I’m independent, pro choice and non-religious, but I never understood why so many Catholics vote dem. I always thought a lot of those social issues like abortion and gay marriage were really important to them?
Taken from the Catholic Digest publication:
Democrats and Catholic Americans share the same priorities. We endorse diversity and equality, progress and prosperity, fiscal and personal responsibility. Democrats have fought to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, raise the minimum wage, enact a Patients’ Bill of Rights, and preserve the environment. We balanced the budget and have paved the way toward putting 100,000 new community police officers on the streets.
Democrats are the party of progress. Democrats fight to ensure prosperity for all American families, not just a few. We are the party of fiscal responsibility, the party that can keep the economy growing. We want to protect Social Security and Medicare without altering the fundamental nature of those programs.
Democrats support diversity. We are the party of tolerance and inclusion. We oppose the anti-Catholic rhetoric of the Christian Right, as well as its antisemitism. We believe a Catholic has the right to be chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democrats want to help people help themselves. We support a minimum wage, safe working conditions, and the earned-income tax credit. We’ve sought to raise the minimum wage and enact an equal-work-for-equal-pay statute for women. We have also tried to vigorously enforce the American With Disabilities Act. And as the party of fiscal responsibility, we’ve fought for a balanced budget to ensure that we have the funds for the programs Americans depend upon.
Democrats support education. We are committed to ensuring accountability in education, making class sizes smaller, and making schools safer. We also support school safety initiatives to take guns out of schools. We support higher education through Hope Scholarships (a $1,500 tax credit for individuals, spouses, or dependents) and other tax credits.
Democrats support the Brady Bill as well as waiting periods to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and kids: also, we support commonsense reforms such as trigger locks, background checks, and closing the gun-show loophole.
The article outlines more areas which are far closer to Democratic than Republican principles. The issues you outline above are not as important to Catholics as they are within other churches in the US, they are willing to oppose the teachings from Rome and put others issues such as equality, fairness and tolerance above these issues, social justice teaching is deeply rooted in Catholicism.
The Catholic church still oppose contraception, yet you only have to look at the size of the average Catholic family in the US to realise that almost no Catholics follow this ruling. The same with abortion, Catholic women account for 31.3% of abortions carried out in the US, yet according to the CIA factbook they only make up around 22% of the population.
This trend is the same within Europe where Italy which is 90% Catholic currently has the lowest European birth rate. In 2009 there 116,933 abortions were performed in this Catholic country.
The Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that ":the church clearly teaches the dignity of homosexual persons and condemns ":all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse.": The bishops said their defense of marriage focuses ":on the importance of marriage, not on homosexuality or other matters.": So while they might oppose marriage between homosexuals it is not based on prejudice and the teachings of some right wing US churches that homosexuality is evil and against God.
Maybe the answer is that Catholics in the US do not follow their church blindly but make up their own minds on social issues which they do not see as bringing their faith into question and issues you would call ":really important": do not rate as high with them as other social issues.
What makes you think Catholics are overwhelmingly Democrats?
I have met Catholics of just about every political persuesion.
Abortion and gay marriage aren’t the only social issues people care about. At least rational people.
I only voted for Republicans and Independents.
No one asked me my religious affiliation when I voted.
Yes. There is no political litmus test to be Catholic.
because they arent real hardcore Jesus freaks like the Christians in the south..
because they need the welfare money.