The Catholic Vote for Freedom
Could religious liberty decide the election?

Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow at the Catholic Association


LOPEZ: Is there a single most important point in the Catholic Association scorecard?

MCGUIRE: I think the freedom of religion versus freedom of worship distinction may be the most important thing because it gets to the trend underlying all of Obama’s actions. His administration just told Tyndale Publishing, a Christian publishing company, that they are not a “religious” organization and therefore must comply with the HHS mandate right away. What an insult! But again, if your view is that religion is about worship only, then sure: a publishing house doesn’t qualify as religious.

Try applying the freedom-of-worship test to every instance where Obama has violated religious freedom. A real trend starts to appear.


LOPEZ: How important is the Catholic vote in this election cycle?

MCGUIRE: Catholic voters could be the kingmakers in this election. In the key states such as Ohio, Colorado, and Florida, their votes alone could decide the election.

LOPEZ: What is the Catholic vote exactly?

MCGUIRE: The Catholic vote is this: American men and women who, like everyone else, want to wake up every morning not worried about how to buy their son soccer shoes or daughter a backpack. American men and women who want to know they will go to Church on Sunday without having to hear their priest explain the soup kitchen needs more money to pay fines to the federal government for refusing to violate Church teaching. American men and women who love this country as much as their Protestant, LDS, Muslim, Hindu neighbors do and want to see her remain a beacon of freedom and hope throughout the world.

LOPEZ: What should Catholics be looking for in the debate between two Catholic vice-presidential candidates?

MCGUIRE: Catholics will see two very different approaches presented as to how to deal with economic issues. The Church teaches that these are matters of prudential judgment about which well-meaning Catholics can disagree. But there are other issues about which there is not room for Catholic leaders to disagree with Church teaching, such as the inherent human dignity in every life, born or unborn, or the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. Catholics will no doubt see a clear distinction between the candidates on these issues as well.

Catholics will decide for themselves how the candidates measure up. Our hope is that the voter guide helps Catholics and all voters who value religious liberty to cut through the noise as the election draws nearer.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor-at-large of National Review Online.


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