Romney on the HHS Mandate

I don’t have a TV that talks to the outside world, so I didn’t see Raymond Arroyo’s interview with Romney.  However a friend who did watch it writes in astonishment:

Arroyo asked was what would Romney do about the HHS mandate. Romney did not answer the question. Instead he spent five minutes mouthing platitudes about “freedom of worship” (Hillary Clinton’s favorite expression to undermine the First Amendment).

Update: Here’s the interview. Pertinent question starts at 1:45:

So now I’m back to thinking I’ll just vote Doomed Quixotic Party.  The only conceivable proportional reason I could imagine voting for Romney is that he would break off Obama’s war on Catholic conscience.  When he is given a simple question by a Catholic interviewer under the friendliest possible circumstances and has an easy chance to hit it out of the park, after choosing a Catholic running mate and telegraphing “I’m on your side, vote for me”, he still can’t bring himself to say, “Yes.  I will overturn the HHS Mandate on January 20, 2013.”  He can’t do it.

Indeed, he deploys *exactly* the same language Obama deploys about “freedom of worship” and subtly reduces “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship” to weasel out of that commitment.  It’s extremely significant.  “Freedom of *religion*” is constitutional language that  expresses the right of believers to believe and live as they please in the public square.  “Freedom of worship” is Ruling Class code language (constantly deployed by Obama) that means “believers can think as they please in the privacy of their homes and sanctuaries (for now, till we decide to come after them there too) but they should shut up and not trouble us in the public square or in the halls of power”.  It is language carefully and deliberately insinuated into public discourse to marginalize and silence believers in the public square.  Romney’s careful choice of those words makes clear, yet again, that he has every intention of betraying Catholics and prolifers and no intention whatsoever of confronting either abortion *or* the HHS Mandate’s assault on religious liberty. Instead of making excuses for that and lying to ourselves that once he is in power we are really going to “hold his feet to the fire” we should grow a spine right now, confront this duplicitous scoundrel right now, or simply acknowledge that the conservative  Christians and Catholics essentially exist in American politics to serve as a feeder belt in the voting booth for Republicans, not to actually influence GOP politics in any serious way whatsoever.

Romney’s behavior is no surprise really, given that he pioneered the assault on Catholic conscience when he was Gov of Mass by forcing Catholic hospitals to dispense the Morning After Pill and still does fundraisers at the home of the guy who makes it.  But if Catholics remain silent about Romney’s atrocious performance on The World Over, I will be surprised at how easily people who oppose the HHS Mandate when Obama imposes can take it lying down it when Romney refuses to rescind it.

Meanwhile, I’m back to seeing no proportional reason to vote for him, and certainly no reason to vote for the God King.  Between this and the rush to get Catholics on board with murdering innocent life when it is conceived in rape, the RR ticket has not missed a opportunity to miss an opportunity.  They almost had my vote due to the very slim possibility they would at least not spit on Catholic conscience and religious liberty like Obama does.  That ship has sailed.

Tom Kreitzberg is right:

The standing political deal

 We will give you the good you desire if you give us power. A lot of power. Quite possibly, in fact, more power than you think we need to give you the good you desire. But we need to use that power to tick a few things off our list of priorities that just barely edge out giving you the good you desire. Things like evening scores — well, and running up scores. Oh, and getting more power. What good will it do anyone if we give you the good you desire, only to lose power? THEY will take away the good you desire. Or at least, THEY might. We wouldn’t — or if we did, it would be only temporarily, until we’re all settled in with inexhaustible power. But let’s not lose track of the fundamentals, We’re the ones, the only ones, offering you the good you desire. So remember, and teach your children:
  1. Power.
  2. The good you desire.

In that order.

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  • Margarita Szechenyi

    Romney is a pathological liar who flips & flops with the wind as it best suits him. He has no problem lying bold facedly to Catholic Church officials, as he did in Massachusetts when he was governor. The Mormon religion is very anti-Catholic. Told Catholic Hospitals to Administer Abortion Pills
    A defining moment in Mitt Romney’s post-pro-life-conversion political career cam…
    e in his third year as governor of Massachusetts, when he decided Catholic hospitals would be required under his interpretation of a new state law to give rape victims a drug that can induce abortions.

  • You write: that Romney “pioneered the assault on Catholic conscience when he was Gov of Mass by forcing Catholic hospitals to dispense the Morning After Pill.”

    That’s incorrect.

    Romney vetoed the legislation in July 2005. And for that he ought to be commended. On Sept. 15, 2005, the Legislature overrode his veto and the measure became law. Not sure what else he could do at that point.

    • Mark Shea

      He vetoed it secure in the knowledge that his veto would be overriden. Then this happened:

      “On Dec. 7, 2005, a week before the law was to take effect, the Boston Globe ran a piece headlined: “Private Hospitals Exempt on Pill Law.” The article said the state Department of Public Health had determined that the emergency contraception law “does not nullify a statute passed years ago that says privately run hospitals cannot be forced to provide abortions or contraception.”

      Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. told the Globe: “We felt very clearly that the two laws don’t cancel each other out and basically work in harmony with each other.”

      Romney spokesman Fehrnstrom told the Globe that Romney agreed with the Department of Public Health on the issue. The governor, he said, “respects the views of health care facilities that are guided by moral principles on this issue.”

      “The staff of DPH did their own objective and unbiased legal analysis,” Romney’s spokesman told the Globe. “The brought it to us, and we concur in it.”

      The Globe itself ruefully bowed to this legal analysis. It ran an editorial headlined: “A Plan B Mistake.” “The legislators failed, however,” the Globe said, “to include wording in the bill explicitly repealing a clause in an older statute that gives hospitals the right, for reasons of conscience, not to offer birth control services.”

