Why evangelicals may back a Catholic or a Mormon

It’s an interesting twist this election year, and one observer wonders why it’s happening:

For a party that was once defined by a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage, this is a remarkable turnaround. Not once in the GOP’s history has it nominated a Catholic and it has certainly never considered another Mormon. The South Carolina GOP is notably dominated by mainline evangelical Christians – the kind of people who often think Mormons are occultists and Catholics worship statues. When Pat Buchanan – the last serious Catholic GOP contender – campaigned there in 1996, he was frustrated to find that voters were as keen to talk about Marian idolatry as they were the national debt.

So why, 16 years later, are South Carolina’s Republicans flirting with two Catholics and a Mormon? It used to be that the Democratic Party was the natural home for non-WASP Christians. Until the 1960s, it was dismissed by snooty Republicans as the party of “rum, Rome and rebellion” – drinkers, Catholics and Southern confederates. But that changed when the Democrats embraced the lifestyle liberalism of the 1970s. Many ethnic Catholics remained within the fold, but the more faithful were driven into the welcoming arms of the prolife GOP. To this day, the electoral divide between Democratic and Republican Catholics is determined by how often they go to church.

That explains why larger and larger numbers of religious Catholics vote Republican, but why are Protestants also prepared to endorse Catholic conservative leaders like Speaker of the House John Boehner, Tea Party senator Marco Rubio, Santorum and Gingrich?

Read on for some answers.

"I think I would have been happier had the CDF handled the nuns the way ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."
"Blaming "Islamics" for this is like blaming the Pope for the Holocaust Denial of Hutton ..."

One killed, 44 injured in Catholic ..."
"It smacks to me of hyper-sensitivity, a veiled spiritual and intellectual pride, with regards to ..."

Pope Francis: “A Christian who complains, ..."
"Oh, no, we never change our mind, and we always agree, even on points of ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

85 responses to “Why evangelicals may back a Catholic or a Mormon”

  1. A lot of conservatives these days would back Bashar al-Assad or a Branch Davidian if that’s what they thought it would take to “get Obama out.” The cultural and theological differences between Evangelicals and Catholics don’t seem that important next to the fear of another Obama term.

  2. Kenneth, Kenneth, I think that is your own politics speaking and not reality especially since I am one of those conservatives. But, yes, I do want Obama out but I will take one of the three above mentioned not your sarcastic preferences.

  3. I say that the Catholic Republicans began with the ‘white flight’ to the suburbs in the sixties .. I have LI, NY relatives to prove it .. they say hello to O’Reilly and Hannity all the time now.

  4. Hey Bill and Sean are good folk. Nothing wrong with being a Republican. Nothing much wrong with being a Democrat, but being a solid Christian trumps either. When the Democrat party started to build their foundation on pro-choice, feminism, and now near Socialism, they sort of loaded up the bus that drove folks to the other side of town.

  5. That’s a pretty extreme exaggeration, but there are some conservatives who are pretty hot on the subject of Obama, more than seems entirely reasonable. (That happened with Clinton too. I really couldn’t/can’t stand Clinton, but I saw people who took that to a weird paranoid place) So I think some would maybe accept most anything other than an Atheist, Muslim, Scientologist, or Wicca to beat Obama. And even then they might tolerate a calmly sensible Sufi Muslim.

    All that said I think there is a change in the demographics of Republicans and in the outlook of Evangelicals. I remember that survey of Evangelical leaders from months ago and although anti-Catholicism wasn’t dead among them, tolerance or even “good-feeling” to Catholics seemed to predominate. I think on many of the pressing moral issues we’re the same. On issues involving labor, the Third-World, divorce, and gambling we’re maybe not. However no Republican is going to support increased aid for the Third World so that’s not a concern. Catholics have accepted American divorce laws while Evangelicals have largely accepted gambling (which in moderation is licit for Catholics, but not allowed for many Evangelicals) is not going to be banned. Mormons and Evangelicals are maybe even more similar on values related to politics, although theologically they’re so different Romney is still underperforming among Evangelicals.

  6. Appears that five former ambassadors to the Vatican: Thomas Melady, Ray Flynn, James Nicholson, Francis Rooney and Mary Ann Glendon have just endorsed Mitt Romney in a statement saying that Romney is the most qualified candidate among the GOP field.

    “We recognize the importance of family and traditional values in American life,” the former ambassadors wrote. “We also share the conviction that Governor Romney has the experience, vision and commitment to the common good that our country needs at this crucial moment in history.”

  7. It should also be added that the archdiocesan newspaper The Pilot put this story mentioned by HMS prominently on its front page. And the story had these famous loyal Catholic’s defense of Romney’s record on family and life issues in his term as governor .
    Funny how Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Jesse Jackson –who started out being pro-life in their political careers –are never caricatured as flip-floppers for later becoming darlings of the abortion industry when they became eager to curry favor with the radical wing of the Democratic Party. Oddly enough, the Boston Globe recently ran a column by Matthew Storin–one of the Globe writers who covered the Kennedys– observing how Ted Kennedy got away with flip-flopping on the abortion issue.
    And Romney was always trying–even before he was elected—
    to be more “conservative’ on family and life issues than the typical Dems here in Ma.
    For example, in a debate before the election for governor, Romney stuck up for parental rights and condemned the use of state power to secretly spirit girls off from school to have secret abortions without parental knowledge. The Dem candidate (a typical Ma. Irish Catholic Dem promoter of abortion )sided with the state and supported secretly done abortions.
    The Pilot article and those quoted in it make clear that much of the “Right” attacks on Romney for not being pro-family and pro-life enough are unfair and inaccurate.

