A Catholic group explains that its new "Religious Freedom
Scorecard" evaluates the two major party presidential candidates on
several issues - and Barack Obama comes up short.
The Catholic Association has released a voter
guide comparing Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack
Obama. A spokesperson for the organization says the candidates were
evaluated on seven different issues it believes are critically
important to Catholics and other people of faith.
More than one million copies of the one-page scorecard gives
Romney an "A+" and Obama an "F" on religious freedom issues,
including conscience, abortion, God in the public square, houses of
worship, and international religious freedom.
"An obvious example, of course, is the HHS mandate... President
Obama destroyed this longstanding bipartisan consensus on rights of
conscience when he issued this HHS mandate," says Maureen Ferguson,
senior policy advisor for The Catholic Assocation.
"And Governor Romney, for example, when he was in Massachusetts
and a similar issue came up, as governor he sought to protect
Catholic charities and Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts from
having to do similar things."
Ferguson points out the scorecard highlights President Obama's
rhetoric in regards to religious freedom.
"He has repeatedly replaced the words 'freedom of religion' with
a much more narrow 'freedom of worship' - and this linguistic shift
is very interesting," she explains. "It may seem as if it's a minor
shift, but religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of
worship. For an orthodox Jew [for example], it's not just about
going to the synagogue on Saturday; it's about maybe keeping kosher
all week long."
The voter guide [PDF], published in both English
and Spanish, is available with or without a logo so activists can
rebrand the guide for their own separate groups. The guide is also
available online for printing and distribution across social