In what is quite possibly the most absurd claim ever made about President Barack Obama, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough asserted that Obama is the "most Catholic" president in the history of the office. McDonough made this bizarre statement on David Axelrod's podcast, and went as far to clarify that he meant "capital 'C' Catholic," as in the religion, rather than small-c catholic, meaning "universal."
“Look, I say to him, Axe, and I think I’ve said this to him in your presence and I’ve said this publicly before, I think this is our most Catholic of presidents,” McDonough said. “And I mean that by capital ‘C’ Catholic in what I see and what he does everyday.”
“It’s not to say that he does everything entirely consistent with Catholic teaching,” McDonough said. “That’s not the idea, but I think in fact his view of the person and our role and the view of us as adding to the common good is an undeniably Catholic set of premises, and that’s why I say that to him a lot.”
First, just, no. For starters, there was an actual baptized, confirmed, Mass-attending Catholic president, John F. Kennedy. Those facts alone make Kennedy considerably more "capital 'C' Catholic" than Obama.
Religion aside, let's take a gander at some of the things Obama and the Obama administration have done:
- Attempted to force nuns to provide birth control to their employees.
- Did not recognize said nuns as a "religious employer" because they do not require that employees or those served be Catholic.
- Promised to sign the "Freedom of Choice Act" as his first act as president.
- As a state senator in Illinois, Obama spoke against providing medical care to infants who survive abortions.
- Obama called the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling a "victory for America."
- Launched thousands of airstrikes without any sort of declaration of war.
Those are not the actions of a "capital 'C' Catholic." Simply believing that people add to the common good does not make one a Catholic any more than being able to properly dice an onion makes one a professional chef. Sure, that's part of the equation, but there's an entire clearly-laid out Catechism that spells out some of the other basic requirements of Catholicism. Namely, a respect for human life--which judging from Obama's past enthusiasm for abortion as well as his peculiar habit of invading countries he said he wouldn't, as well as launching drone strikes against entirely innocent people--he's nearly completely lacking. Obama is not a Catholic president--in the big-c or little-c sense of the word.