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Voter scorecard informs Latinos about religious freedom threats


MICHELLE BAUMAN

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
10/25/2012

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ABSTRACTVoter scorecard informs Latinos about religious freedom threats :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Voter scorecard informs Latinos about religious freedom threats By Michelle Bauman A bilingual voting sign. Credit: Erik Hersman via Flickr.com (CC BY 2.0). Washington D.C., Oct 25, 2012 / 11:10 am ( CNA ) .- A group that works to offer a Catholic voice in the public square has released a new guide to inform Spanish-speaking voters of religious liberty concerns in the presidential election. “Our Christianity – our religious fervor – is a huge part of our lives,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, director of Hispanic Outreach for the Catholic Association. She told CNA on Oct. 24 that Hispanic voters need to realize that the current administration “has been aggressive” towards religion, conscience and the Church. Religion is “intrinsically” part of the Hispanic way of life, she said, and “it’s too central to our culture to give that up.” Christie is currently using a “grassroots system” that reaches out through local parishes, pro-life groups and religious freedom rallies to distribute Spanish voter guides in the key battleground state of Florida. The voter guide scores presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on seven key religious freedom issues, including conscience rights, abortion, religion in the public square, houses of worship and international religious freedom. President Obama is given a failing grade for his policies, including the federal mandate that requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and abortion drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.  Romney is given an “A+” for his actions and pledges to uphold religious freedom. Growing up largely in Mexico with parents from Cuba, Christie said that most Hispanics in the U.S. “have left their countries because of a lack of freedom” in the economic, political or religious realms. It is important for the Latino community to realize that persecution can happen in the U.S. too, she said, pointing to the contraception mandate as an “assault on one of our basic rights.” Despite controversy over the mandate, Obama holds a strong lead among Latino voters in recent polls. Christie said this is due not to a lack of values but to “a lack of information and a lack of education” within the Hispanic community about threats to religious freedom. She urged Hispanic voters to listen to the message of the Church and to be careful about the ideas presented by the mainstream media, which do not share a Catholic outlook and are not always accurate on religious freedom issues that affect Catholics. The Church has made tremendous efforts to raise awareness about the critical issue of religious liberty, Christie said. Ashley McGuire, senior fellow at the Catholic Association, explained that the decision to publish a Spanish version of the voter guide sprung from the overwhelming success of the English version, which was released on Oct. 4. More than 1 million copies of the English voter guide were requested for distribution, many in swing states, she said, and the association began receiving requests for a Spanish version as well. McGuire sees the Spanish voter guide as an opportunity to reach an important demographic in the presidential election. She explained that “the majority of Spanish speakers in this country are Catholic and deserve to know how the candidates measure up.” The current admiration has been “deceptive” about the impact that its po.......