The University of Notre Dame along with dozens of other Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration Monday to block the mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives to employees.
In a discussion about this matter on MSNBC's Hardball Monday, host Chris Matthews asked one of his guests, "Do you think they’re all Republican, the bishops?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, what’s the politics here between it seems to me the universities and the older Catholics, more conservative Catholics, and this administration and the younger people that go to these schools and a lot of them who work at these schools? What’s the real politics going on here, Sister?
SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NETWORK, A NATIONAL CATHOLIC SOCIAL JUSTICE LOBBY: I think that this is mostly related to the project that the bishops have coming out in June which they’re calling the Fortnight of Freedom. They want to raise up this idea that we in the United States are religiously persecuted. I quite frankly find that quite offensive because we have connections with people all over the world who are actually persecuted. And so the Catholic bishops saying that they are suffering under this persecution from this administration I think is more fueled politically, and is their effort to draw attention to what I understand is going to be quite a PR blitz that they’re paying for.
MATTHEWS: Do you think they’re all Republican, the bishops?
CAMPBELL: I don’t know if they’re all Republican, but it sure seems that they’re speaking from the, the playbook, sort of possibly as surrogates for the Republican Party, I don’t know. But they certainly are engaged in politics that seem much more aligned with the Right.
Matthews as a Catholic Democrat was either being tremendously dishonest with this question or really is losing his bearings.
Catholics in this country historically have been solidly Democratic, although this has waned in recent years.
As EWTN News reported in February, a 2011 Pew study found 48 percent of Catholics surveyed said they were Democrat or Democrat-leaning compared to 43 percent claiming to be Republican or Republican-leaning.
As such, it seems absurd to think all Catholic bishops are Republican.
But that's Matthews for you, always conjuring up a vast right-wing conspiracy to explain why folks have the nerve to disagree with the President that gives him a thrill up his leg.