  8. I say let the Boston Pilot spin an endorsement of Romney and lose 2/3rds of what people they have left. Suggestion; maybe the Archdiocese should remove the words Mormon cult in their marriage manuals/instructions before ‘dirt’ hits the fan.

  9. I think it is a sad commentary on the state of the republic when a large segment of the population seems more interested in a candidate’s religion than say, their position on the great issues of the moment. I wonder where we would be if this had been the case throughout our history. Lincoln was an agnostic and Jefferson a deist. FDR, though nominally Episcopalian, was a serial adulterer. Eisenhower only got himself baptized and started attending church after he was elected President, mostly for appearances sake. That eliminates four of our greatest presidents right off the bat.

    I am no sure about everyone else, but I am voting for a President, not a Pope or Patriarch. Their religion within some very broad boundaries is not my concern and frankly it is none of my business. All of this debate about the religious beliefs of our public officials is (and should be) embarrassing.

  10. You’re confusing Lincoln with Jefferson. Jefferson was known to be a deist. I don’t think Lincoln ever made any claims on his belief system. He may not have been a church goer, but that doesn’t mean he was an agnostic.

  11. The courts have brought religious views into full force in politics. Before the lie on separation of church and state, the government was barred from actions which would have attacked prayer in the public sector, from finding the right to legally slaughter 54 million babies in a holocust 8 times greater than the Nazi regime, or to declare special rights for gays to marry, or to force adoption agencies to give young children to people they believe are activley doing gravely disordered acts. Prior to this, the differences in religious beliefs were largely bias’s mentioned in this post between faiths. The government was not involved since they were prohibited by the constitution. Now we are supposed to belief what was actually meant using a private letter, that the founders really intended for religion to be barred from being part of the political process and from the public square. It is interesting to note that our First President added so help me God to the oath of office, that Jefferson, the writer of the letter used for the lie, attended religious services every Sunday while in office that were held in the House of Representatives, and that we have even added Under God to the predge of alliegence.

    Some think the Republican Party became racist because so many southerners came over to the Republican Party, but the facts show that most prominent racist Democrats stayed with the Party to their death. Those who came over where the Church going southerners who were appaled by the massive growth of federal power, the church going folks who hated the Democrat support of the welfare state, gun control, funny looking hippie anti war demonstrators, and abortion.

  12. Ad Orientem:
    For what it’s worth; President Eisenhower was raised a Jehovah Witness and — yes — he did convert to Presbyterianism and was baptized prior to hie presidential campaign of 1952. In fact, contemporary printed historians of Presbyterianism and the Cold War took a great deal of pride in that fact.

    While it always has been “hidden in plain sight,” religion entered the American political scene aggressively in the 1980 campaign that pitted Democratic President Jimmy Carter — a devout and practicing Southern Baptist at that time — against Republican Candidate Ronald Reagan — at that time a nominal and hardly devout member of the Disciples of Christ. The catalyst that brought about that cosmic change in American politics was the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority. Long story here — maybe someone more energetic than I will write definitive history of that whole scene.

    BTW: Reagan did convert to Presbyterianism after leaving office.

  13. Jimmy Carter supported abortion as did his party. I would hardly call someone who support abortion, especially in view of the holocaust of 54 million slaughtered innocent children religious. Only when people wake up to the millions of human beings we have slaughtered and the Party that has kept this supported and living for all these years is there hope we can end it and return this nation to one that even is close to being One Nation Under God. He was also the most inept leader until Obama came along and made Carter look good by comparison. Obama has installed on the court two pro abortion judges. If anyone votes for him again, they can probably count on a few more to seal the fate of millions of innocent babies for another generation. Catholic should just say no to putting Obama in again for this reason alone. This could be the last chance to turn Roe around in a generation and if we miss now, Catholics who voted for him will have that on their conscience with each day bringing 4,000 more souls a day waiting for justice.

  14. I think you’ve neglected to mention a fairly important, relevant, and in my opinion the strongest candidate. Ron Paul, is currently polling in 4th place, with about 12%, which isn’t particularly high, but in 3rd place is Newt Gingrich, at 18%. Just a month ago however, Ron Paul was polling at 6%, and Gingrich at an astounding 43%. Rick Santorum is not a serious candidate, because quite frankly he’s not very electable/educated. He’s rising because of a fairly good performance in Iowa, which was influenced by him meeting nearly every person in Iowa. During tonight’s debate, Santorum’s stupidity, and ignorance will be on display to the people of New Hampshire, and Romney, and Paul will show their intelligence, longevity, and electability.

  15. I like Ron Paul and will be voting for him. He is the only constitutional conservative running for President. But alas I don’t think he can win the GOP nomination nor can he beat Obama in the general election.

  16. Ron Paul is, of all the current Republican candidates, the one most certain to lose to Barack Obama. He is attractive to a considerable segment of the Republican Party because of his strict constitutionalism. But his isolationism, with all its ramifications, will cost him votes among some Republicans, and most independents will think he’s a dangerous flake.

