Conservative HQ’s Richard Viguerie notes the significance of the recent announcement that Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the benediction at next week’s GOP convention:
The archdiocese of New York is one of more than 40 Roman Catholic groups suing President Obama because they contend the Obamacare mandate that employers provide insurance that covers sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives — including those that can cause abortions — violates their religious beliefs. So, Cardinal Dolan’s presence really draws attention to the religious freedom argument against Obamacare.
Cardinal Dolan’s presence also adds to the already strongly pro-life tenor of the Convention and sends a signal that despite the advice of his establishment Republican consultants — with strongly pro-life Roman Catholic Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate — Governor Romney is prepared to embrace the pro-life elements of the conservative social agenda.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Cardinal Dolan would accept an invitation from the Democrats as well:
Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said Cardinal Dolan’s agreement to participate, which occurred “within the last two weeks,” should not be seen as partisan.
“Cardinal Dolan is going to pray, not to engage in partisan politics,” Mr. Zwilling said. “He made it clear when he accepted the invitation that he would also accept an invitation from the Democratic National Committee to offer a prayer at their convention, should they ask.
The Democratic National Committee has made no statement about Cardinal Dolan and its convention. Breitbart News contacted the press offices at both the Democratic National Convention and the Archdiocese of New York for comments, but neither organization has provided a response as of yet.
As Viguerie’s article suggests, a cold shoulder to Cardinal Dolan from the Democrats would be reminiscent of President Carter’s disastrous attack on Evangelical Christians during the 1980 campaign:
When Carter’s IRS administrator issued an order stating that any religious school founded after the 1952 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court school integration ruling was presumed to be created to circumvent the ruling, and integration — the response from religious educators of all faiths was swift opposition. It set-off what amounted to an atomic bomb in the middle of the hitherto apolitical Evangelical community and set the stage for the rise of the so-called Religious Right.
Jimmy Carter’s unprovoked attack on Evangelicals brought millions of new conservative Christian voters into the Republican Party. It also helped propel Ronald Reagan to victory in two national elections, led to the near-destruction of the Democrats as a national party in the Bible Belt and made Carter a one-term President.
If the Democratic Party continues to align itself exclusively with “social justice” Catholics while criticizing and ostracizing the pro-life Catholics who make up the majority of congregation members around the country, the political realignments of the 2012 Presidential campaign may well echo those of the 1980 Presidential campaign.
UPDATE: Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, told Breitbart News this afternoon that the Archdiocese had notified the Democratic National Committee that Cardinal Dolan had accepted the invitation to deliver the benediction at the Republican National Convention and that he was willing to do the same thing at the Democratic National Convention, if invited. Zwilling emphasized that Cardinal Dolan was not soliciting an invitation to the Democratic National Convention.
“They thanked us for the notification,” Zwilling said, “but there’s been no follow up from them since.”