      Liberals joined in attacking Romney’s defense of Catholic hospitals. But that defense did not last long.

      The same day the Globe ran its editorial, Romney held a press conference. Now he said his legal counsel had advised him the new emergency contraception law did trump the 1975 conscience law.

      “On that basis, I have instructed the Department of Public Health to follow the conclusion of my own legal counsel and to adopt that sounder view,” Romney said. “In my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.””

      Vote for the Sucks Less ticket if you must. But for the love of God stop making excuses for his betrayals and start putting some pressure on *them* to keep the promises and not on Catholics to stop demanding they keep their promises.

  • Anass Rhammar

    Mark Shea is a bauss

  • terrye newkirk

    Romney used the terms “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” repeatedly in the interview. How are those different from “freedom of religion.” If you have to parse the words that closely, you are LOOKING for things to criticize. As I said elsewhere, Romney was not my choice; but it’s critical to defeat Obama. If that makes me a “yellow dog conservative,” so be it.

    Libertarianism is an extension of fantasy RPG games, which is why most Libertarians are barely out of their teens. When we grow up and live in the real world, we accept the actual political system we must deal with and make the best of it. The fallen world will never be pacifist, or Vegan, or ideally monarchist, or anarchist, or Libertarian, or distributist. The ideal system must wait until Heaven.

    Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Conspiracy theories are for marginalized cranks. Most people, even Romney, are doing the best they can in a flawed world. Our choice is not between the evil and the perfect, but between two fallen human alternatives. If you can’t see that an abstention or a vote for a third party is effectively a vote to keep Obama in power, you have strayed outside the real world. Please come home and help defeat Obama.

    • Most people who like Ron Paul do so because:
      1) He is truly pro-life and has legislative plans to overturn Roe vs. Wade without waiting another 40 years for the Supreme Court to do it.
      2) He does not favor starting wars that are unjust according to Catholic teaching.
      3) He is serious about balancing the federal budget and ending the runaway debt explosion.
      4) He takes the Constitution seriously and will appoint judges who do the same.
      5) Most importantly, he is honest and could be counted upon to do what he says he will do.

      Libertarianism has nothing to do with any of those. What is sad is that neither of the two official candidates succeed on any of the 5 points, though they may throw out a soundbite here or there.

    • Thomas R

      Shea’s not really a libertarian. I believe he supported Paul because he’s anti-war, anti-abortion, and anti-mandate. If Paul had been anti-war, anti-abortion, anti-mandate, and Christian Socialist he would likely have supported him too.

      Also I think Paul having no chance of winning may have also helped him in supporting him. An actual Ron Paul Presidency is something I think he would have disliked and I think on some level he might even agree to that.

  • Dismas

    In Mitt Romney’s 7/18/12 Ohio Townhall he unequivocally states his position on ‘Religious liberty, tolerance and freedom.’ He also unequivocally states his intention of ‘getting rid of Obamacare and doing it the first day he’s in office. ‘The important part of the video begins at the end, the question and answer period at 6:50.

    • Mark Shea

      Why then, couldn’t he bring himself to say it to one of the friendliest interviewers he could possibly have found?

      This is, after all, a candidate who lies that he was a “prolife governor”? What possible reason is there to believe him?

      • Dismas

        Mark, I can’t answer your question except to say he’s human. I don’t have your apparent ability to look into the hearts of men, read souls and predict the future. You’ll have to ask Romney yourself.

        As an aside, I can’t condone voting for a third party independent just because they suck less. Throwing away my vote on an independent ‘suck less’ nonimee would only further increase the vacuum rapidly being filled by Marxism and guaranteeing the current administration is kept in office.

        Remind again why we should buy into your third party suck less magisterium and islamic fundamentalist voting mandate?

  • Observer

    Two things:
    First, when the republi-can party looked in the mirror (or much more to cyber fancy, evaluated how their program from the Patch/upgrade labeled PatAct9000) after the recent election (before this one), they saw their developmental R&D Obam1.x as a program gone haywire that wasn’t supposed to make it out of production. And ever since, their makeover has been an anti-Obam software. That’s why you here “vote (purchase and buy) RomBot because you don’t want, don’t like, or want some other product without the failures of Obam1.x” instead of hearing “you want to do the party a favor (help or contribute to leading edge technology to protect your collective cloud storage computer), don’t you? We need a makeover. Our new version is better than our first mistake in ProgressConservRepub2.0 suite. So, now as the program has been brought out under a trial operation by the user: RayArroy, you see another glitch (compromise.)

    Finally, I paraphrase James Cagney (who played Adm. Bull Hullsey in “the Gallant Hours”), “A man never changes his mind; he only changes his direction.” Rom does not change his mind (he wants one thing.) However, he will always change his direction.

  • Laura Reilly

    I hope that Romney is open and can learn. In our current position, we know that these things are lacking. Mr. Obama’s actions have spoken volumes to me. He has no intention of listening to those of us who are pro-life much less making any changes! Since there is no DQP candidate, I’ll stick with Romney and prepare for a lot of continued education and monitoring, hopefully with a few positive results in the near future.

