The Nation’s Second Catholic President Should Act Like It

by

Saturday, January 30, 2021


President Joe Biden is the United States’ second-ever Catholic Commander-in-Chief. This, one would think, would bring joy and jubilation to Catholic-Americans across the country. But the outline for early action policy items from the Biden transition team, along with the anti-Catholic record of Vice President Kamala Harris, could put the religious liberties of Catholics at large and Catholic groups at risk.

As we have seen from leaked documents on Twitter and from leaks to the Washington Post, Biden has a string of executive actions coming down the pipeline that may infringe on religious liberties and other social issues that Catholics hold dear.

The first and arguably most blatant example is outlined by the son of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Christopher, on Twitter. The leaked document cited in his tweet says,

“Reverse Trump actions on abortion and reproductive healthcare, including reversing the Mexico City Policy, restoring funding to Planned Parenthood and contraceptive coverage under the ACA.”

All of these policies hurt the pro-life cause, which is to be expected from the average, pro-choice Democrat. Even the Democrats’ seemingly favorite Pope just compared abortion to “hiring a hitman,” which isn’t totally without merit. 

For the second-ever Catholic president ever, though, it is the contraceptive coverage issue that will cause the largest optical blunder. This means the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns, will likely have to return to court at the behest of President Biden. Christopher Scalia said it best: “Day 1: recite On Eagle’s Wings Day 2: pick another fight with nuns.” 

As stated in the leaked Biden Agenda document, Planned Parenthood is going to be funded again and the Mexico City Policy, which prevent the taxpayer from funding abortions or abortion advocacy abroad, will be restored. Biden’s long record of contradicting Church teaching on the dignity of human life should outrage Catholics.

CNN reported that the President is seeking to reinstitute Title IX rules regarding transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms according to gender identity rather than the sex assigned at birth. This is terrible idea for many reasons, but simply viewed through a religious liberty lens, this would violate a Catholic school’s right to follow their own beliefs on sex, gender, and the dignity of the human person. Catholics don’t follow “gender ideology.” The government can’t force them at point-of-gun to accept the Progressive dogma of transgenderism and incorporate it into their belief system and how they run their schools.

Biden’s pick for VP should also have Catholics scratching their heads. How can a Catholic pick as his running mate someone who said that being a member in a Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus, is a disqualifier for a judicial nominee? That should have disqualified her from the start.

John F. Kennedy, America’s first Catholic president, was also someone who did not seek to bring his faith into his leadership. Kennedy said about his religion: 

“I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.”

Unfortunately, we are getting more of this with Joe Biden. For Biden to accept Church teaching on certain policy issues and attempt to enact them would not mean that America becomes a theocracy. The Church has a lot of leeway in how people can reach certain ends of Catholic Social Teaching, but on the issue of abortion the teaching is clear—the law must reflect the dignity of the human person.

There are some issues of Catholic Social Teaching that are absolutely within the prudential realm of American politics that Joe Biden should sign on to. Seventy percent of Americans think that abortion should be illegal or only legal under certain circumstances. Fifty-four percent of American adults think that sex is determined at birth. These are majority opinions. Religious freedom, one of the cornerstones of Catholic Social Teaching, is enshrined in the Constitution and the president takes an oath to uphold that very document. Violating the religious liberty of any religious group goes against the Church’s teaching, let alone violating the religious liberty of your own tradition by forcing nuns to pay for birth control against their will. All of these issues are primed for Joe Biden to be able to get a majority of Americans on his side and follow Church teaching.

There are some issues of Catholic Social Teaching that Biden gets right, namely the environment, immigration, and race relations. His methods for those might not be the most prudent, but he’s been better than the generic Republican. On the most fundamental issues surrounding life and the dignity of the human person, however, Biden is dead wrong.

The social teaching of the Church doesn’t endorse either party, which is what makes every election so difficult for Catholics. It isn’t clear if the President is bowing to the woke mob or simply doesn’t believe in the teaching of the Church, but Joe Biden is a Catholic. Catholic voters should expect Catholic politicians to champion their values in office.

 

 

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Matt is a junior Politics, Philosophy, and Economics major at Suffolk University in Boston. He is from Lakeville, MA, and has been involved in various political campaigns and media. He co-hosts the "A House Divided" podcast, available on all podcasting platforms. Matt plans on attending law school after college.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Matthew Lewis

Suffolk University

Matt is a junior Politics, Philosophy, and Economics major at Suffolk University in Boston. He is from Lakeville, MA, and has been involved in various political campaigns and media. He co-hosts the "A House Divided" podcast, available on all podcasting platforms. Matt plans on attending law school after college.

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