics. That’s what scared me. I thought that if I were a bit provocative, then more Catholics would jump in and defend themselves – explain these poll results to me.

      And I also know that younger evangelicals are also voting for Obama because of same-sex marriage and social justice. They do not see the difference between wealth redistribution and charity. And how could they? They won’t put down the Left Behind novels or their Christian music long enough to read any Thomas Sowell.


  3. Your posts to date have constantly emphasized facts over rhetoric, yet in this entry you demonstrate that your information on Catholic doctrine is more rhetoric than fact. Statements such as “I think Catholic voters are being swayed by Obama’s emphasis on helping the poor, even by government redistribution of wealth. Protestants are less interested [then Catholics] in government redistribution of wealth, but more interested in private charity, self-sufficiency and liberty.” have no evidentiary backing, it is just your opinion based upon some nonscientific inscrutable sampling. I am Catholic and I don’t know any one my Church who is a proponent of government mandated redistribution of wealth. Further, contrary to popular opinion, the Catholic doctrine does not teach salvation through works. Salvation is first and foremost through the saving power of Jesus’ sacrifice, and the accepting of that gift.

    Quite frankly I don’t understand why feel the need to make divisive comments to your fellow Christians.

    I believe we are all in a fight against evil and we are much stronger together than divided. I will pray you see the power of our unity and faith in Christ.


    1. Well, I appreciate your comment and I am sorry that you were offended. I wasn’t trying to use rhetoric. I’m sure you have seen the numbers – a majority of Catholics voted for Obama. I am just looking for an explanation to those numbers, not trying to make Catholics feel bad.

      So, I want an explanation. And look! You left a comment, and that is good. I thought about it a bit more and clarified what I meant.


  4. Well, I was going to say, having re-read your post, that you might have some very good points (the lack of sleep strikes!), but now I see that it’s by bloody Gallup?! The most notoriously/horrifically wrong/biased polling outfit in the country–weren’t they something like 18th best in 2008 (behind DKOS! of all places)? And are showing sky-high approval ratings for Obama, week-in, week-out while everyone else shows him trending downwards, steeply, for the last few months? I should know better than to take Allah’s readings of, well, anything as gospel. (I don’t even read Hot Air anymore specifically because of that guy.)

    I suggest, if you have the time (and if Gallup offers them) review the questions themselves, the breakdown of the political affiliation of the voters being questioned (would it be a big surprise if they grossly over-sampled Dems and/or registered voters instead of a balance and likely voters? Not if this is typical Gallup shenaningans!) Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even bother recording political affiiliation becuse they wouldn’t want that to disembowel their entire poll!

    I’ll check tomorrow and post again after some sleep, but between Gallup and Allah…well…

    (However, everything else I said about Catholics stands: they are charicatured as badly as every other faith group in this country by the media, so whenever you see this sort of chicanery, it’s a good thing to just pretend they’re saying “Orthodox Christian” and look at it w/ an extremely jaundiced eye.


  5. I suggest everyone also check out the methodology (what insubstantial amounts they provide) and draw your own conclusions about what might be a large percentage of the culprit.

    And I have to say that WK is correct that Catholics, even though I think this polls skews high (like 10+ points across the board–.5% margin for error? In their dreams), do tend to favor Obama a bit more than they should because they think that a Dem=more beneficial to the poor. (And they sure are, to the point that they’ll ignore “teach a man to fish” by giving him all the fish he’ll ever need so that he never need fish again while destroying his self-esteem and self-respect with every pound of gov’t. largesse.)

    I think a better question might be: why is there such a disconnect between Euro-American Catholics and the Vatican on the issue of abortion, which the Church has made clear on endless occasions is the single non-negotiable item in a Catholic’s worldview, being head and shoulders more important than all other issues Catholics, traditionally, hold dear?


  6. NO truly conservative Catholics support ‘the one.’. That is the good news.

    The bad news is that conservatives have been driven out of the church by an increasingly-communist clergy that is rebelling against actual church teachings.


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