Democrats in Minnesota anti-Catholic political postcard campaign

I have seen this story in various places, but LifeSite has a good summary.

A campaign postcard the Minnesota Democratic Party sent to voters in the Midwestern state is causing a strong reaction from pro-life advocates. It claims the Catholic Church is more concerned with abortion than helping the poor. The postcard features a large photo of a older but faceless Catholic priest holding a Bible and wearing the clearly-seen Roman Catholic collar.

The priest sports a campaign button in a red, white and blue motif with the words, “Ignore the Poor.

The ad, in the estimation of National Catholic Register writer Matt Archbold is blatantly Catholic and meant to tell voters the Catholic Church is more concerned about abortion than the plight of the poor.

“Sometimes there’s a little subtlety to anti-Catholic political rhetoric but not this time. This is in your face anti-Catholicism,” he said. “It’s anti-Catholicism is not one point of many. It’s the point.”

“But this postcard has nothing to do with the poor. What this is about is the fact that the Church stands strong against abortion and gay marriage. And that makes some very angry,” he explained.  [This could very well be payback for Archbp. Nienstedt’s initiatives.]

Archbold says he’s concerned that Minnesota party leaders must believe the postcard could sway enough voters to make the anti-Catholic sentiment useful.

“One of the more worrisome things about this is that this group must believe that there’s enough of an anti-Catholic vote that this would pay dividends. Could that be true?” he said.

“Never mind the factual basis the charge that the Church ignores the poor is absolutely ridiculous because the Church is the most charitable organization on the planet,” he continued.

Stella Borealis of the Northland Catholic blog originally noted the postcard.
She said the DFL in Minnesota is “probably composed of the most radical of the DFL activists (I actually heard at one convention one candidate being asked, “What is your position on abortion and how radical are you?”).”
“I don’t know how many were sent out, but this was received by a Catholic in the Twin Cities. It shows the willful ignorance of Democrats by ignoring what Catholic Charities, the many thousands of Catholic parishes with social justice ministries,” she added. “Is this intended to bring out the Catholic progressive vote? Or those who hate Catholics?”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Scott W. says:

    A poster at Matt’s blog who usually only crops up during election time to bang the drum for abortionist candidates takes issue with this. She’s a stopped clock to be sure, but this might be one of the two times a day she is right. That is, the ad is supposedly aimed at Rev. Dan Hall, a Protestant minister who is also running for office. If so, it’s still bad judgement, but not anti-Catholic.

  2. Random Friar says:

    Is it just me, or does the graphic look like one of those ads for clerical wear (with a Photoshopped button on top)? Also, would this Protestant minister wear clericals? I tried Googling him, but could only find him in a regular suit and tie.

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    How rigidly distinct are clerical collar differences?
    I.e., this looks like a collar I have seen Anglican clergy wear.
    Might others – Orthodox, Lutheran – also wear such a collar?
    Then, according to whom?
    I.e., can the attackers be counted on to get it right?
    This might be intended to be particularly anti-Catholic but also generally anti-clerical/Christian.

  4. Scott W. says:

    Also, would this Protestant minister wear clericals?

    Hall says he has never worn a collar. I normally would not recommend Commonweal, but here is the kerfuffle:

  5. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    It’s not called a Roman collar for nothing, Lads.

    Shame on Minnesota.

  6. ray from mn says:

    Dan Hall is not an ordained Minister; he was at one time an official of the International Conference of Police Chaplains, and he is currently the Police chaplain for the City of Burnsville, MN, and Director of and organization called Midwest Chaplain. In the photographs on his web page, including those provided for the press for printing, he is always seen in a shirt and tie or tie-less. That includes a Google image search on his name. Thus he is not a preacher, which is what the Democrats mockingly call him in the attack ad.

    The entire ad is a veiled attack on the Church and Archbishop John Nienstedt and it’s opposition to homosexual Marriage which will be a big issue in the upcoming legislature, and of course, on abortion. The DFL leadership is virtually unanimous in opposotion to the Church on those two issues.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    I lived in Minneapolis from 1974-1979 and found the area very anti-Catholic even then. At that time, the Lutheran synods had recently voted to allow women priests (1970s in the ELCA), abortion and contraception following in the late 1980s, and the Catholic Church was seen as “draconian” in the stand against all. As a strong, liberal Protestant area, the Catholics were highly influenced by ecumenical movements, which proved dangerous to Catholic understandings of doctrines, which this present bishop is setting right. The homosexual issue was big in the ’70s, when Catholics and some Evangelicals were involved in rescuing and helping such men, especially, break away from a highly homosexual culture in the city. I was part of that ministry as a youth. The anti-Catholicism is not new, but merely a continuation of such. I am hardly surprised at the silly attempt to hit the Church, but it does seem like a blow in response to the recent, clear statements of an excellent bishop.

    By the way, as a very young person, I met the first Episcopalian woman priest in Minneapolis, at a Lutheran bookstore. She was the oldest one, I think, and people were very excited to meet her. That was in August of 1974 or so. Minneapolis always struck me as liberal, way, way liberal…

  8. Jordanes says:

    The ad, in the estimation of National Catholic Register writer Matt Archbold is blatantly Catholic and meant to tell voters the Catholic Church is more concerned about abortion than the plight of the poor.

    Shouldn’t that say “blatantly anti-Catholic”?

  9. ray from mn says:

    I have to correct myself. Dan Hall was ordained as a protestant minister. But most recently he has served as a chaplain or an official in chaplains’ organization. He attends a non-denominational parish.

  10. AndyMo says:

    She said the DFL in Minnesota is “probably composed of the most radical of the DFL activists

    Worse than that. The Minnesota DFL is the Democratic Party in Minnesota. The Farmers League and the Democratic Party in Minnesota merged way back in the 40s. The DFL is the result.

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