Politics

Catholic group calls on DNC to condemn ad attacking evangelical preacher and Republican candidate Dan Hall

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Catholics are calling on DNC chairman Tim Kaine to condemn a campaign flyer paid for by Minnesota Democrats depicting a priest in a collar wearing a button that says, “ignore the poor.”

One group, the St. Michael Society, said the flyer is an “anti-Catholic slur,” and posted contact information for the DNC on its website and Facebook page, asking members to demand that Kaine denounce it.

Steven Ertelt, who writes for LifeNews.com, suggested that the ad “claims the Catholic Church is more concerned with abortion than helping the poor,” though the ad doesn’t specifically mention abortion.

The flyer is actually an attack on Dan Hall, a Republican running for the state Senate. Hall, an evangelical preacher, says he does not wear the collar depicted in the photo. The collar, however, is known for being part of a Catholic priest’s wardrobe.

A spokesman at the DNC did not immediately return a request for comment. But Donald McFarland, a spokesman for Minnesota Democrats, downplayed the notion that the flyer is anti-Catholic in an interview with the National Review.

“As far as I know, there are clergy members of other faiths that wear collars … It is blatantly clear that they are about Dan Hall and his stance against health care for the poor,” he said.

McFarland said the reason for the ad (available to read here and here) is because “Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him — but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views.”