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Letters & Op-Eds - 2008

los angeles times

Catholics in the voting booth

Jon O'Brien

27 August 2008

Re "Pulpit and ballot," editorial, Aug. 21

Archbishop Raymond Burke may be focused on the relationship between religion, abortion and politics; however, Catholic voters are united in their aversion to mixing politics and religion.

In a recent poll by Catholics for Choice, 70% of those polled said that the views of Catholic bishops were unimportant to them in deciding for whom to vote, and 73% said that they believed Catholic politicians were under no religious obligation to vote on issues as the bishops recommend.

Catholic voters make up 20% of the American electorate, and polling results show that they are focused on the basic bread-and-butter issues -- the economy, healthcare and national security -- and not on issues such as abortion.

As goes the Catholic vote, so goes the election. The candidates should begin paying careful attention to what Catholics really care about, and not concern themselves with how a few bishops may be voting.

This letter originally appeared in the 27 August 2008 edition of the Los Angeles Times.