Right off the bat, I'll tell you that I was baptized Catholic and attended sixteen years of Catholic school. I studied Classical Greek, Theology, Medieval History and Philosophy at Fordham University and left the Church at age 20. About ten years ago, I tried to reconnect. Did the reconciliation, went to mass regularly, etc. I finally decided that what had driven me away originally still hadn't been fixed. Women were still second-class citizens in the Catholic God's world.
Today, when I opened my email account, I discovered the video below, sent to me by a woman friend, also a lapsed Catholic. She has been inundated with videos and literature like this by her still-practicing family, people who routinely vote against their own economic self-interest because their Church "tells" them to vote against abortion.
In the video, a surrogate organization, shilling for the Catholic Church, clearly tells Catholic viewers that abortion is the ONLY issue that is important in the upcoming election. As you will see, in what can only be described as propaganda, the video juxtaposes photos of a voting booth, a fetus, the sign for high gas prices and global warming with the following words superimposed on the images:
MANY ISSUES ARE AT STAKE.
SOME ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS.
NO ISSUE CAN BE IGNORED
BUT NONE ARE MORE CRUCIAL
TO THE FOUNDATION OF OUR COUNTRY THAN
The message is extremely clear, even to those not raised Catholic.
Vote for the party that labels itself pro-life.
Now, exactly what party would that be?
As far as I'm concerned, that Catholic Church - through this surrogate site - has endorsed a political party just as surely as if every priest stood in the pulpit next Sunday morning and ordered his congregation to vote for McCain and Palin.
Never mind that the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestants like Sarah Palin would make a 12-year-old girl carry her father's baby to term (now, why doesn't someone ask McCain about THAT in the next debate?!!)
This is blatant use of the internet and modern marketing techniques to sway the votes of millions of Americans. Catholics are in awe of the power of the Pope. The clever cutting and pasting of powerful archetypical images, co-mingled with historical images of proud Catholic Americans, leads to only one possible conclusion for a devout Catholic to draw. And that is: Vote Republican.
This video was produced (at some cost, I would imagine) by CatholicVote.com, the brain-child of another Catholic organization called Fidelis.
From the Fidelis website:
"Fidelis (Latin for faithful) is the universal name for a group of Catholic-based political, legal, research and educational organizations whose collective mission it is to formulate, promote, and defend public policies that uphold religious freedom, human life from conception to natural death, and the traditional institutions of marriage and family.
"Our structure and approach is designed to coordinate the efforts of four related organizations under a comprehensive structure and unifying vision in order to effectively shape public debate, influence public policy, and defend critical freedoms in areas consistent with its mission. In this objective, Fidelis is unique in combining political, legal, policy and educational components at the service of one mission."
Recently dozens of evangelical pastors put their tax-exempt status at risk when they defied the IRS prohibition against preaching politics from the pulpit and began instructing their congregants to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.
The Catholic Church, through groups like Fidelis, is doing precisely the same thing, only in a way designed to preserve that all-important tax exemption!
Watch and decide for yourself.