    Ron Paul knows he won’t be the Republican nominee. He’s running to get his ideas discussed, and he’s being successful at it. I just hope people don’t decide that voting for Paul is more important than defeating Obama.

  17. Ron Paul is not an isolationist, his foreign policy is much better than the rest of the GOP, who are itching to get into war with Iran. The difference between an isolationist, and Ron Paul, is that Ron Paul believes in a free market economy, which would allow us to have the same, if not more trade with other nations. In most polls, Paul does the best of any other candidate against Obama, with the exception of Romney. I think a lot of people like Paul, however they think “he can’t win” so they vote for the front runner, despite not liking him. On his foreign policy, Paul is a non-interventionist, which is the precedent left by Washington, and followed by Jefferson, and it also appears in the Monroe Doctrine. Yes, Paul does not believe in sending foreign aid to Israel, but Benjamin Netanyahu himself said that in a speech to the U.S Congress. (Source:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gN5UrPB-xA) A lot of people are uneducated about Dr. Paul, and it shows when someone like Rick Santorum places second in Iowa.

  18. We learned in history that the world has people in it that need to be stopped before they can bring havoc to the rest of the world. The list of names from Hitler to Stalin, from Pol Pot to Osama Bin Laden all show that not stopping them early in the process leads to tragedy. Allowing a state with leadership such as Iran to gain Nuclear Weapon capability is simply a naive one which will end with the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. That is naive. Shrinking our forces as proposed by Obama will leave the military so constrained that if involved in any conflict, those who want to do evil around the globe are being given a green light. This is a known fact by both republican and democratic presidents who clearly all supported our need to be able to fight two wars of the size of Iraq going back to Eisenhower. When WWII started, our forces were so bad that we had soldiers out in training using broom handles and hundreds of thousands of our troops were abandoned in places like the Philippines to the death march. Reagan built up our forces and faced down the Soviet Union not by battle, but by strength. The issue in our debt has little to do with the military budget and everything to do with entitlements. Does anyone doubt that those slashes will not be used to pay down the debt, but for ever more new Nanny state programs if the Republican Party is not able to stop them? When 9/11 happened, we had few aircraft to put up to patrol around NY because the Clinton administration had cut defense severely. Obama has taken military use off the table regarding Iran which Bill Clinton said was a huge mistake in view of the regime. We need to get this guy out before he wrecks this country. Ron Paul would do much the same in his naive beliefs that we can bring our soldiers around the world home which means shrinking forces for there is no need for that number if all stationed in the USA. No Republican of note supports Ron Paul in his views.

  19. I don’t think Santorum is particularly electable, but I think this is a strange criticism for a Ron Paul supporter to make. Ron Paul is doing okay because, I think, most candidates don’t think he’s electable or a serious threat. If they emphasized attacking his opinions on just NATO and Abraham Lincoln, two things, he would lose big time. Last poll I read on it he was tied for the highest percent, among Republicans, to say he’s an “unacceptable candidate.” If he somehow could win you have Obama versus an elderly white guy who says

    The US Civil War was unnecessary.
    That the Civil Rights Act, though well-intentioned, did more harm than good.
    That there shouldn’t be birthright-citizenship.
    That foreign aid to Africa and Israel, everywhere else too but those would be worth picking for Obama, should end.

    I don’t think any of these positions are racist, but I do think they’re more attractive to racists than they are to non-whites or liberals. So Obama could get huge groups of people motivated against him.

  20. Because all religious people see Obama as a threat to religious values. Obama is the man who nastily said that middle America clings to their guns and religion. He holds religion in antipathy. He is the most anti religious president in our history and repeatedly anti Catholic. And proof is that he is the most pro abortion president in history. If you hold religious values, he must be defeated. MUST.

  21. Manny, the imperative for this country is the defeat of Obama. His only hope is to split the Republican Party or even better to have some fool try to run third party. Ron Paul has zero chance to win the nomination. His age and views are serious issues and he is one that the Democrats want to see propped up as long as possible. If any other candidate had put out a newsletter under their name, no matter how long ago, they would have been forced out of the race by now. It is telling that while they ask Paul about it, they do not hammer it home as they would if it were any other candidate. The media would be demanding that all Republicans distance themselves from Paul and denounce him as a racist. His answers tonight were a joke on this topic. He would be 3 years older than Reagan on his inaugeration for his SECOND term in office and many suspect Reagan was not at full strenght during his second term. He would look like an ill Moses next to Obama and it would be used by the media every day.

  22. Barbara, I see nothing in Manny statement that is inaccurate in any way. Please show how this is wrong with some proof.

  23. Please review the President’s speech he gave this year at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Please see the reading he gave at the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Please review the speech he gave at Notre Dame. He is a Baptized Christian – who are you and Manny to judge that he is not? He is a devoted father and family man – Who are you to judge what is in his heart and that he is apathetic to religion? He worked to better the lives of the poor – perhaps not in the way you would have but he gave up what could have been a lucrative Wall Street career to work for social justice. Have you given up a lucrative career to serve the needs of the poor? He is not pro-abortion. He is against criminalizing it and against taking the choice away from women and their doctors. His social programs seek to help poor women so abortion does not seem like the only way out. I believe as the Catholic Churh does with regard to abortion but if you get your way and abortion is criminalized will you support the death penalty or life imprisonment for women and doctors? What about the men involved? What about criminal penalties for attempted abortions? Will you support putting young girls in jail for attempted murder or murder? You may hate the President, but you really need to stop using religion and God for your political ends. In this day and age, when people need to hear God’s voice more than ever you drown it out with your angry political words.

