Election ’08: What does it all mean?

(UPDATE: There are new links on a new page we’ve started here.)

Make sure you refresh this page often for the latest updates on this day after Election Day. Plus, we want to hear what you think (see below).

4:45 p.m. ET: Latest updates posted for referendums storygubernatorial and congressional story, and story on congratulations from Catholic leaders in U.S. to Obama.

3:25 p.m. ET: Sneak peek: Was it race, or something else, that led to an Obama victory? (From the CNS columns package offered to our client publications for their editorial use.)

2:13 p.m. ET: This CNS story, which ran last month, is worth a second read in light of Obama’s victory because it captures the historic nature of this election balanced by the troubling position of Obama on abortion: Black Catholics see Obama candidacy as a path to racial equality.

2:00 p.m. ET: Here’s one way of looking at yesterday’s results if you’re a pro-lifer (from the National Catholic Register): “Life Didn’t Lose – the GOP Did.”

President-elect Barack Obama smiles during the election-night victory rally in Chicago Nov. 4. (CNS/Reuters)

President-elect Barack Obama smiles during the election-night victory rally in Chicago Nov. 4. (CNS/Reuters)

1:28 p.m. ET: Quite the variety of reactions in this story in the National Catholic Reporter. Everything from “hope” and “promising” to “a tragedy because of the gap between what he (Obama) claimed to embody and what his few unscripted utterances, and his votes and associations indicate him to be.” The paper also editorializes, “In moment of hope comes the challenge of accountability.”

12:55 p.m. ET: Early story on Cardinal George’s letter to President-elect Obama now updated with more U.S. church reaction. Includes comments from Archbishop Wuerl, Bishop Zubik, Catholic Students for McCain, Priests for Life, others.

12:23 p.m. ET: Second update now posted on pope’s message to Obama and other Rome reaction. There’s an extremely intriguing comment at the end from a Rome-based missionary news agency:

Obama’s victory speech ended with the words, “God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America,” something that would not be possible in Catholic Italy and which demonstrates that religion remains at the foundations of public life in the United States.

12:06 p.m. ET: Another CNS election story, Democrats make gains in gubernatorial, congressional races, includes comments from a political science professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

11:45 a.m. ET: Don’t miss yesterday’s story on reconciliation after a particularly contentious election. We’re hearing that several parishes have called because they want to reprint it in their church bulletins. Nice to hear positive feedback from readers, especially this year.

11:25 a.m. ET: Our earlier story on the pope sending a congratulatory message to Obama has now been updated with comments from the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

11:18 a.m. ET: Backgrounder from our Latin America correspondent: When dealing with Latin America, Obama faces complexities.

11:13 a.m. ET: The Catholic Sun in Phoenix (where John McCain conceded last night) has its own story on last night’s events there.

11:02 a.m. ET: Our story on yesterday’s referendums: Church view on same-sex marriage prevails; other ballot issues fail.

10:51 a.m. ET: In addition to noticing the success of ballot initiatives on marriage (see below), the National Catholic Register has an editorial titled “Our President” noting that, like it or not, Barack Obama won the election and deserves to be treated with respect even when opposing some of his policies.

10:44 a.m. ET: The next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican? Amy Welborn says she first thought of Douglas Kmiec but then had this name flash through her mind: Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. As she says, “Hmmm.”

10:33 a.m. ET: The Catholic Key, newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., has this blog post up reminding readers that no matter who won or lost, the Lord God is the one we should trust.

10:25 a.m. ET: A blogger on the site of Commonweal magazine wonders if the day will pass without someone putting up the headline, “First Catholic VP is elected.”

10:15 a.m. ET: Big Wins for Marriage, says the National Catholic Register.

9:05 a.m. ET: Pope sends congratulatory message to Obama

8:52 a.m. ET: President of U.S. bishops congratulates Obama on ‘historic election’ (text of news release)

8:40 a.m. ET: Vatican spokesman expresses hopes for Obama’s presidency

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Today we’re gathering reaction from around the church and the Catholic press to the results of last night’s election returns.

But also, what do you think? By any measure, the election of the first African-American to the presidency of the United States is historic. But also, what does yesterday’s election mean to the future of race relations, to the future of the abortion issue, to the future of the rest of the Catholic Church’s social agenda? And what about the approval in California of the amendment that defines marriage as the union of husband and wife?

We’ll be adding links here throughout the day, but you can also comment below. (Comments are moderated, but if you’re on topic yours will appear as soon as we can get to it.)

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2 Responses to Election ’08: What does it all mean?

  1. Mike A says:

    Just looking at the articles noted about the election alone, makes me wonder. Would Jesus have voted for ANY man or encourged his apostles to vote for anyone when he stated that; “My kingdom is no part of this world” and when the Devil took him to the mount after Jesus was weak from Fasting and Prayer to his father telling him that ” All the kingdoms of the Earth I give to you, If you do one act of worship to me…” Jesus reply; It is written; It is Jehovah your God you must worship….” This idea of supporting any government or man is totally WRONG scriptually and all who know their bible know that to be true.. why pray the Lords Prayer asking for ; “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”….. ??

  2. Mary says:

    Hello, Mike:
    I heartily agree.
    Jesus would not have encouraged ANY Christian to vote AT ALL,and for the very reasons you supply above.
    If someone votes, and the person he voted for came to office and then used his power to commit sins such as murder (war, abortion, etc), then the voter is partly responsible and bloodguilty. Would you want to be in any way guilty of supporting someone who committed those sins? I wouldn’t.

    “All the world is under the influence of the Evil One”–
    (1 Jn 5:19 TCNT), and so, “what sharing does light have with darkness?” The answer is, “none.”

    : )

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