Catholics in Congress – The Ongoing Scandal

Deal W. Hudson
May 17, 2009

The scandal of President Barack Obama receiving an honorary degree at Notre Dame yesterday pales in comparison with the ongoing scandal of Catholics in Congress. Of the 161 Catholics presently serving, only 26 have 100 percent pro-life voting records, while 28 have a zero percent rating. Sixty-five have less than a 20 percent pro-life rating and 75 have accepted donations from pro-abortion lobbying groups.

These statistics are available at www.onenationundergod.org where Lisa Correnti has just published an exhaustive list of the pro-life voting records of Catholics in the 111th Congress. (Her numbers are based upon information from the National Right to Life compilation of life issue votes since 1997.) The advantage of Correnti’s list over others is that her numbers come from the entire career of each member. For example, Sen. John Kerry’s rating (4 percent) is based upon 45 votes since he was first elected in 1985. Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) impressive rating of 99 percent comes from 85 votes since 1981.

Of the 26 Catholics in Congress with perfect pro-life voting records, all are Republican, four are from California, two each is from the states of Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and Washington. Only two are from the Senate.

Here is a list of those with a 100 percent rating:

  • Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA)
  • Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA)
  • Rep. David Nunes (R-CA)
  • Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID)
  • Rep. Edward A. Royce (R-CA)
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
  • Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
  • Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fl)
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fl)
  • Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
  • Rep. David Lee (R-MI)
  • Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
  • Rep. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska)
  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska)
  • Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
  • Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
  • Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
  • Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK)
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
  • Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Washington)
  • Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Washington)
  • Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
  • Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

Among the 31 with a zero percent pro-life voting record – or a 100 percent pro-abortion record, in other words – two are from California, four from New York, and three from Connecticut. Only one is a Republican.

Here is the list:

  • Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)
  • Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
  • Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
  • Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA)
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Rep. Jerry McNemey (D-CA)
  • Rep. John Larson (D-CT)
  • Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Rep. Philip Hare (D-IL)
  • Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA)
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota)
  • Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
  • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Albio Sirea (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY)
  • Rep. John Hall (D-NY)
  • Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY)
  • Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PN)
  • Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PN)
  • Rep. Charles Gonzales (D-TX)
  • Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri)
  • Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE)
  • Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
The record of Catholics in Congress is actually worse than the 31 names listed above would indicate. Twenty-two more Catholics have a 1 or 2 percent pro-life voting record, and another 14 have a record under 20 percent. That results in nearly 40 percent of Catholics in Congress with less than a 20 percent pro-life rating. It is even more alarming that only 28 percent of the Catholics in Congress have a rating of 70 percent or higher.

Many have argued that this scandal comes from the lack of formation Catholics have received over the past thirty years. What Correnti shows, by including the amount of money each member received from the pro-abortion lobby, is that Catholic dissent has actually become lucrative. For example, being a pro-abortion Catholic, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has already benefitted to the tune of $489,081.00… and she has only been in Congress since 2007.

It's high time for Catholics to be as concerned about the overwhelming support for abortion by Catholics in Congress as they are about the Obama Administration. The new president would not have a free hand to remove abortion restrictions if the 161 Catholics – who make up 30 percent of the votes in Congress – had their priorities straight.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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