  24. Barbara P:
    Thank you for putting the anti-Obama sentiments by some, particularly the notion that he is anti-religion, in perspective.

    Like you, I have read the speeches that you have mentioned and am impressed with his work with the poor in collaboration with Catholics on the south side of Chicago. (He was interviewed for the job by a Catholic priest.)

    Considering the fact that members of our Church, including some members of the hierarchy, have used virulent attacks on his character and motivation, it is a wonder to me that he could have a positive view of Catholicism. I would hope he realizes that we all do not think that way or condone their attacks.

  25. Barbara P, your attempted reductio ad absurdum won’t work. If we manage to get Roe v. Wade overturned, we’re simply back to the status quo ante with respect to abortion. Women were not prosecuted. Abortionists were the ones who were at risk of loss of license or possible prosecution. But there is no good reason to fantasize about teenaged girls (or anybody else) being sent to the electric chair. It’s rhetorical excess.

  26. Sorry. I forgot to turn off the italics after the Latin phrase status quo ante. What follows should have been in normal typeface.

  27. well, i am not sure that selectivley prosecuting only doctors and not also prosecuting the women, girls and fathers would withstand a challenge under the equal protection clause. in addition, how do you justify not charging a girl, boy, woman or man who procured an abortion or attempted to proucre an abortion if abortions are illegal?

  28. Oh please. He had the crucifix taken down from sight when he went to speak at Georgetown. He supports all forms of abortion, sex education, forcing of gay adoption onto Catholic agencies, promotion of embryonic stem cell research, and so on. I won’t even mention all the anti catholics he’s appointed. He had the audacity to come out and claim the US wasn’t a Christian nation. Sure, you can make the case by parsing all you want, but for an American president to just come out and say that is appalling. And let me repeat the slander he said when he didn’t think the microphone was on: Bitter Americans “cling to their guns and religion.”

    You Liberals want so badly for this guy to win you are blind to his anti Catholicism. He is the most anti Catholic preesident in my lifetime.

  29. The doctors are the ones who actually do the abortions.

    The law generally takes into account different degrees of involvement.

    Anyway, I’m just saying that your nightmare scenario is phony. It didn’t happen when abortion is illegal, and there is no reason to suppose that it will happen if abortion again becomes illegal. So whether I can justify it or not is beside the point. The point is that your scare tactic is invalid.

  30. Barbara, from everything I have been able to discover, Obama ties to Christian faith and beliefs come from Trinity United Church of Christ where I understand he was baptized and the Reverend Wright Church who married Obama’s and baptized their children. Both of them seem to be pretty much racist in their teaching, but I will simply post the link below and a few of their value systems points below. I can imagine for example of W. Bush had attended a church with this same value system on their web site only instead of using the word black, it said white.

    http://www.trinitychicago.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114

    Please advise on how this meets Christian teaching in any way? If my pastor laid out a ten point value system that talked of soldiers for White freedom, that the highest level of achievment within this church community was for any White person to be a contribution of strenghth and continuity of the White Community, etc..

    Trinity value system first 3 of 10
    1. become Black Christian Activists, soldiers for Black freedom
    2.The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of strength and continuity of the Black Community
    3. The Black family circle must generate strength, stability and love, despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society.

    It continues on through 10 black value system points with nothing in them to talk about love of all people or anything that sounds like the Christ I have read about all my life. How is it that this type of obvious racist point of view gets a pass when just changing the word black to white would make it seem part of the KKK.

    So after going to this racist church, he moves on to the Reverend Wright and we have all heard that racist hate filled rant that Obama heard for over 20 years. When even the MSM could no longer hide what was spewing out, Obama had to throw his mentor and 20 year pastor off the bus to save his political hide. I think what broke this relationship was not Wrights rants on America, but what he said about Hillary Clinton.

    Is this your brand of Christian faith? You do not go by a few speeches one makes in public. It would be a far greater sign of his Christian values to see where his Christian faith was formed and their belief value system. His is on display for any who want to check it out.

    I will wait for you to tell me how these values that started into Obama at about the age of 20 or so and continued until he ran for office and got caught show him to be a Christian of the type one would associate with that faith.

  31. Manny:

    Whether you admit it or not, Barak Obama is a baptized member of the United Church of Christ. He is no less nor no more devout that a number of other modern presidents and no less nor no more devout than a lot of “C&E” Roman Catholics.

    When he first came into office, the congregation of the Protestant Chapel at nearby Fort Myer made an aggressive move to recruit the President and his family into their ministry and community. That congregation is racially and culturally diverse and very ecumenical in outlook. Fort Myer is a tight community and very secure; he could have been as visible — or invisible — as he and Michelle might have wanted to be. I was disappointed that it never happened.

  32. You’re being suckered. He’s no devout anything. He’s an atheist. Here’s my prediction. If he gets a second term he will now endorse gay marriage. He will claim he’s “evolved” on the issue. And there will be loads of suckers who believe that he wasn’t pro gay marriage all along.