  • Ron Criss

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Romney has pledged to reverse the HHS Mandate:

  • adele young

    OK, Mark! So you have decided to sit this election out because neither party’s candididate comes anywhere
    near your standards. OK…what if everybody used that line of thinking? Would you prefer that a President were appointed? Or worse , that the Office of President is decided by a minimum of possible voters? That is playing a spoilers game and a lack of proper recognition of all those who went before us, who worked so hard and so diligently to secure that voting right for you.
    As I see it, you are just shoving off to the rest of us your civic responsibility to make the
    difficult choice. Who will do the LEAST amount of harm seems to be a question you are unwilling to consider. To listen and discern just who during this difficult election fits that bill is a tough
    call, I admit, but it is not only possible but also the only moral choice to make here. Quitting is not!
    Romney did not make the point specifically here ( as he has other places) he would do away with the HHS mandate but Raymond did not push for a clear statement. Perhaps the omission of a clearer statement was
    due more to the ineptitude and inexperience of the interviewer than the interviewee?
    In other words, I think you are not being fair to yourself here nor to the rest of the voters when you say
    you will leave the decision up to the rest of us. Those who “quit” the game before it is over,, as I said
    earlier , are at the very least, poor sports, and worse, not practicing good citizenry.

    • Mark Shea

      I’m not sitting this election out.

      • Dismas

        By not sitting this election out does that mean you’ll be employing your third party suck less magisterium and islamic fundamentalist voting strategy that would only serve to ensure the current adminstration is kept in office and further increasing the vacuum rapidly being filled by Marxism?

        • Thomas R

          I have loved ones who say this, but no vacuum is being filled by Marxism. Marxism is pretty much over. I’m not even sure Cuba’s Marxist anymore.

          Obama is a progressivist, but a Marxist would have at least tried to nationalize some industry. Obama didn’t nationalize the banks or even end private-sector doctors.

  • Colleen

    Clearly there will be less unborn babies murdered at least with American taxpayer $$$ if there is a Romney president, this is from Lifesite News.

    Looking specifically at the kinds of policies Romney said he would institute as president, he continued: “I will reinstate the Mexico City Policy. I’ll cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s abhorrent one child policy. I’ll ensure that abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood get no taxpayer dollars. And I’ll reverse Obama regulations that attack our religious freedom and threaten innocent life. I’ll nominate judges who respect the Constitution, are proponents of judicial restraint, and know the difference between personal opinion and law.”

  • Margarita Szechenyi

    Romney has already given us two fine examples of how fake his pro-life stance is:

    1) In Massachusetts as Governor when he forced Catholic hospitals to provide access to abortifacients just 24 hours after promising he wouldn’t do that — and this when he had supposedly become pro-life! Some try to deny he did this, but please read this article:

    2) This week when he pressured Akin to step down from his Senate race due to Akin’s quoting of Dr. Wilke’s observations on rape & pregnancy — what a 180 turn from 2007 when Romney had this to say about Dr. Wilke: “‘I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country,’ Romney said in the statement.” (,0,80862.story)

    Note: I no longer trust Dr. Wilke after reading the expose of National Right to Life in Judie Brown’s autobiography (Founder of American Life League), his lack of support for HR1096 as introduced year after year, and his endorsement of Romney; however, this does not necessarily mean his observations on rape/pregnancy are wrong (they may or may not be – that’s besides the point), nor does it exxonerate Romney from flip-flopping on his own endorsement of Wilke.

  • sam

    In the 1st place no one who is elected as POTUS can assure anyone that he will overturn a ‘law’ which is unpopular. He must work through the Congress. He has said he will work to overturn Obamacare on day 1 which means that it is a priority for him. But he can’t assume that is will get done unless the Congress of the US cooperates w/his plans. If the House remains a GOP majority; and IF the Senate obtains GOP majority then Romney would be in a better position to do as he plans. But since we don’t elect a King who simply rules autonomously then we must respect the fact that every leader who gains the WH has to work within the powers granted to achieve his goals. Otherwise he is a tyrant.

    Same goes for House members and Senators. They have to work w/in the system of separation of powers. That is precisely why at present, despite House GOP majority, they are unable to get things done which they have hoped; the Senate, dominated by DEM majority, has effectively blocked everything produced by the GOP House majority(GOP), even when many House minority(DEM) vote w/them. And even when House and Senate work together POTUS has the ability to veto, which often sends things back to square one.

    Those of you who are sulking like children, rather than being adults who understand our system of governance, need to learn that ranting and raving that you won’t vote because you are unhappy w/others who lay themselves on the line as candidates, are simply cutting off your own nose in order to prove a point. That point being, as far as I can see, is refusing to vote, which is a responsibility and a privilege, because you aren’t God, who in the end directs all things. Don’t believe for a moment that you are being better Catholics than others because of your stance. You are in fact obliged by your faith to be a good citizen and do your duty and vote for the best possible candidate. No where does it say that any candidate must be perfect – not in your eyes nor in the eyes of God. Because no person is perfect in the eyes of God – not even yourself.

  • Romney wrote in a Feb. 3 Washington Examiner column titled “President Obama vs. Religious Liberty.”
    If elected president, the former Massachusetts governor said, he would eliminate the mandate “on day one.”
    “Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in.”

    I think he answered the way he did, as many Republicans do for some reason, because he was certain Raymond and the audience were already well aware of his position on the mandate.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    Anyone who REALLY believes Mitt Romney has any personal or political integrity regarding pro-life issues and will be willing to fight for them as President, please e-mail me immediately. I have some wonderful oceanfront property to sell you at rock bottom prices.

  • regina

    I am so excited to vote for R&R this election. It’s refreshing to hear them speak about religious freedom and being pro-life with authority and confidence. And to have Paul Ryan, a true practicing Catholic on the national ticket is fabulous! Most Catholics in the national spotlight make news for how they go against the Church. Paul Ryan is making news by backing the Faith. What they say really matters. Actions matter. Words matter, too. They’re not perfect; and maybe they won’t be able to do everything they say they want to do. But I love the national conversation presenting religious freedom and life in a positive way. I like Mark Shea’s writing but I think he’s being nitpicky and overdramatic here. Doesn’t persuade me.

