The Pro-Life Pledge

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s organization, has put forward a pledge for presidential candidates to sign by which they promise that if elected they will only appoint pro-life judges and cabinet members and will promote legislation to restrict abortion.  All of the current Republican candidates have signed it except for Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney.  (That includes the Ron Paul, who may be libertarian but is still pro-life.)  Johnson is pro-abortion.  Cain and Romney still claim to be pro-life, but Cain says the president shouldn’t be promoting legislation and Romney says he doesn’t want his hands tied in appointing a cabinet.  See  Report: Romney Refuses to Sign Pro-Life Pledge – Pro-Life – Fox Nation.

Do you think the pledge is reasonable and a good tactic for pro-lifers?  Does this help you narrow your presidential choice?

The Republican candidates’ debate

I watched the New Hampshire debate between the Republican presidential candidates.

Pawlenty is articulate; Bachman sounds like a good campaigner; Paul makes a lot of sense; Gingrich is a fountain of ideas; Santorum seems solid; Cain sounds like a good guy; Romney sounds more conservative than he has seemed.

Pawlenty opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the mother’s health (a huge loophole)?  Santorum takes a very strong pro-life stance, as does Bachman.

Notice that the alleged extreme Republicans, the Tea Party caucus’s Bachman and the libertarian Paul, are the peace candidates, opposing America’s involvement in the multiplying number of wars we are engaged in.  Peace-leaning Democrats should give the Tea Party credit for being more anti-war than their president.

On the whole, though, the candidates seem to be mostly agreeing with each other rather than distinguishing themselves from the others.  That’s what voters need at this point.

But do any of them seem as if they could be president?  I suspect that most American voters these days are influenced not so much about what candidates believe or what they would do as about whether they (1) like them  (2) have an image that seems presidential.  Yes, Americans are basically conservative, but they won’t vote for someone who comes across as angry.  They will vote for a Reagan, an optimistic, cheerful conservative.  Another important factor is “presence.”  Reagan had it; Obama has it.  I’m not sure that any of these candidates do.

Newt Gingrich’s whole staff resigns–for Perry?

Twelve of GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, every one of his top campaign staff, walked out on him!  That doesn’t auger well.  The speculation is that they are going over to Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Do you think he might be the cowboy on the white horse who could ride in and save the Republicans?

I’d like to hear from Texans about this guy, since he’s been governor for longer than anyone and I assume you must see something in him.

Newt Gingrich advisers resign en masse – Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman – POLITICO.com.

Gingrich Staff Quits: Is the Republican Nomination Perry’s to Lose? – Roger L. Simon

The first Lutheran president

Both Joe Carter and Sarah Pulliam Bailey note this article by Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times on the end of the mainline Protestant domination of the American presidency.  But what I take from it is the prospect that we could theoretically be getting the first Lutheran president!  That would be Michele Bachman, if she runs and if she wins.  (And aren’t Lutherans mainline Protestants, just the only ones that still hold to a Biblical orthodoxy?)

Of the 44 U.S. presidents, all but a handful have been affiliated with a relatively narrow list of traditional Protestant denominations.

Eleven were Episcopalians (12 if you count Thomas Jefferson, whose adult beliefs are a subject of debate), eight were Presbyterians, four were Methodists and four were Baptists. Others included Congregationalists, Dutch Reformed and Disciples of Christ.

President Obama attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation with traditional Protestant roots despite its untraditional pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In Washington, Obama has attended services at mostly black Protestant churches.

The only chief executive whose roots were clearly outside that mainstream tradition was John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic.

But among the leading candidates for this year’s Republican presidential nomination, not one is a member of the Protestant denominations that for so long have dominated American political culture.

Two of the potential candidates are Mormons (former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.); one is a member of an interdenominational evangelical church (former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty); two others are Catholics (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum). Rep. Michele Bachmann, who says she’s considering the race, worships at an evangelical Lutheran church; if elected, she’d be the first Lutheran president.

But no matter who wins from this list, it won’t be an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian or a Methodist.

via Doyle McManus: Religion and politics in America – latimes.com.

What does this mean?

Eye of Newt and Mitt of Romney

Finally two big-name, legitimate candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, running for the Republican presidential nomination.  They are:   Newt Gingrich.  And Mitt Romney.

Those of you whose Christianity shapes your politics, could you vote for either of these guys?  Newt has lots of creative conservative ideas, but he has a history of admitted adultery, has been divorced twice, and is on his third marriage.  Would you say that character is more important than ideology?  And if so, would you ever be able to vote for Newt?  (He has recently converted from being a Baptist to being a Roman Catholic.  Does anyone know if he would be allowed to take Holy Communion, given his multiple marriages, even though they were pre-conversion?)

As for Mitt Romney, he is not a Christian at all, but rather a Mormon.  Does that make a difference to you in your willingness to ever vote for him?  Luther’s oft-cited quotation about better to vote for a wise Turk than a foolish Christian is apparently one of those urban legends.  But even if you agree with the principle, do you think Romney is a wise-enough Turk?

This weekend Mike Huckabee, last year a social conservative favorite, announced he is not running.  Mitch Daniel is a candidate with gravitas, but he is the one who called for a “truce” on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage.  (Even though as Indiana governor he has recently defunded Planned Parenthood in that state.)

Would Christian conservatives rally around Pawlenty?  Santorum?  Bachman?

Is there any potential GOP candidate that, if he or she were the Republican nominee, would make you vote for Obama instead?

 


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