Green Bay bishop urges parishioners to vote against candidates who support abortion, gay marriage

Green Bay bishop urges parishioners to vote against candidates who support abortion, gay marriage

11:09 AM, Oct 26, 2012   |
 
GPG n Feast Day - Shrine 0816

Green Bay Bishop David Ricken is shown here at the outdoor mass for the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary in August. In a letter to parishoners this week, Ricken addressed the issues Catholics should consider when voting Nov. 6.
Written by
Press-Gazette

Bishop David Ricken, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, noted in a recent letter to parishioners that voting for candidates who support what he calls “intrinsically evil” positions, such as abortion and gay marriage, could “put your own soul in jeopardy.”

Ricken’s letter, dated Oct. 24, notes that the church has a responsibility to “speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the ‘common good.’” It goes on to note principles to keep in mind in the voting booth on Nov. 6, including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage.

“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken said in the letter. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”

• Read Bishop David Ricken’s letter.

While Ricken’s letter does not specify who should get parishioners’ votes, Republican candidates typically oppose abortion rights while Democrats, to a large degree, support them.

On the abortion issue, for example, President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have different views. The Democratic incumbent supports access to abortion without restriction, mandating free contraception for women and changing his mind this year to endorse gay marriage. Romney is socially conservative, opposing gay marriage and abortion rights and saying the government should not mandate free contraception.

Ricken’s guidance on these issues carry a lot of weight in this region — the diocese has 304,614 members in 16 counties. Across the state, Catholics make up more than 25 percent of the population, or 1.5 million people, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies’ 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study.

MEDIA PUT 18,000 IN NOT-QUITE-FULL 5,000-SEAT ARENA FOR OBAMA IN WISCONSIN.

 

MEDIA PUT 18,000 IN NOT-QUITE-FULL 5,000-SEAT ARENA FOR OBAMA IN WISCONSIN.

by JOEL B. POLLAK  22 September.

 

President Barack Obama is having trouble drawing large crowds on the campaign trail. At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, his campaign was forced to move his acceptance speech from the 74,000-seat Bank of America Stadium to the 20,000 Time Warner Cable Arena, citing weather as the excuse. But the media are always eager to help–for example, putting 18,000 people inside a 5,000-seat arena at an Obama event in Milwaukee on Saturday.

The contradiction was first noted by battlegroundwatch.com. Local media, including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that Obama had addressed “supporters who filled the 5,000-seat BMO Harris Pavilion, along with thousands more who sat in bleachers and stood on the pavement beyond the protection of the roof, even as wind and rain lashed down in the latter moments of the near 30-minute speech.”

The pavilion was not “filled”–a local reporter for Patch.com filmed empty seats in the bleachers at the side of the arena (see above). Nevertheless, the Journal-Sentinal played it safe, putting attendance at roughly 5,000-plus, a small but respectable turnout.

That’s not how national media covered it. Darren Samuelsohn of Politico reported that the president addressed “a crowd the Obama campaign estimated at 18,000 in a city park overlooking Lake Michigan” in an attempt to “lock up” Wisconsin.

Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal–whose news section, according to UCLA professor Tim Groseclose, is the most liberal of any major mainstream outlet–repeated the campaign’s 18,000 claim without even revealing the source of the official-sounding estimate.

Both outlets described the location of the rally as a “park,” without revealing the name of the arena itself, which would have given the game away.

The images provided by news wires are predominantly close-up shots such as the one above, showing Obama surrounded by a small circle of supporters. Only Getty Images has a wider shot, similar to images at the left-wing message board Democratic Underground that show the inside of the arena. That’s a full-ish arena, but nowhere near 18,000 people.

There seem to be no images at all of the 13,000 people who supposedly made up the difference outside the BMO Harris Pavilion.

(I’ll be happy to correct this article if anyone can find any.)

Meanwhile, the nation is being told that Obama drew a massive crowd–nearly the size of the crowd at his acceptance speech in Charlotte–in a crucial swing state six weeks before the election is over.

If Obama were really doing so well, why would the media have to resort to such distortions?

And why would he be in Wisconsin in the first place?