  • Chris

    This is so sad. Mark – I used to regard you very highly from your conversion story. And read several of your postings. However, I fail to see the wisdom of picking someone who is clearly anti-God, anti-life, anti-religious freedom, etc in Obama over what might be an imperfect candidate in Romney/Ryan candidacy? And to sit out this critical election? Do you really believe that a second term Obama with its associated implications (Supreme Court appointments, Obamacare etc..) would be better than an imperfect Romney/Ryan team? Watch up!!! Remember what St. Thomas Moore said, “That which you cannot turn to good, so to order it that it be not be very bad.”

    • Mark Shea

      I am not voting for Obama. I would urge everybody to vote for someone besides Obama. I merely am pointing out that Romney is not someone I will vote for besides Obama.

      • Silver Spring

        I respect your opinion on this Mark, although I disagree. My concern, and I think the concern of many others here, is that if enough people take the approach to the election that you’re taking, we’ll be handing a second term on a silver platter to a virulently anti-Catholic president who is one of the world’s ‘greatest’ promoters of abortion.

        • Thomas R

          He’s not in a swing-state so his, or my, individual vote is unlikely to matter.

          I do think talking about politics so much, when you hate it and would never vote for a viable Presidential candidate, is kind of pointless

  • Mike Jarman

    “If I am elected president … on day one I will eliminate the Obama administration rule that compels religious institutions to violate the tenets of their own faith.” – Mitt Romney
    Isn’t that clear enough? He already said this. Why repeat himself?
    Seriously, am I missing something here?

    • Mark Shea

      “I was a prolife governor. I served as a prolife governor”

      That’s what you are missing. The man is a liar. And when he had a chance to make a clear and simple promise, he chose to obfuscate, evade, and confuse rather than make a clear statement to the audience that cares most about the matter of religious liberty. Trust him at your peril

  • hershal

    Reading thru most ot these comments leaves me weary. So you know, I am as anti-Obama as a person can be. I will gladly vote for Romney/Ryan. What do many of you think would be the situation now if from day one of the first election we Christians took the supposed moral high ground and did not vote because we had issues that revealed neither candidate was Jesus? Is the bible against living in the real world and trying to affect (effect?) change and morality for life and the general welfare of its citizens for good? For instance do we wait until we can save 100% of pre-born children, or do we, because of our purity and noble intentions, not do what is needed to save 90% and then get to work to save the rest? And if Romney and especially Ryan the catholic, are fooling us and don’t really care about, this issue, but will work to change it anyway, why do we particularly care? The results are the only thing we should care most about. If they are both scoundrels (I think they are not) why do you care (so much) if they do what is noble for impure reasons?

    • If Romney would really DO what was noble, I don’t think anybody would care. I think we are a lot more worried that he’ll say a few noble things, and then do nothing about them. If I thought Romney would save 90% of the unborn, I’d be first in line to support him. As it is, I doubt he’ll even save 0.9%.

      I hope I am wrong.

  • adele young

    Mark…Voting for the Doomed Quixotic Party ( or a write in) is the same as sitting out the election…it
    is a vote going nowhere, un-counted and unheard. You said above that you could vote for Romney if
    you were convinced he would he would “cut off the Obama war on the Catholic Conscience”. In many
    places ( even some websites given here to follow in the Combox) he has stated he would repeal Obamacare first thing in office. How many ways do you need to hear him say that? Why are you basing your opinion
    so heavily on the EWTN interview? Raymond (whom I love) did not push him on this as I think Raymond
    accepted from what he said (as well as other places) this as the Romney position. Judging from some of
    your past posts I think it may be just beyond you to pull a lever in the Conservative/Republican line? The
    way things are going now ( since the appointment of Ryan as Romney’s running mate) we don’t need your
    vote anyway. And…do you really think Paul Ryan would be on this ticket if HE thought Romney was going
    to continue the “war against Catholics”? Think again!

    • Mark Shea

      False. As the reaction to my words makes clear, it’s a vote that influences quite a large number of people and gets them thinking about the dreadful rationales they offer for Romney’s betrayals.

  • CharlesMartel

    A vote for anyone other than Romney is a vote for Obama. I guess you might as well just vote for Barack Hussein Obama. Mr. Obama’s support of partial birth abortion should be a good enough reason for any person who claims to be pro-life to not help him by not voting or voting third party.

    • Mark Shea

      No. It’s not. Here in ultra-violet blue Washington state, a vote for a third party is, if anything, robbing Obama of a vote. But in fact, of course, a vote for a third party is a vote for a third party.

      • hershal

        Mr. Shea, I feel you have dug in your heels and will not be budged. I think it is now a matter of pride and saving face. Many commenters have proved that Romney has, by his own words and promises throughout the years proved his Christian-like morals and integrity. Yes, ten years ago he was proudly pro-choice. TEN YEARS ago. He has explained, and I have heard him explain his journey to his present position which was anythng but a knee jerk political decision. He had personal briefings by several professionals and spent a period of time seriously considering this issue (I am a poor source, but his testimony as I heard it was sincere and rang true). Is this a bad thing, wrong or even iimprobable? To conclude as you have I would have to think this man is a liar and a snake -oil salesman such as we have never seen. He would have to renig on virtually everything he has run on. Everything. Your personal vote may be irrelevant due to geography, but you allow yourself too much liberty and allowance by which you can blithely abdicate your responsibility (you are a prominent thinker and people listen and care what you say) and basically say a pox on both their houses and remain virtuous and above the fray. My goodness I could take his positions and speculate and nitpick what he may do , but we can’t afford that license. Do you really think he would not be a HUGE improvement over 4 more years of Obama?

