By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A leading Catholic organization has launched a new website designed to educate and inspire Catholic voters about the upcoming election.
CatholicVote.com was launched by Fidelis, a group of Catholic-based organizations whose collective mission is to defend public policies that uphold religious freedom and traditional values.
The centerpiece of the new site is a powerful three minute documentary that highlights the many contributions of Catholics to American public life. The video connects the fight for civil rights, human dignity and the family through the history of the nation. The dramatic conclusion of the film urges viewers to ‘vote your conscience.’”
In addition to the video, the site contains resources on how to register to vote, research on candidate positions, documents from the Bishops and an invitation to join in prayer.
“The U.S. Bishops have stated that ‘responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation,’” said Brian Burch, director of CatholicVote.com. “We launched CatholicVote.com to provide Catholics and all people of good will with the tools to both educate and inspire their fellow citizens as they prepare to vote in November.”
The goal for the site was to develop something that could complement the many excellent voter guides, statements, and resources developed by other organizations.
“Our hope is to not only win over the minds of voters, but also the hearts of American Catholics and Christians,” said Burch.
“There’s no reason Catholics should be silent about the wonderful contribution Catholics have made to American life. Catholics have a rich heritage of fighting injustice and helping the poor and the defenseless. As Archbishop Chaput says so wonderfully in his new book Render Unto Casear, we serve the nation when we live our Catholic beliefs in political life.”
Catholics play a major role in American politics. Since 1976, winning the Catholic vote meant winning the White House except in 2000, when Al Gore won both the Catholic vote and the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush.
“At 67 million strong, the Catholic vote is critical to American elections,” said Burch. “Catholics vote in higher numbers than the rest of the population and they live in important swing states like Michigan, Ohio and Florida,” he said.
“We encourage all Catholics to take a look at CatholicVote.com. At the site, you can register to vote and join other Catholics in prayer. You can also read up on the issues, and most importantly, send the video to your friends. There is plenty of evangelization to be done when it comes to voting.”
CatholicVote.com is a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy. The website does not endorse any candidate for office.
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“Voting with a Clear Conscience” by Fr. Frank Pavone. Booklet available at http://womenofgrace.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=331