  33. In response, Manny, to the remark you made 8 Jan. 8:14 PM saying that President Obama had the “audacity” to claim that this nation isn’t a Christian nation—well, it isn’t. We are not a country that has an official religion—we are a country with a mixuture of faiths—Christian and non-Christian—as well as those who choose to follow no particular faith, thus the President is correct. We are NOT a Christian nation. We are a nation that includes Christianity as one of many faiths. We are not Iran, or Iraq or Saudi Arabia which offers no choise of what religion one wishes to follow.
    Fortunately there is no religious requirement for anyone who wishes to be president of this country. However I have no reason to think that President Obama isn’t a Christian.

  34. See my post above with the “christian” Churches the Obama family went to for over 20 years.

    If the Reverend Wrights views Christian views? Obama denounced him despite spending 20 years in his church. He pretended to not know about those views which only a fool would buy after the 20 year envolvement and the strong influence that Obama was pushing about Rev Wright on his faith. Why would you take you child to be baptized by someone like Reverend Wright. And like you say, he came out of Trinity United Church of Christ with their totally racist value system shown above.

  35. I’m a religious person, President Obama does not threaten my religious values – he has little to do with my faith. While his comments about middle America were ill-advised and a gross oversimplification; I can see his point. One only need to survey the responses to Deacon’s posts that Religion is the absolute driving force for some people (that’s meant as a neutral statement).

    If Mr. Obama held religion in antipathy perhaps there would be no reports of him attending services at a variety of churches (albeit, not often) over the past few years. I have also seen him bowing his head in prayer in videos of a variety of ceremonies at the White House and photos of him joining in prayerful posture with representatives of multiple denominations in meetings for faith-based initiatives.

    I find it abhorrent that people who oppose Mr. Obama rely on the “anti-religion” propaganda to try to defeat him. You want to defeat him, fine, knock yourself out but use his record – don’t rely on this “anti-religion” malarkey. Said malarky tends to border on the whole emphasis of “he’s different from us and therefore is bad for our country” racism that seems to pervade the opposition’s “one term” plan. He may not be as religious as “you” (general you), that doesn’t mean he’s anti-religion.

  36. there should obviously be “to see” between posts and that in the first paragraph. This is what I get for editing myself.

  37. I don’t think he’s opposed to religion, but I do think he or his administration anyway at times leans to the laicite of “keep your religion in its own sphere” thinking. No “Catholic Universities obeying Catholic principles” unless they are in a separate sphere and serving mostly Catholics, as say the Amish would do. (Not that the Amish have Universities, but they have schools) And I kind-of understand that, but I don’t like or agree to it.

    Still I don’t think he’s anymore anti-religion than maybe Francois Mitterand was, it seems like Sarkozy was more mixed on laicite, but I get the sense he might not be less “anti-religion” than that.

  38. Thomas R,

    Private Religious universities have the rights to run by their own principles regardless of whom they serve. Those opposed to these things, should not enroll in them. Don’t join a school, if you don’t like it.

  39. So it would seem from your post that the USCCB are all off on their assessment that Catholic rights are under attack by this administration led by Obama? And of course the race card came out in your comments. How about showing how he is supporting this nation as one Nation Under God? And when he did go to regular religious services with the Reverand Wright, we saw what he was hearing each week with a number of clips. When he was caught with his bigotry and hatred on full display toward this country, Obama through the man he had widely praised and the man who had baptized his children for his own political purposes rather than defend the man. That alone should have shown Obama for the self loving person he is and how much he detests what America stands for today. His apology tour was another great example.

  40. Horse puckies!! A person does not run for the office of president if they are “self loving” and “detest what America stands for”.

    I was going to go on and on – and I find, I can’t be bothered.

    I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. I doubt anyone will change mine. I’ll just resign myself to the feeling of not being a good enough Catholic for the next election cycle.

  41. You modernist Republicans are hilarious. It was your party that floated the decriminalization of abortion in the 60’s, your SCOTUS that gave us Roe v Wade, and today, takes great pains to make sure the issue is trotted out to maximize the GOP vote while never coming anywhere near a resolution. Republicans are no more pro-life as a group than the Dems. It’s far from in anyone’s best interests to settle this matter, politically speaking.

    You might hope the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot sometime in the next ten months. That’s about all the GOP has going for it in the presidential election. Why do y’all have such a weak group of candidates? Has TeaCrazy scared sensible conservatives off? Your last good candidate was John Anderson and he went third party.

  42. My parents weren’t Republicans in the 1960s. Back then my Mom loved the Kennedies. I don’t know that all Pro-Life Republicans are thinking the GOP was great for all time.

    Still the GOP did do things like the Hyde Amendment, Mexico City Policy, and Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. I think many of them aren’t really committed on it, but some are.

  43. Todd, while factualy correct that Republicans nominated most of the justices who voted for Roe, you have to also recognize that 2 of them were Eisenhower appointments at a time when the court was far from one that legislated to any great extent. They were only getting started with the idiotic separation ruling on religion. One of the two was a known liberal who was appointed by Ike to help him gain re election. Three came from Nixon and one has to remember he had two appointment rejected by the Senate prior to blackmun and he was at that time trying to stave off his Watergate troubles. Nixon had huge flaws in character judgement as seen in many areas of his administration as well as his own issues. To try to say that the Republicans have done nothing to bring about a more conservative court than the one in 1973 does not hold water. Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas are certainly strong conservatives. H.W. Bush was led astray on Souter was a clear mistake he made on the advice of a Sanunu. Reagan had a solid conservative in O’Connor until she evolved into a moderate-liberal. And do not forget that the Senate led by Democrats rejected Bork because of the pressure from the pro abortion pressure groups as they had done before with Haynesworth, a strong conservative by Nixon. Every Republican candidate now running for office has pledged to only appoint justices like Scalia to the court. We know what Obama will appoint. So it is indeed a clear choice and going back to Ike and Nixon makes no sense in looking at what the party will do today. The pro life wing of the party is very strong and holds a lot of power to make sure the Republican follows through with no more Souters.