  • Don

    Dear Mr. Shea: I’m a convert like yourself. Study of Church history, along with some critical thinking, made clear that the Church is Catholic. I’m glad you finally made clear, for those of us who didn’t know, that you live in a state where you can vote third party and be confident you are not enabling Obama. You really should emphasize this point when stating you won’t vote for Romney, because most of us don’t have this luxury. Most of us live in states where a vote for anyone but Romney, is, in fact, a vote for Obama–the most pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious freedom president in history. The future of our country is at stake, and for most of us, critical thinking makes clear that the only ethical choice is to vote for the lesser of two evils: Mitt Romney.

  • Gallagher

    Well, let’s see. We have a known late-term abortions promoter, and we have a pro-abortionate candidate. One, the first, hates America and if unleashed for a second term, will probably outlaw religion and trash the Bill of rights. The other seems to love America. So, who’s your man? Ron Paul?

  • suzy

    For once I’m glad that I live in Vermont so any decision I make relative to whom to vote for is absolutely moot. Vermont is in Obama’s pocket whether I vote for Romney, Paul, someone else, or simply vote Nobody 2012. I feel for those of you who live in places where the election is actually in question. For the record, I’m not voting for Romney or Obama, but as I said, in my case it really doesn’t make a difference in how my state will ultimately tally up.

  • Michael

    It was stated on the link from New Advent to this webpage that, “I don’t trust Mitt Romney, and here’s one reason why”…
    Well, do you trust Obama?

    • Mark Shea

      For the billionth time, I will never vote for Obama.

      • Michael

        Voting for a third party candidate could very well be a vote for Obama.
        Sad but true.

        • Mark Shea

          No. It wouldn’t. Stop regurgitating baseless urban legends.

  • adele young

    How does one compare Romeny’s “betrayals” with those of Obama? I think they both refer to their
    flip/flops as most refer to them as having evolved. If that is the case once again it would seem that
    Romney has evolved to a better place than his opponent. Face it Mark! You could not pull the lever
    for a Republican. As for influence here, most likely those reading and commenting can come to their own conclusions about that interview with Raymond Arroyo…and while interesing, it is not the end/all decision maker event you seem to wish to make it.

  • adele young

    Good luck with that 3rd Party vote Mark….I voted for Ross Perot in protest to George Bush’s lie, “No more taxes!” All it got me was 8 years of Bill Clinton! Sorry, Charles Martel is right!

    • Eric

      Yah – to keep it simple I agree with Adele here. While I can truly appreciate your principles Mark this election is just way to darn important, so yah I’m gonna hold my nose and vote to get rid of Obama. He scares me that much and I’ll roll the dice with a real Catholic VP whom I believe the most awesome Cardinal Dolan can influence. LOL. Unfortunately for me this isn’t the year for making a point and like it or not this country only has two parties. Does this need to change? In my opinion yes! Is this the year to change it? In my opinion, heck no! So I only hope that folks will research voting in their respective states and won’t throw away their vote because unfortunately your vote doesn’t always “go” to who you vote for. In a country with a two party system Adele’s experience is all to real. I still love yah Mark and I can’t wait (like was said earlier) till your blog turns back from all this political mess! Lol

    • freddy

      Actually Adele Young, Steve Kornacki of “Salon” reminds us:
      “Clinton nabbed 43 percent of the vote, good for 370 electoral votes. Bush finished with 37 percent and 168 electoral votes. Perot tallied nearly 20 percent, and exit polls showed that his voters were roughly split evenly on whom their second choice would have been.

      In other words, take Perot out of the mix, and Clinton still wins

  • Miriam

    So those of you not voting for Romney but third party instead, you do know don’t you that there are only two major political parties in the US?

    Your vote for a third party is a vote for Obama.
    The most pro abortion president we have ever elected.

    You might as well cast that vote for Obama since the end result will be the same.


  • Peggy R

    Do you think that Romney would stomp on religious freedom that would also adversely affect LDS Church’s “missionary” and charitable operations–or its businesses? Where does the LDS stand on the HHS mandate, I wonder?

    There appears to be no public policy stance by the LDS and members are free to follow their own consciences on public policy matters. No indication of a lawsuit or standing in solidarity with Catholics and other faiths.

  • adele young

    Mark….Do you really think the fact that Paul Ryan, a devout Catholic according to his Bishop and also Cardinal Dolan and all we read and hear, would agree to be on this ticket if Romney, as you state, was
    out to sink the Catholic Church through the HHS Mandate and not to be trusted on the social issues? Absolutely not and this alone proves what you are saying is all in your head…and political party preference.

    • Mark Shea

      Which political party do I prefer? I haven’t the slight idea myself so if your crystal ball can tell me that will clear up a lot of confusion for me. I know it’s not Dem or GOP, so who could it be?

      • adele young

        You have twice now avoided answering the question when I asked: “…do you really think Paul Ryan, a devout Catholic according to his Bishop and also Cardinal Dolan and all we read and hear, would agree to be on this ticket if Romney, as you state, was out to sink the Catholic Church thru the HHS Mandate and not to be trusted on the social issues”?

      • Steve

        What does the Republican party platform say about abortion? What does the Democratic party’s say? In a society that is so evenly divided on major issues a presumptive candidate has to be very careful what they say. Romney is not an ideal candidate, or even one that I liike, but would be far more susceptible to influence from conservatives than Obama. Recall Obama’s off-mike comment to Medvedev about having more flexibility after the election. Four more years of Obama will be devastating to America, way worse than the first four. Please, Ron Paul supporters and third party voters, do not allow this man that opportunity.

