Democrats Reach Out to Catholics

Two evangelical leaders, Rev. Jim Wallis and Rev. Tony Campolo, have pledged to reach out to Catholics and evangelicals by pushing the Democratic Party to change its Party Platform on abortion. Wallis told ABC News that “Abortion reduction should be a central Democratic Party plank in this election.” But he also stressed that no legal restrictions need to be embraced.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“Rev. Wallis and Rev. Campolo are to be commended for at least triggering a discussion within the Democratic Party on the subject of abortion. But by explicitly ruling out any legal restrictions, practicing Catholics are not likely to support them.

“After the Democrats lost in 2004, Paul Begala and James Carville wrote a book, Take It Back, admonishing their fellow Democrats to oppose partial-birth abortion and support parental consent laws. Such policy modifications were necessary, they said, because the public wants abortion restrictions. Evidently, Wallis and Campolo disagree.

“Two months after the Democrats lost in 2004, Sen. Hillary Clinton angered a pro-abortion crowd when she said abortion was a ‘sad, even tragic, choice.’ They didn’t want to hear it then, and they don’t want to hear it now. The most they are willing to accept is what Howard Dean told them at the time: no need to change positions, but ‘we can change our vocabulary.’ There’s the rub: This is the politics of deceit.

“Wallis and Campolo have a bigger problem this time around. The presumptive Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, has voted to legalize selective infanticide. So how can the Democrats amend their Party Platform on abortion and reach out to Catholics when their man-who says he supports universal health care-thinks it is okay for a baby who survives an abortion to be denied medical treatment? Sorry, but it will take more than linguistic acrobatics to persuade the faithful. They should have listened to Begala and Carville.”

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • dennisofraleigh

    Like the floodwaters of the Mississippi, Obama’s “Catholic” tide continues to rise. I don’t see any effort by the Dems to qualify their abortion stand as making any substantive difference for Obama’s Catholic approval ratings. Hey, their “Obama for President” bumper-sticker-laden cars are already showing up in our parish parking lots on Sunday for all the world to see.
    I don’t think its going to matter much to them how the Dem platform words its abortion position. Mr. Obama has already staked out his radical abortion-friendly intentions (more accessability to abortuaries, more contraceptives, more sex ed, etc., ad nauseum).
    [Just a question to ponder: Can our Catholic brothers and sisters plead invincible ignorance in defense of their support for B.O. in light of what he has already publicly stated?]
    At the end of the day abortion isn’t really all that terrible to Catholic supporters of Obama. They’re angry and bent on revenge on the Bush adminstration and Republican party for real and imagined wrongs over the past eight years. Abortion, if it figures at all in their voting decisions, is little more than an unwelcome sidewhow that they hope will somehow resolve itself if only they can elect a president (Obama) and sufficient numbers of Dem congressmen (and women) and senators who will put into place bigger anti-poverty programs, universal healthcare and other equally irrelevant efforts, or so the thinking goes.

  • DonHudzinski


    Do they not realize that these programs are not free, those performing the anti-proverty progams and the universal healthcare are going to want pay.

    To bad it is not like it was before the Democrats took power and demand wages from us. What fools we are. Some of us remember the good old days, when these money grabers were not around.

  • Hudzinski is right about one thing: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. And as I said on my site so many years ago (LINK), we ought not put in the hands of Caesar the work that we should be doing for God.

  • and since it looks like links can’t be made to work in these comments, the URL for that essay is

  • gk

    It is good to see that Rev. Jim Wallis and Rev. Tony Campolo think enough of Catholics and of the evil of abortion to try to reach out. I am impressed. I am happy about that and hope that this kind of talk continues to develop.

    I do vote for life and will continue to vote for people who will support life. I will not be a knee jerk life voter. I will continue to decipher candidates stand on life, rather than just their rehtoric. I think McCain will support life. I think Obama will not. It is too bad because I do like many other things that Obama stands for.


    – God is good!

  • mac286

    McCain needs to capitalize on Catholic voters by expressing his good pro-life record and by exposing Barack’s. Barack Obama voted against a bill in Illinois that would require doctors to perform life saving medical treatment on babies born “alive” during botched abortions. He also opposed parental consent laws and other reasonable restrictions on abortion. Why is no one talking about these issues? If this is McCain’s strategy, he will certainly lose. Furthermore, the most important act a President can perform is to appoint federal judges and in particular, Supreme Court judges. They have the ability to create imaginery rights, like the right to privacy, i.e. abortion, that is not in the Constitution.

  • noelfitz

    I am pleased to hear BO is reaching out to Catholics. If he is serious in this he will change his pro-abortion stance.