    And it is not a weak group if one compares them to Obama. The reason many see them as weak is that they compare them with Reagan who is viewed by many as one of the top tier presidents in American history. Any of them would be a vast improvment over your guy Obama.

  44. Watergate doesn’t work to explain Nixon’s appointments because all of them were made prior to the burglary in June 1972, with Rehnquist (a Roe opponent) being the most recently appointed at the time of the decision.

    And, of course, it was only six years ago that a Republican president nominated a candidate with dubious pro-life credentials.

  45. Nixon wasn’t really a social conservative in the sense we mean. He was something of a lapsed Quaker and I’m not sure if he much cared about abortion either way.

  46. Nixon seemed to have expressed anti-abortion views (except in certain cases, among which I think he included “mixed race” babies) but in those days, conservative ire regarding the Supreme Court was focused on the decisions on the rights of the accused and school prayer. Which is understandable, since the Roe decision, as I wrote above, did not come until after Nixon’s re-election and just before his second inauguration.

  47. sjay, you are correct. I had remembered it as the burlaries happening before then and the Watergate scandal later, but in rethinking that, it was during the 72 election season that they happened. I thought I had read somewhere that this was one reason for Nixon appointing more liberal judges, but in going back, it had more to do with getting conservative judges past the Senate which had already rejected a few of his nominations and pronounced other names released as unacceptable.

    As to a Republican president 6 years ago naming someone with dubious prolife credentials, I am assuming that this was Meyers. W. Bush said he was comfortable that she was pro life, but the pro life vetting teams now in place that were much weaker years ago moved to make certain there was no chance of a Souter happening again. this is important now as we see candidates like Romney making a statement on appointing Scalia type judges that we have a strong organization in place to insure that this happens. They of course would have no influence on Obama, who is pro abortion more than any other candidate and who ignores even the Catholic Bishops.

  48. [Jasper … this comment is irresponsible, outrageous, inflammatory and demonstrably false. Hence, it’s deleted. Dcn. G.]

  49. Liberal Barbara “He is not pro-abortion. He is against criminalizing it and against taking the choice away from women and their doctors.”

    The choice to what?

  50. Manny:
    “He had the crucifix taken down from sight when he went to speak at Georgetown.”

    It was not a crucifix, but an emblem of the Jesuits, IHS.
    It was reported that while the “IHS” behind the president’s podium wasn’t visible, the letters “IHS” are posted approximately 26 times around the hall and that Obama mentioned Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in his remarks.

    I think that Ignatius of Loyola would be pleased, but that is just my opinion.

  51. Aside from disucssions about the current candidates, doesn’t the Telegraph have at least one fact wrong:”not once has GOP nominted a Catholic”? Wasn’t Al Smith a Catholic?

  52. Al Smith was the Democratic nominee in the 1928 election. I am very glad he didn’t win. There was enough anti-Catholic bigotry around at that time and I am pretty sure that the 1929 Crash would be blamed on the Catholics.

  53. Good morning!! Here are my responses:
    Jasper: some people, religious people included, believe that a woman should be allowed to choose whether to proceed with a pregnancy that might cause her harm, or that was the result of rape and incest. Obviously, the Catholic Church does not agree with this
    Mark: I do not know why you are so threatened by a strong black community and strong black families. Perhaps this could be an area of reflection for you while you are on retreat with Thomas Merton? As for Rev. Wright’s comments, the President addressed those issues in his speech in Philadelphia in 2008- read it for your answers. I cannot pass judgment on Rev. Wright’s more extreme comments which I found offensive: I have never been degraded by Jim Crow laws, have never lived in fear of being lynched by white people and have never been discriminated against because of the color of my skin. I do not know what I would have said/done in response to such horrors. However, like the President I choose not to remain in the divisive past but to move on seeking reconciliation and healing.
    Naturegestez: Forgive me if I do not have confidence in your prophetic abilities to read laws that have not yet been written. However, I do read the laws that are already on the books: have you ever heard of “felony murder”?
    As far as wanting this President to be re-elected, I want a President who can lead us out of this mess we are in. I am not sold on any of the Republican candidates.

  54. Barbara, I doubt you have ever voted for a Republican in your life. On the race issue, I am not threatened by any community, black or white. I find it offensive when a Christian Church publishes values that are outfront racist. Would a white Christian Church who published the same list with the change to white’s only be bashed by the media? I have respect for those who do as Martin Luther King stated his goal of people being judged by their character and not the color of their skin. Frankly, I think he would have been offended by this type of Church value goals and also the sermons of the Reverend Wright. Liberals who seem to think you have to give African Americans a pass for outright racism do so because they obviously believe that they are not capible of being equal. It shows again with views like affirmative action which judges totally on color of skin. Many African Americans are just as offended by this type of treatment and when they dare to voice their views, they come under massive attack to shut them up. How is all this liberal love doing for the African American Community? It has destroyed the fabric of the black family and left them with little hope.

