A PARTIAL CRITIQUE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
As a layman, a practicing Roman Catholic, and a Union leader, let me start by saying that I respect and adhere to all that the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches. In fact, my Roman Catholic faith and the teachings of the Church are the underpinnings of my involvement in the labor movement, and continue to inform and inspire my work. Further, I am a Board Member of the Catholic Labor Network as a result of my commitment to both my Faith and my work.
That said, I must admit that I am somewhat confused of late, particularly when well-respected Catholic Church leaders say things like “I have read the Republican Party platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin.”[i] With all due respect, I thought that the Catholic Bishops had clearly defined their role in politics, at least in part, when they said, “…we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth.”[ii] The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) most correctly noted that “In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Church’s leaders are to avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote.”[iii] I would rather that Catholic leaders point out to me what there is in the Republican Party Platform that supports and promotes the teaching of the Catholic Church, as well as social justice in our country and world.
So, while I certainly have plenty of concerns over the Democratic Party Platform, particularly the areas that would rightfully be considered intrinsically evil, my experiences have taught me that the Democrats generally stand with working men and women, whereas today’s Republican Party appears to stand more with the rich and ultra-rich, against the common good, as well as against issues of importance to working men and women, such as just wages. I have the sense that some Catholic leaders are trying to tell Catholics that they cannot vote Democratic because of certain platform issues that are considered intrinsically evil. Whereas because these same Catholic leaders do not find anything in the Republican Party platform that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin, apparently Catholics should vote Republican? I respectfully disagree, and will try to elucidate my concerns with the Republican Party Platform and why I believe it supports serious sin, from the perspective of a Catholic layman involved in the labor movement. Read more