Cross-post from The World...IMHO
This is an upcoming book some of you might find of interest. It highlights the political clout that Catholics had (and could have) when we vote faithfully according to Catholic principles.
The following is the introductory chapter of Phil Lawler's book, which will be formally released next month-- February 2008-- by Encounter books. It is available now for pre-release orders on Amazon.com.
Governor James Michael Curley wanted a lottery. It was the spring of 1935, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was facing a budget crunch, and Curley saw the lottery as a painless alternative to tax hikes. At the State House on Boston's historic Beacon Hill, most legislators agreed. Debate had been perfunctory. Support for the proposal was overwhelming; passage of the enabling legislation seemed assured.
Then on May 20, Cardinal William O'Connell weighed in. "I am opposed to a state lottery," announced the powerful head of the Boston archdiocese. A lottery would bring "out-and-out gambling" to Massachusetts, he said, and this would be "a tremendous source of corruption and demoralization."
Within 24 hours the lottery was dead.
On May 21 the House of Representatives-- where majority support for the measure had previously been unquestioned-- voted 187- 40 against the legislation. Prior to the vote, one lawmaker after another took the rostrum to explain that when he had spoken earlier in favor of the lottery, he had not fully considered the implications. Governor Curley admitted that he could not withstand the political juggernaut, and dropped his plan. The most prominent Boston politician who kept fighting for the initiative was tagged with the dismissive nickname "Sweepstakes" Kelly. The idea
of a state lottery would not be taken seriously again in Massachusetts for nearly 35 years.
That display of Cardinal O'Connell's clout was dramatic, but not terribly unusual. The cardinal had single-handedly turned the political tide against child-labor restrictions that he saw as tinged with "Bolshevism." He would later crush a move to legalize the distribution of information about birth control. When politicians asked what "Number 1" thought of a proposal, they were referring not to the governor or the mayor, but to the cardinal.