Former Congressman Dan Lipinski has urged faithful to be “Catholics first” in the public square, putting their faith above an excessive loyalty to party, personal comfort, or fear.
In an address at the University of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Fall Conference on Nov. 12, Lipinski said that the recent decline in practicing religion among the electorate has moved politics into a God-like position in the hearts and minds of people. He said this shift has intensified the practice of politics to a zero-sum game with no option of compromise, with devastating effects for both political institutions and people.
According to Lipinski, sectarian voters have emerged on both the left and the right— voters who are motivated more by their political party than by any other values— though he conceded that this is “more common” and arguably more dangerous among the left. Among the sectarian left, Lipinski asserted that muted “echoes of the French Revolution” can be heard.
Citing research from 2019 in the American Journal of Political Science, Lipinksi said that for sectarian voters, affiliation with a political party takes such precedence that it can “determine or change not just policy preferences but also their self-identified religion, class, or sexual orientation.”
Reportedly held together by “contempt for the other side,” Lipinski pointed to trends within the groups that make them function more like religions which require total adherence or members face banishment as a “heretic.”
Lipinski has personal experience with expulsion from a group over nonconformity. The last of a number of pro-life Democrats elected in the early 2000’s, Lipinski was primaried every election after becoming a pro-life leader among the Democratic party, until he was defeated in 2021 by pro-abortion Democrat Marie Newman.
“For sixteen years, with God’s grace, I tried however imperfectly to play my part as a Catholic in Congress,” Lipinski said. “I went to Congress knowing that I would face challenges within my party on some non-negotiable issues. I forthrightly proclaimed my position on these issues and said that I would not change.”
“This caused consternation among the sectarian partisans in my party, who viewed me with suspicion and saw my refusal to always follow the party line as betrayal,” he said.
“I was committed to being a Catholic first, before being a Democrat, and people recognized that. I had more than one constituent come up to me and say…’You vote Catholic.’”
Mary Hallan FioRito, the Cardinal Francis George Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, also weighed in.
“All Dan had to do to keep his seat was to say, ‘I’ll throw a pro-abortion vote or two your way,’” she said in her introductory remarks about the former Congressman. “Dan knew it could likely cause him his seat and it did….”
The above comes from a Nov. 13 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.
You can’t be Catholic and Democrat. Can’t. Just can’t.
While Mr. Lipinski is right about being Catholic first, many were disappointed when he caved in to Democrat Party bosses and the LGBTQ+ lobby.
“Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), a centrist Democrat facing a liberal primary challenge, announced Wednesday that he will vote for legislation to expand civil protections for LGBT people despite his concerns that it could conflict with religious liberty. Lipinski is the only House Democrat not to co-sponsor the Equality Act, which is expected to hit the floor later this week for a vote.” (from an article in The Hill, May 15, 2019) Religious liberty is important and not only for Christians. And, look what his capitulation got him.
You stay in the middle of the road you get run over.
“,,,And, look what his capitulation got him.” After reading this article, one sees Lipinski had a target on his back the first time he broke rank on abortion. That he lasted 16 years is a testament to his service, however imperfect. It just might be that his perspective now on the political sectarianism, carried on with religious fervor, would result in a new form of service to the public at large through speaking engagements. He has earned the right to be heard.
Some folks assert one can’t be a Republican and also be a faithful Catholic. The hypocrisy of the Republican Party is blatantly opposite to the teachings of the Catholic Church. For example, the GOP’s fostering of racism, promotion of the death penalty, preferential option for the rich instead of the poor, war mongering and destructive environmental policies to name just a few GOP practices and policies which are contrary to Catholicism.
When has the GOP fostered “racism”? And in what way does the GOP prefer the rich instead of the poor? A typical liberal screed.
It’s called projection: the Left projects their beliefs onto the Left. Democrats were opposed to the Civil Rights Act and in line with the KKK. But they call Republicans racist. Go figure!
“The hypocrisy of the Republican Party …” Hypocrites are those who say one thing and do another. Betty, could you give us examples of such republican lip service? Agree or disagree with party positions, I never thought republicans used Church teaching, esp. as represented by Pope Francis, as the benchmark for their policies. And wouldn’t this be required for your label to apply? Thanks in advance for any help you could give me on this matter.
Like Cordileone or Pelosi, Lipinski is a product of white ethnics who worship at the altar of FDR and the New Deal — Big Union, Big Democrat, Big Government. They simply cannot tear themselves away. It IS their religion. For Lipinski and Pelosi, it’s also the family business.
I see some of the extream left and right on this site that Dan was speaking of.So sad.Wake up and dialogue like Dan reccomends.
No more useless dialogue..
His father and he held the same seat for 19 consecutive terms. Pops then made millions as a lobbyist representing transporation interests. Guess who sat on the transportation committee. Did I say family business? I meant racket. He’s not one to preach.