  • Rachel K

    Well, this does it. I’ve been vacillating on voting for Romney vs. writing in for Huckabee for awhile now, and this is the last straw. (Before people start having the vapors about how I’m really voting for Obama, I live in Maryland, which is solidly blue and has only gone Republican in non-races like Nixon vs. McGovern. We picked Carter over Reagan, for heaven’s sake. My vote’s going to Obama no matter what I do.)

    • Mark Shea

      Actually no. Your vote is going to whoever you vote for.

      • Rachel K

        Fair ’nuff. My vote will mean nothing in Maryland’s election when compared to the number of votes for Obama, and those 10 electoral votes will all go to him no matter what I do. Much more precise. 🙂

  • But the good news is: Obama Catholic Support Cut In Half – Only 27% of Catholics Support Abortion President Today

    and Republicans are adopting a prolife platform at the RNC and have intentions to pass a human life amendment which would recognize all human life protected at conception under the 14th amendment. Of course this will be up to the GOP getting the majority in the House&Senate.

    In addition, while I can understand some of your skepticism about Romney, we have to remember that as Catholics we have a conscious obligation to vote for the candidate who will do the least damage and lessen the number of abortions and economic destruction.

    According to Pope John Paul II,while it is acceptable to vote for an anti-abortion candidate who is UNLIKELY to win, which none exists, as Ron Paul, Gary Johnson and any other 3rd party or write in candidate support abortion in cases of rape or incest,etc. But, while voting for the non abortion candidate is acceptable, it does NOT help in defeating the more pro-abortion candidate. Therefore as Catholics, it’s ok to vote for the candidate who supports abortion exceptions, such as Romney, since he is the most likely candidate to win and will reduce the harm to the unborn and the economy/poor.

    While we don’t have the perfect candidate and nobody is perfect but Christ himself, Romney and Ryan are the best choice for practicing Catholics who are faithful to the Catholic doctrine and Christ’s teachings.

  • Soren

    Romney will overturn the mandate on day one, and has often spoken of it in terms of freedom of conscience, not just freedom of worship. That he didn’t say the magic words “I will rescind it” in a particular interview might just have to do with how tired he was or something. Now it is true that Romney has a checkered past on religious freedom for Catholic institutions, but I think he has wised up, and in any case I cannot imagine he would wish to extend Obama’s fight with the Church, especially since the mandate is an Obamacare regulation.

    • Mark Shea

      I hope you are right. I will never more gladly eat crow. I merely note that all the heat and fire is directed at the people holding Romney to account, not at Romney who is a proven liar. Why is that?

      • Mr. Patton

        “Why is that?”

        Faith isn’t supported by facts but by hope and that is why Mr. Romney will not be held accountable. It would be like you tossing your faith away despite your hopes, it won’t happen very easily. “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.” Good luck, Mr. Shea.

  • I did see Romney rebuke a feminist protestor once who said something about getting free contraceptives. His response was, “If you want free stuff, vote for the other guy.” I don’t know why he couldn’t use that same language here and make it cut and dry. What a looney tune!

  • Dastardly

    Wow! unbeleiveable Shea does it again…now twisting on his own pitard to convince us to Not vote for Romney and THROW AWAY Our vote on Ron Paul or not vote at all. The result is an OBAMA WIN. Whats worse for us and our country’s immediate future, OBAMA or ROMNEY? The chance for a hardline pro-lifer was over when Santorum and Paul didn’t get enough delegates to get to the RNC convention. Save the country first then we can finish the job on outlawing abortion. If we follow Shea’s principles and those advocated in this blog there won’t be a USA anymore as we ‘ve known it after four more years of Emperor Obama and his goons.

  • adele young

    There are too many people commenting here that claim they will vote, not simply their conscience, but in reaction to how others may vote. For example, the voter from Vermont, discouraged because she feels her vote will not matter as she lives in a decidely blue state. Well, how can any state be changed from blue to red? By voters having faith that all journeys begin with a single step! It could be that this time, even in Veromont, the majority of voters want to repeal the last 4 years of failed policies. The only sane way to change that would be to vote for Romney …all other votes, for 3rd parties, write-ins, etc are only protest votes. They are not votes that will bring about CHANGE! I cited above the example of Ross Perot in the Clinton election. If you want things to START changing you do not vote for the guy who will keep things exactly the same. NOR do you vote out of protest for a non-winner. Basically this election is no different from a horse race. You would not bet on a horse predicted to never win, show or place. Really just common sense!

  • Dear Mark,

    Again – you hit the ball out of the ballpark. I have to be honest. Romney will be the very practical politician the George W. Bush was when all the evangelical Christians put their hope in him after his very public conversion story. I remember. I was there. I trusted – only to be seriously let down, demoralized and finding myself agreeing with your posts more and more. The problem is two-fold as I see it.

    First, we refuse to look at the issues before us (today) through the lens of faith. It is impractical and the argument that surfaces is choosing between the “lesser of two evils.” Simply stated, I don’t want to be in bed with any evil. Therefore I find myself without a candidate and desirous of protest. The type of protest that won the day during the civil rights movement. However, I find myself alone in light of the fact that many don’t even want to think seriously about the issues that are before us. Echoing a statement you have said in the past, what have previous administrations done for the social concerns of the faithful since Nixon. #nothing

    Secondly, looking carefully at M Romney’s political life it is easy to see that he is going to be an ultra practical politician. Its not about Ryan. He’s going to be living on a Naval base and enjoying a life of Romney-esq stump speeches and (probably) working on Capitol Hill trying (to no avail) to get certain legislation through. They will try, lose and then say, “we’re stuck” and the HHS mandate and all other Obama legislative achievements will be etched in stone for the remainder of our lives. Here comes a Euro-style mess in upcoming generations. In addition, Romney will do #nothing about pro-life concerns from conception to natural death and appointments to the Supreme Court will be moderate in nature and temperament. Evangelicals and Catholics will vote for Romney and give him a fighting chance. However, if he gets in 3 or 4 years down the road they will be as disappointed with MR as they were with GWB. That is that.

