DNC chairman Tom Perez sat down with Jonathan Swan of Axios yesterday for an extended discussion about the state of the Democratic Party. Swan conducted a typically thorough, probing interview. His exchange with Perez about the party’s relationship with Catholic voters was particularly revealing:
JONATHAN SWAN: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, he’s the leader of the Catholic Church in America, he wrote this after you made those comments: “It saddens me and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish when the part that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.
TOM PEREZ: Actually the majority of Catholics voted for Democrats in 2016.
What else do the “majority of Catholics” do? They support abortion and same-sex marriage, fail to attend Mass weekly, dispute the central fact of the Church’s liturgical life, want to admit women to the priesthood, support admitting active public adulterers to the Blessed Sacrament, and ignore the Church’s teaching on contraception. That they vote for political candidates who support legal abortion up until the moment of birth (and beyond) should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the impiety of the “majority of Catholics.”
Matthew 25 is a pretty important teaching. And Matthew 25 says, you know, “when you are hungry, I fed you. When you were naked, I provided you with clothing. When you were an immigrant, I welcomed you.” I think one of the reasons why so many people are moving away from Donald Trump is that he’s abandoned all of those values.
In St. Matthew’s account of the Last Judgment, Christ uses the second-person pronoun — e.g., “I was hungry, and you gave me to eat” — throughout the parable when addressing the souls before Him. The imperative to charity is clearly construed as one that obtains to the individual, an imperative that is not fulfilled merely by voting for a politician who promises to use the threat of force to expropriate the wealth of one’s neighbor.
As for Perez’s concern for the “least of these”– I can hardly think of a more vulnerable human being in our society than the unborn child that his party supports killing up until the moment of birth. Something Perez might contemplate if he reads the Last Judgment parable through to its end.