Darn. I should have put money on this one. Last November I penned a column entitled “Obama’s Catholic Strategy for 2012: Brilliant”. In it I all but predicted Obama would win the 2012 election regardless of who he was up against. I knew Obama would win because Obama knew he would win.
How’s that? It was simple math. Obama knew that in addition to having the black vote, the latino vote, the youth vote, and the Left vote, he had the biggest vote of all: the Catholic vote. Catholics represent 25% of the population and even if Obama could carry half that, it was still more than the entire black vote.
As it turned out Obama did carry exactly half the Catholic vote. True, it was down 4% from 2008 when he carried 54%, but 50% is 50% too much when you consider that Obama obstinately advocated for three major Catholic non-negotiables (abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage), not to mention his much ballyhooed attack on religious freedom.
In my “Obama Strategy” article of a year ago, I ranted loudly that Catholics would once again go for Obama if the bishops did not get off their “religious freedom” kick and start warning Catholics - not about the consequences of losing their religious freedom - but about the consequences of losing their souls, and NOT because Catholics would vote for a man who embraced these non-negotiables, but because they themselves did!
In the column I noted polls showing 40% Catholic support for abortion, 98% for contraception, and 75% for same-sex marriage. Obama simply had to stand with the Catholics to get their vote. It was easy. The fact that he was able to stuff Cardinal Dolan and humiliate the whole U.S. episcopacy was an added bonus, and he got wined and dined at the Al Smith Dinner to boot.
In the end, the election was not about “jobs, jobs, jobs.” That was just a foil, and the Republicans took the bait. Obama knew he had no record to run on when it came to the economy, and he really didn’t try other than to say he needed more time. Obama knew that Americans were not interested in “jobs, jobs, jobs”, but “sex, sex, sex”, and more sex, and sex without consequences.
This is why the contraceptive mandate was the first thing out of the Obamacare box of goodies. It served a double purpose. With the mandate Obama knew he could both neutralize the U.S. bishops and frame opposition to it as a “War on Women”. Neutralizing the Church is always the first step of dictators...and usually long before we realize they are dictators.
Obama knew he could get away with this because he had learned well the moral innards of the Catholic electorate while working for the late Cardinal Bernardin as a community organizer in Chicago (during which he drew a paycheck from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development - thank you for your donations).
Bernardin, as head of the then National Council of Catholic Bishops, had been instrumental in taking any mention of the evils of contraception off the pulpit in the post-Humanae Vitae mayhem. And it was Bernardin who relegated the intrinsic evil of abortion to the moral status of a soup kitchen with his infamous “seamless garment” ideology.
The “seamless garment” thing - in blatant contradiction to Catholic teaching - basically said that all evils are equal and we cannot speak of one evil as greater than another. The “seamless garment” approach to morality essentially gave license to Catholics - already morally softened by two decades of the sexual revolution and doctrinal silence from the pulpit - to contracept, abort, and engage in their sin of choice so long as they cared about immigration reform.
It was a perfect stage for the rise of a man like Obama who knew how to manipulate those who would compromise with evil. This is why at the Democratic National Convention, in which speaker after speaker spoke of the glories of abortion, contraception, and same-sex whatever, Obama sealed the deal and assuaged the hurting consciences of even the most liberal Catholics with a speech by a nun who wiped the floor with Paul Ryan and redefined “pro-life” to mean concern for the uninsured.
The fact that Obama trotted out Cardinal Dolan at the end to give the final prayer was seen - despite Dolan’s few requisite pro-life remarks - as nothing more than an ode to Obama’s big-mindedness and another stamp on his Catholic passport.
Maybe it’s just me, but something tells me that at the Judgment, Christ is not going to ask us about religious freedom.