    At the end of the day politicians do not want us to think. People don’t want to think. And our current state in American is but a reflection of who we have become as a nation. Don’t blame POTUS. Look in the mirror. Blame thyself!

  • Mr. Patton

    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
    As a pessimist, “Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.”

    I was celebrating since it became clear that Mr. Romney would be the GOP champion. It is a win-win for anyone that knows how Mr. Obama is running this country and how Mr. Romney ran Massachusetts.

    Congratulations to either!

  • Irish

    I grew up in southern Idaho and central Washington state – where there is a lot of Mormans. I can tell you they are hard working, honest, family oriented, pro-life, people pro-second amendment people. We need someone in the White House with those qualities.
    I look at the whole person and what he has and will stand for. So what if he may have not said everything exactly right in the interview — think of the pressure and stress these candidates are under. As we know they all misspeak sometimes. All I know is that Romey, with all his flaws, would be far better for the coountry than what we have now.

  • adele young

    Mark…If you want to continue to call Mr Romney a liar, consider this one: Four years ago, right after being
    elected, President Obama, stated that if in 4 yrs he had not turned this country around, he would not be worthy of re-election. But he said that was ok. He would rather be a one- term president who got through Congress the things he believed in then just do what was popular. Well, if that wasn’t the biggest lie to date I don’t know what is. This is all the Repubs need to do….just keep that tape out in front of the public eye. Obama really sealed this election with that statement. Oh-and-by-the-way? You still are
    stone-wallling my question which I shall repeat once more hoping for an answer: If Romney is a big
    liar, and unwilling to rescind the HHS Mandate ( which he HAS said he will do )and wishing to do all
    the bad things you state, why would Paul Ryan, a devout Catholic, says his Bishop as well as Cardinal
    Dolan, why would Paul Ryan be running with Romney? Huh?

    • Mark Shea

      Adele: Why do you keep talking as though opposition to Romney has to mean I think Obama is good? Of *course* Obama has told lies. But nobody in my readership believes those lies. Lots of people in my readership believe Romney’s lie that he was a prolife governor. As to Ryan, I can’t read his soul, only his actions. He has chosen to run with a proven liar. My guess is that he imagines he can do some good (as do all who grasp the One Ring). However, the compromises he has immediately made in order to serve the needs of a proven liar make me think that his estimate of his powers to heal and redeem are probably off. Unless you are going to suggest that he is a living saint, I think it’s reasonable to assume he is an average politician and as subject to original sin as the rest of us.

  • Rex

    It’s not just Romney versus Obama on the ticket. It is also Ryan versus Biden. Having one pro-life voice in the administration is better than having none.

  • Larry

    Personally I would vote for anything but Obama. That would include your pet.

  • adele young

    Larry …thanks for being so clear and forthright! Does Mark have a dog in the race? Har!

  • Vic

    I guess Mark is ok with Obama being re-elected. Mitt Romney might not have been extremely clear with his answer, but I will take a chance with him ANYDAY instead of the opposition. Mark thinks with Romney he is not sure what will happen with the HHS mandate???? Well, WE ALL KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN with it if the community organizer gets re-elected. Will Mark be willing to take that chance???

  • chris

    there are at least two Chris names posting let me reiterate my only comment

    Wisconsin politics, we learned big time in this state-

    that is- don’t give the Dems anything on contraception (or anything for that matter) that can be reconstructed for soundbites or new political ads at the last minute. Silence drives them crazy.

    Sorry you all, be patient.

    ~ if you voted Dem last election and plan NOT to vote this time OK. That’s fine.

  • I M Forman

    The fact is the Primary Season is over. Either Obama or Romney will be elected. I like Santorum, but he didn’t win. Like it or not, if you do not vote for Romney then it helps Obama. By the way, the last I heard, the Dems, as a party, are pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and openly hostile to freedom of religion. It is part and parcel of the party and will definately be in its party platform! Are you missing something here or what? ABORTION. GAY MARRIAGE. OBAMA BRAGS THAT HE IS FOR BOTH OF THEM. Okay, be the above-it-all blogger that makes skepticism an art form. Romney was for abortion once and changed his mind. So did Roe from Roe vs. Wade. How many times does Romney have to say he wants to get rid of Obamacare? No one needs a crystal ball to know what is in a party platform. It will be there in back and white as it was four years ago. As for the “Social Justice Crowd” in the Catholic Church that will support Obama lets make one thing clear – A vote for Obama is a vote for a guaranteed advocate of Abortion and Gay marriage. That is as anti-Catholic as you can get.

    • Mark Shea

      I will never vote for Obama. I wonder how many times I need to say that before people stop urging me not to vote for him.

  • Matt

    In a democracy such as ours where the majority rules, it is impossible for us to get the perfect candidate. I often hold my nose when voting for the lesser of two evils, but that is what our democratic system provides — candidates who try as best they can to appeal to the majority of Americans. Faithful Catholics right now are very much in the minority when it comes to their political and religious views (however moral and well-founded they are), and, therefore, it is unlikely that political candidates will emerge that conform to those views perfectly or anything approaching that. I intend to vote for Mitt Romney this fall, not because he perfectly models Catholic values, but because I think he will be much less destructive (and perhaps a bit constructive) to our social, moral, economic, and political fabric than Barack Obama. Yes, I will be voting for the lesser of two evils — AGAIN — as I always do. The only way for faithful Catholics to have a voice in political life is to vote for the best candidate who has a chance to win — NOT the perfect candidate. I like Mark Shea, but I think that he is off the mark in his insistence in either not voting or giving his vote to a candidate with no chance of winning. If he sticks to this view, he will be forever on the sidelines. He may perhaps be very satisfied with his moral decision, but he will be on the sidelines nonetheless. We must remember that we only have one Savior — namely, Jesus — and we cannot afford to make the same mistake that so many followers of Barack Obama did in elevating their candidate to the status of messiah, nor should we sit on the sidelines and wait for a candidate who can qualify to be our messiah. This was the mistake that the ancient Jews made and it was how they completely missed the Christ, who was not interested at all in politics but rather had his mind on higher things.

