Leon Suprenant on Catholics and Clinton [UPDATED]
Leon Suprenant offers his take on Hillary!'s appeal to Catholics at the CUF Blog:
A friend just forwarded to me an article by Melinda Henneberger entitled, “Hillary for Mother Superior: Why Catholics Prefer Clinton to Obama.”(emphasis and editorial commentary added)
Henneberger begins the piece by mentioning that her Catholic friends tend to favor Obama, noting that “there is a lot for Catholics to like in Obama’s early opposition to the war, attention to social justice issues, and promise of reconciliation across so many divides. And his stance on abortion rights is identical to Hillary Clinton’s, so you’d think that issue be would off the table in the Democratic primary.”
She also refers to the presence of Catholics on Obama’s National Steering Committee. I note that this committee includes dissident theologian Richard Gaillardetz from the University of Toledo, who has been mentioned in previous posts on this blog. [ED.: I have to admire a man who, like me, also takes issue with the Toledo Blade's favorite go-to dissenting Catholic theologian.]
Despite all this, Henneberger cites polls showing that in those states where this sort of data is available, Clinton’s advantage over Obama among “white Catholics” is in the double-digit range. She then goes on to give many possible reasons why this is so–some more plausible, others more asinine.
She is an “empowered” woman with an unthreatening, Christian-lite Gospel that would attract people who want the compassion without all the doctrine. With apologies to Professor Kmiec [ED.: I think it's Prof. Kmiec who owes some apologies for that "Catholic natural" nonsense.], I think Clinton is more of a “Catholic natural” than Obama when it comes to connecting with the religious sensibilities of lukewarm or dissident Catholics.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, who likewise claims religiosity as he feverishly looks for a new pastor, has simply made too many abrasive missteps in the area of religion and right to life to come off as a viable candidate to all but the most secularized Catholics.
Mark Shea links to Suprenant's post, and points out that Catholic Democrats are always described in the media as "devout".