    And this comment is a joke right: “like the President I choose not to remain in the divisive past ” Obama is one of the most divisive presidents in American History. He has blasted every group that exists that gets in the way of his socialist policies. It is hard to think of a group he has not bashed. Insurance companies, Hospitals and doctors, drug companies, real energy companies that actually produce useful products, those who cling to the guns and religious beliefs, wall street (even as he appoints wall street executives to his cabinet and goes to them as major donars), anyone who makes over 250,000 dollars a year (even as he gives sweetheart deals to his cronies in that same catagory), and on and on and on. This is not based on policies, but his hatred of anything in America that is successful and not under the control of the government. His agencies are active in passing ever increasing regulations that kill jobs and growth. Why is there no cry from Liberals over the massively high gas prices. When they spiked for a few weeks under W. Bush the Democrats and liberal media were out posing at gas stations and screaming about how this was very harsh on the people, especially the poor. It has been even higher and under Obama energy policies has stayed at these higher levels.

    I am not concerned about Obama as a person, but believe you can tell a lot about the person by those he associates with, especially if their form of religious faith is racist to the max.

  55. Mark, as someone else so eloquently responded to one of your comments “horse puckies”!! Like your statement about my voting record, your comment is filled with assertions not based on fact or any real information. I can’t debate somone who just makes things up! Good night.

  56. and one more thing I forgot to mention: Cardinal-elect Dolan said at his Nov. 14 news conference regarding his meeting with the President that he came away from that meeting feeling that the President was very open to the sensitivies of Catholics.

  57. Excuse me, are you trying to say Dolan does not agree with the USCCB formation of a group to look at attacks on religious freedom under way in this country by the government? Cardinal elect Dolan is a positive person. But he is also realistic when he reported that “there were areas of agreement and disagreement”. This was after the meeting at the USCCB conference where he also “made it clear at the annual meeting on Monday (Nov. 14, days after his meeting with Obama) that they still see an array of threats that pose an imminent danger to the church’s freedom unless sufficient religious exemptions are granted.” We know that those waivers have not been forthcoming on a federal or state level by governments controlled by the democrats.

    So care should be taken of any attempt to try to say Dolan and Obama are on the same page and that there is no problems between the administration and Catholics who care about Church teaching.

  58. I know you guys mean well, and I don’t want to pick nits, but it’s Cardinal-Designate, not Cardinal-elect. Likewise, according to the CNS stylebook, it’s Bishop-Designate.

    Dcn. G.

  59. Barbara P., were you around before Roe v. Wade? If so, did you ever hear of a woman being charged with felony murder for having an abortion? I was around at the time — I was born in 1943 — and I can tell you that I never heard of such a thing. Again, I put it to you that raising this specter is groundless fear-mongering.

  60. I was around. I don’t think it is fear mongering to be concerned about what future legislatures and judges may do. The world is a different place than it was in 1972. There are many things going on today that in 1972 I would never have thought possible.

  61. You are correct Barbara, there are a lot of things going on today than in 1972 none of us would have thought possible unless one read Humane Vitae and what the Pope predicted would occur in a country that made the decision to leave God out of our lives. Led by the Holy Spirit, it is very apparent that Pope Paul VI had good insights we all shold have taken seriously.

    As to overturning Roe, all it does is return this as written in the Constitution back to the states. If we do this and stop the Supreme Court from legislating from the bench, you would see a massive down turn in religious involvement on the federal level. If people want to remove prayer from schools and the public sector, they can get a constitutional amendment. If they want to have legal abortion, they can get a constitutional amendment. If they want gay marriage, they can get a constitutional amendment. After all, women to gain voting rights went out and got a constitutional amendment. We did not want to have presidents serve more than two terms after FDR, and we got an amendment. When you have unelected and lifetime appointed judges given the freedom to legislate, you open the doors to anything and this is not the way this country was founded. It will always upset those who live in a democratic republic to see there views silenced by those who we have no power to elect or to put out of office. That is why the constitution did not give the courts the power to legislate and what has been wrong in ths country for years.

  62. Actually overturning Roe does alot more than just returning the abortion question to the states. I havent read the decision in a while but as I remember it Roe was based on a determination that individuals have an implied U.S. constitutional right of privacy against unreasonable government inteference. Because there was no proof that life existed during the first trimester, there was no rational basis upon which to support government regulation. In this day and age when technology advances threaten our privacy, I do not agree that reading the right of privacy out of the United States Consitution is a good thing. Your position obviously is because there is no express “people have a right of privacy from government inteference” clause is in the U.S.Consititution, there is no such thing. I disagree.

  63. Of course, now it is incontrovertible that life exists during all three trimesters. So by on your reading, Roe.v Wade is based on a factually invalid premise.

  64. I thought Roe v Wade was based on the 14th amendment, persons “born.” The 7/9ths Republican SCOTUS wasn’t concerned about the facts. They just wanted the law. 40 years ago, the unborn were unseen. And more, nobody unborn was going to count for anything in the Constitution.

