The following comes from a July 8 story in Crisis Magazine.
One of the reasons that same-sex marriage laws have proliferated so quickly is that their proponents are concentrated geographically in the nation’s power centers: New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Geography can be determinative in politics. Faithful Catholics are numerous, but we’re too spread out. This has weakened our position both as a voting bloc and a lobbying force, and contributed to the perception that our days in the public square are numbered….
As I see it, there are two ways to revive American Catholic political power: (1) re-catechize those Catholics who have migrated away from the faith with an emphasis on fidelity to the Magisterium, or (2) get faithful Catholics to migrate and, by so doing, magnify the effect of their votes. The former has been tried for the last 40 years without success; the latter may not be as crazy as it sounds.
There are 75 million Catholics in the United States, almost 25 percent of the population. Even if only half of us are committed to the Magisterium, that’s more than enough to have a big effect on the political direction of the nation. The problem is that all politics is local and our voting power is watered down by the distance between us.
Libertarians have the Free State Project, which aims to get 20,000 people with an interest in limited government to move to New Hampshire for the express purpose of creating a constituency with some sway in that state’s legislature.
Catholics could try something similar by selecting a state, a county, a congressional district, or even a diocese, and mounting a campaign to get politically engaged Catholics to relocate. If enough do, substantive and faithful Catholic leaders could be elected to public office in that locale, establishing a strong voting bloc and, with any luck, inspiring imitators….
A Catholic equivalent of the Free State Project would be a positive step toward establishing a solid base of Catholic political power in the United States. It would be the first thing in a long time that didn’t feel like defeat. And it wouldn’t take much: there are a lot more Catholics in the United States than there are libertarians….
This is not a job for the bishops. This is a job for Catholics who are interested not just in fighting the battle, but in winning it.
The bishops have valiantly protested the Obama administration’s attacks on our religious freedom, but, sadly, it has not been enough. Their attempts have sought merely to restore an already vanished status quo. The seriousness of the challenge required a more vigorous and wide ranging response. It’s unclear why the bishops have been so reluctant to meet steel with steel….
To read entire story, click here.