  • adele young

    Thank you Mark for answering my question. I think you are far underestimating the political savvy and
    the leadership capabilities.of Paul Ryan, but you are entitled to your opinion. As for the coninued labeling of Mitt Romeny as a liar ( as though he were even in the same class as Obama, Our Chief Resident Prevaricator) I fail to see where you have proven anything, least of all, that Mitt is a PROVEN liar. If you are referring to his evolved stance on the life issues I would think instead of harranguing the issue, this change would bring joy to your heart as a Catholic. Romney admits to his once pro-abort position, but he has effectively, I think, shown he is no longer pro-abort. He has spoken on numerous occasions on the value of human life, how he has come to his current pro-life stance. Even the Pro-Life organizations endorse him based upon his change
    of heart. For the life of me I cannot understand why you will not accept him at his word and cease this really unfair attack and give the man his due. Are you that unforgiving ? Or is it just your personal ideology that
    you cannot admit anything good can come from the Republican Party? I suspect the latter, especially in light of your faint praise for Ryan. If you cannot vote for either man, that is your decision. But when trying to sort out the lesser of two evils, one does not simply toss it off by voting for a 3rd candidate who has no chance of winning. In the case of an imcumbant, history shows that 3rd party candidates result in the imcombant’s re-election. The Clinton election was the exception to this rule. As a Catholic I do not see how you see the re-election of Obama a greater good than the election of Mr Romney, even with his somewhat less than perfect record. I accept you at your word you will not be voting directly for Obama but realistically speaking, you are throwing your vote his way by doing this and probably encouraging others to do the same. Thus effectively reassuring we will have a real PROVEN liar for four more years!

    • Mark Shea

      For the umpteenth time, I do not support Obama.

      And yes, Romney is a proven liar. He lied, “I am a pro-life individual, I was a pro-life governor, I served as a pro-life governor”

      This is documentably false:

  • adele young

    @Mark…With this reasoning, you seem to not believe in forgivenness OR redemption. For the umpeenth time, Romney has recanted those statements! HE IS NO LONGER PRO-ABORT! HE IS PRO-LIFE!
    Why cannot you get this? You have made yourself clear …it is no longer necessary to lead with the
    line you do not support Obama. . BUT by voting the way you plan, you will most certainly be contributing
    to his re-election. Statistically, your vote cast for a third party, helps the imcumbant, not the challenger.
    You need to consider the lesser of two evils principle, if you cannot out-right vote for Mr Romney.

    • Mark Shea


      You’re not getting it. If he *repented*, he would not lie that he was a prolife governor. He would tell the truth that he had been an adamantly pro-abortion governor. When he lies about his past, I have no reason to trust his phony “conversion”, which is not in any case to a “prolife” position but to a “only murder babies sometimes” position.

  • adele young

    Mark,…All I know is that when a man repents and by his current actions and acclaimations
    resonate that change, as a Christian , I have a moral responsibility to accept him at his word.. as in the
    words of the Our Father…FORGIVE! Failure on your part to recognize that Romney has changed on
    his previous pro-abort position and to continue to insist he is a proven liar and not allow him the
    grace of that conversion AND to lead others astray with your brand of stubborness? Well, it is beyond
    me and the limited space here to further try. Just remember, a year from now, if we are marooned
    in another 4 years of Obama, you helped to elect him …WHETHER YOU ACTUALLY PULL THE LEVER
    OR NOT. STATISTICALLY speaking you are voting for Obama with this nutso plan to vote for the
    3rd party!

    • Mark Shea

      All I know is that when a man repents he gives some indication that he means it. Lying through his teeth is not an indication that he is serious. The amazing thing is that you are spending all your energy trying to get me to believe his lies instead of demanding that he stop telling lies. Statistically, my vote will not affect the outcome of the election at all. You need to live in reality more.

  • adele young

    This is the exact line being given over at the liberal media networks….an attempt to turn the election discussion away from the real issues of a failed Obama administration towards the social issues where
    the trail is overwhelmingly pro-life for the Republicans, while not so with the Democrats. LOOK AT THEIR PLATFORM! endorsing same sex marriage, abortion, ad nauseum That seems to escape your attention. but instead you continue down this path of destructive and divisive name-calling. It is dumb, un-Christian ….and certain to land us 4 more years of a down-ward spiral. To say your vote will not matter? Well, Mark, then who’s vote does matter more?
    You are in effect telling Americans to stay home! Their vote doesn’t count! Sorry Mark, you have gone
    off the rails here. Maybe you should just stay home and contemplate what you and all Americans owe
    this great land of ours before you step into any voting booth where at present time you will do more harm than good for sure!

    • Mark Shea

      No. I’m telling Americans to think about their vote differently and realize that when you are in denial about the fact that your candidate is a liar and that “prolife” means “opposed to taking innocent human life” and not “in favor of killing the right sort of babies”, you should rethink what you are doing. I’m saying your vote matters immensely. It’ just doesn’t matter to the outcome of the election. But it matters greatly to your soul. And your soul matters much more to how this country will turn out.