  65. I remember that it was based on an implied right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution made applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment – that is the way all federal constitutional rights are made applicable to the states – through the 14th Amendment. I dont think there is scientific evidence as to when human life begins but if there is and it can be proven in a court of law then under constitutional jurisprudence there would be a case to be made that the government has a rational basis to infringe upon a constitutional right. that is how constitutional rights and excercise of government power is analyzed: it is a balance between the right and the government’s interest in regulation. as i remember my constittuional law there are different levels of review of government action to determine whether it passes muster under the u.s. consitution: rational basis is the least and goes up to compelling state interest depending on the class of persons being impacted. of course there is alot more to the analysis.

  66. Todd,
    the Supreme Court’s decision does permit regulation of the second and third trimesters based on the evidence that was available at the time.

  67. Well in that it allows regulation in the second-trimester to protect the mother. Second-trimester abortion has somewhat more risks so there might be more rules on who can perform it or to avoid if it’s riskier than childbirth in some case.

    However it doesn’t allow such regulation to consider the second-trimester fetus at all. Roe and Doe are fairly clear on this. The US has some of the most liberal/loose laws on second trimester abortion in the world.

  68. In this country(USA) there is no religious requirement for a person to be president. For some reason, many people think that it is important. If we lived in Iran, Iraq, Saudia Arabia and like countries, it would be, but we are not a country that by law requires that of our leaders. Unfortunately it seems to be almost the most important thing to many voters, overshadowing what the candidate plans to do for the problems that need to be addressed.
    IMO the faith or lack of it should have no bearing on a person’s qualifications to run this country.

  69. Wasn’t it Macbeth that said something like: “It is a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing.” (V:v: 26-28) Sounds like a good description of this Republican primary election.

    IMHO: among the Republican candidates, only Santorum and Huntsman have the integrity that this country deserves in its serving president. Whether or not they — or any Republican candidate — can beat President Obama in a general election remains to be seen. I will not play the prophet here.

    Traditionally political historians state that 1/3 of the electorate are dedicated Democrats and would vote for that party’s presidential nominee regardless who the candidate is; 1/3 of the electorate are dedicated Republicans and would vote for that party’s nominee — again, regardless who that person actually is. The remaining 1/3 are the swing voters and those are the voters that wise politicians need to convince.

    In 2012, I’m not sure how accurate that “one-third/ one-third/ one-third” model is because the Republican Party is so fractured. IMHO, there are convicted nd long-time Republicans that are so polarized about their specific candidates that they WILL NOT vote for any other Republican — party loyalty be damned. They might even stay home!

    I have to wonder whether moderate “non-Tea-Party” Republicans who believe in Jon Huntsman’s vision might not bolt and vote Democratic if Gingrich, or Romney or even Santorum wound up being the final candidate of the Republican Party.

  70. Although I will not hold Huntsman or his relative Romney’s genealogy against them, Romney is clearly the bankster’s choice, backed by Goldman, JP Morgan, Societe General.

    So Romney will continue the trend of crony capitalism laws to benefit the corporate person(s), at the cost of the individual citizens savings and future and freedoms. He will be McWar, just as Obama has been, and the Bushes that burnt before him.

    Santorum has lately made his fortune in these same hallowed halls of finance, and therefore, to my mind, cannot be trusted for he is beholden to his keepers.

    Look at who sponsors these folks, follow the money.

    I will stoop to beg that you read the ‘lunatics’ letters.
    Your grand children’s future has been mortgaged to feed the corporate trough, unless you dare to act to save them.

    Global corporations are the new lords, and they dare say, ‘We are doing God’s work.’ catholicsforronpaul on facebook.com

  71. Let’s take this logic further and look to Ron Paul. He made millions off his newsletters, newsletters which were fueled by racist rhetoric. What does your logic suggest when we take it to Ron Paul? Whether or not he wrote the racist writings himself, his connection with and support by racists suggests he is the candidate most likely to empower racism. Racism is something Catholics _cannot_ support.

    Now, when Catholics support Ron Paul’s economics, I suggest for the most part, they do not understand Catholic Social Doctrine, because the two are polar opposites. Just look at what Catholic Social Doctrine says on health care and look at how the good “doctor” couldn’t even get good health care for his… 2008 campaign manager.

  72. Dear Henry Karlson, God bless you, a Catholic, for speaking truth to power. Like Jesus in the temple overturning money changer’s tables, you point out the vast ungodly fortune made by the good doctor through his newsletters, fees charged on every transaction for the privilege of reading his hallowed words of racism, but…
    You forgot to question his running as a third party candidate.

    I beg forgives for the coercion Ron Paul has forced on his minions, and point out the latest horror; over 6 million raised by the likes of noncorporate persons, some in Iraq, some in foreclosure, and some in business, to ensure his racist ways are impressed on this country when he is it’s leader.

    Then swing over to Jon Stewart’s show last night, (The Daily Show), for the Jewish take on said racism.

    Finally maybe you could go back and take a look at who wrote those racist words 20 years ago, maybe it was you???

    Take a look at Jon Stewart, his favorite Jew, on his show last night;

  73. And then dear Henry, go and see what used to happen in the Catholic hospital where Dr Paul worked before the HMO’s ruled the world with the other big 9 bank and press and industry owning corporate entities.
    May I reccommend Stephen Colbert for your theological edification as well.
    Mercy Lord, they know not what they do.

Leave a Reply