Saturday, October 25, 2008
A few days ago, E.J. Dionne discussed with his (I admit) wider-than-MOJ readership what MOJ readers already know, i.e., Catholics are not "one issue" voters and are divided with respect to the upcoming election. (To be clear -- no one thinks that Catholics are or should be "one issue" voters; some of us do think, though, that the abortion problem is more than just "one issue" among many.) He concludes with the prediction that "this election could hang on the struggle of Catholic voters with their priorities and their consciences."
I was sorry to see that no where in his piece -- or in the statements of Bishop Gabino Zavala, which Dionne discussed -- did the matter of education-reform / school-choice / religious freedom / Catholic schools come up. It seems to me that this really has been the "missing issue" in the great "how should Catholics vote" debate. And, as our own Greg Sisk has explained (here and here), this is unfortunate, both because the issue is foundationally important and because the Church's Social Teaching speaks quite clearly in this context. (It is likely, for example -- and deeply regrettable -- that Washington, D.C.'s school-choice program will be terminated by the next Congress, with President Obama's acquiescence, once President Bush is no longer there to veto a repeal-attempt.)