In a column that appeared in Sunday’s Washington Post, a columnist asks the question on the minds of (sadly) many Catholics “I Voted for Obama. Will I Go Straight to. . . ?”

He starts off heavy with the mockage right away:

Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the recent Potomac Primary. By doing so, according to the leaders of my church, I put my soul at risk. That’s right, says the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — tap the touch screen for a pro-abortion-rights candidate, and you’re probably punching your ticket to Hell.

He’s, of course, referring to the USCCB statement that among other things said, “that the political choices faced by citizens[emphasis added] not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation.” I personally don’t understand what’s so hard to understand about your being responsible for your own actions.

But then he starts with the great equivocation:

To Catholics like me who oppose liberal abortion laws but also think that other issues — war or peace, health care, just wages, immigration, affordable housing, torture — actually matter, the idea that abortion trumps everything, all the time, no matter what, is both bad religion and bad civics. It’s not, for God’s sake, as though we’re in Nazi Germany and supporting Hitler.

Why not? Is there a major difference? Now mind you this writer, a former correspondent to the National Catholic Reporter claims to be pro-life. If he believes the fetus is a human then millions of humans are being killed. But maybe he means that they’re not really really human. Maybe like 3/5ths of a human.

Or is it? Amazingly, at least one influential bishop has made just that comparison publicly, and it’s a good bet that many others believe it privately.

Now to change topics fast because the writer changes topics fast, you didn’t think that you were going to get through this column without him bringing up the sexual abuse scandal as a way to minimize the Church’s stance on life. Here it goes:

This fire-and-brimstone approach to the ballot box is the long-term bequest of a conservative pope, John Paul II, enacted by a U.S. hierarchy appointed during his 27-year tenure and now by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. John Paul’s key criterion in choosing the men who lead the United States’ 194 dioceses was their vocal support for church teachings that have been rejected in whole (birth control) or in part (women’s ordination and abortion) by many Catholics in the pews and the broader American culture. John Paul gave little weight to management or pastoral experience, as evidenced by the bishops’ handling of the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

And then he completely turns around. Follow me if you can. He attempts to belittle abortion as the biggest issue of our time. But then he turns around and says the reason we shouldn’t support Republicans is because they haven’t done enough to prevent it.

But he knows how we can stop abortions. Wanna’ guess how? Vote for Democrats!

Meanwhile, is it fair for a Catholic like me to suspect that the liberal economic policies of the Democratic candidate, whether Obama or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, will result in less dire poverty and thus perhaps fewer abortions? And isn’t that supposed to be the goal?

What study is that? What evidence is there to back up the claim that people abort babies for monetary concerns. I haven’t seen any study that says a better economy reduces abortions whatsoever. You see, he gets rid of the need for any actual evidence for that by using the word “suspect.”

The writer then urges a “a more pragmatic approach” to voting and rues that young American priests, the pool from which future bishops will be chosen, overwhelmingly embrace the agenda enunciated by John Paul II. Gasp!

So what’s a pro-life, pro-family, antiwar, pro-immigrant, pro-economic-justice Catholic like me supposed to do in November? That’s an easy one. True to my faith, I’ll vote for the candidate who offers the best hope of ending an unjust war, who promotes human dignity through universal health care and immigration reform, and whose policies strengthen families and provide alternatives to those in desperate situations. Sounds like I’ll be voting for the Democrat — and the bishops be damned.

I “suspect” that the writer himself will be damned. What? I said I suspect. You can’t blame me.

Just one more thing. Could you imagine the Washington Post allowing a column in their newspaper that ended with “Rabbi’s be damned” or “Muslim clerics be damned.” Didn’t think so.