Religion in the Campaign

Pope Benedict XVI won't be drawn into American politics when he comes to the U.S. in April in the middle of a heated presidential race. That's what the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, told an Italian Catholic magazine, and I'm glad to hear it.

Of course the likelihood of Pope Benedict's talking politics here was always virtually nil, but Cardinal Bertone's comment reduces the chances that anything the Holy Father does choose to do or say will be misinterpreted — accidentally or on purpose — by some journalist stretching for a story.

So much for the Pope. Now maybe we can hope that politicians will take a leaf from his book and stop talking about religion. That would come as a big relief.

To be sure, this is a situation that may be on the way to resolving itself as the campaign moves into a new phase and new venues. But I wouldn't be too sure. Some of these people seem likely to return to religious themes whenever it suits their purposes.

Even as it stands, I can't recall another campaign in which candidates have gone on at such great length about their religious affiliation and personal faith.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and a Baptist minister, has made his religion a core element in reaching out to his evangelical Protestant base. Among Democrats, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) have been competing for months to win the God-talk prize. Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ, Clinton a Methodist.

As someone who's written often over the years in defense of religion's right to a voice in the public square, and specifically in the political debate, my reaction to all this religious rhetoric is simple: Enough already! Find something else to talk about, folks.

 I'm willing to assume that Clinton, Obama, and Huckabee are sincere. But their sincerity doesn't alter the unpleasant fact that there's something inherently exploitative of religion itself in a candidate's using his or her faith this way. Inescapably, a certain message comes through: Vote for me because I go to church. To which my reply is: Glad to hear it, but it takes more than churchgoing to get my vote.

The one candidate whom I'd exempt from this complaint is Mitt Romney. Back in December, it will be recalled, the former Massachusetts governor gave a speech defending his right as a Mormon to seek the presidency. Say what you will about it, Romney wasn't cashing in on his religious affiliation. He spoke under duress in the face of an apparently rising tide of anti-Mormon sentiment. I wouldn't vote for Romney just because he's a Mormon, but it's shameful that some Americans apparently would vote against him on those same grounds.

Does a candidate's religion therefore count for nothing?  On the whole, knowing that an office seeker is a practicing member of some respectable religious body (I tend to exclude snake-handlers and devil-worshipers) leads me to take a somewhat more positive view of him or her than might otherwise be the case. When it comes to voting, though, what matters isn't religious affiliation, but the candidate's policy stands, competence, and character.

Put it like this. As far as I'm aware, what Americans currently are busy doing, in our long drawn-out, lumpy, noisy American way, is choosing a president, not a pope. The job descriptions for the two positions — and therefore the qualifications for the offices — just aren't the same. I bet Pope Benedict agrees.

Russell Shaw

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Russell Shaw is a freelance writer from Washington, D.C. You can email him at RShaw10290@aol.com.

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  • Guest

    Oh please!  Romney has exploited his faith more than any other candidate – blaming religious bigotry whenever someone started to criticize him or pointed out his inability to connect with "the little people" as he so patronizingly referred to we non-corporate entities that he is trying to entice to vote for him so that we can continue to enjoy the overwhelming benefits of corporate-American economics.  Everyone stand up and shout, "Enron!"  I mean "Amen!"

     

    Please, Catholic Exchange, Deacon Keith Fournier and Robert Stackpole, STD have had some awesome articles over at http://www.catholic.org – like this one – http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=26620

     

    Why do we never see on Catholic Exchange any of these articles that are respectful towards Mike Huckabee's attempts to make character and moral values count for something again in our political process?  Additionally, these articles actually discuss the Church's teaching as it relates to evaluating the candidates and how they measure up.

     

    I find Huckabee's willingness not only to speak about his faith openly, but to defend it graciously without being offensive, refreshing to say the least.  He doesn't evangelize or try to impose his beliefs on anyone – he had no problem governing AR secularly.

     

    I also find it ironic that so many people gripe about Huckabee inserting religion into politics when it is the news media that constantly asks him religious questions rather than political ones.  He keeps trying to point to his record as governor of AR for 10&1/2yrs – where he served popularly for longer than he was a minister - and he carries the title of Governor as his most recent one, yet the media constantly refers to him as 'Mike Huckabee, former Baptist minister,…'

     

    Mitt Romney served as a bishop in the Mormon church – I have yet to see the media refer to him as 'Mitt Romney, former LDS bishop,…'

  • Guest

    And I must add that when Romney was interviewed after the debate at the Reagan Library, he was asked about gay marriage – which he immediately said he was against – and then added, of his own accord, 'but I am for gay rights'.  Then there is his support of ENDA.  Why are values voters and social conservatives supposed to trust him again?  Better go read some more MSM articles, the brainwashing must be wearing off!  ;-)

  • Guest

    As a Pro-Life Catholic voter, I am very concerned that the candidate that I vote for would best represent my stance on protection of the unborn and stand up for traditional marriage.  We are to make our decision based on those two issues according to Church teaching.  The only one I see that measures up to church teaching, would be Mike Huckabee.  He would make a trustworthy, outstanding president because he is level-headed, less likely to lose his temper, has some excellent ideas of how to run the government, but most importantly, holds the right to be born and the protection of the family as the cornerstone of civilization as his forefront issues.  It just so happens that he goes to church.  I WOULD find that to be very important, as a candidate's faith, or lack thereof, is at the core of who he/she is.  Ultimately, I know that the closer he is to God, the more he will care about what God cares about-the defense of the unborn and the family.  After these issues are protected, everything else will fall into place!  (Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and all else will be added unto you).  I do agree that some candidates use faith to try and paint themselves faith-friendly, but not Mike Huckabee.  It's who he is, and I like that.  He is unafraid, unashamed of Jesus and puts himself and his God-centered ideals truthfully forth in his campaign.  He has my vote!

  • Guest

    Pope Benedict XVI won't be drawn into American politics when he comes to the U.S. in April in the middle of a heated presidential race.

    Well, the mainstream press may not get the chance to shove a microphone in front of his face, but who's willing to bet that the main topic of discussion on the talking head shows and "drive-by media" coverage of the Pope's visit will be his grossly misinterpreted remarks he made last year about supposedly "excommunicating" any "pro-choice" Catholic politician. Anyone wanting accurate and comprehensive coverage of what the Pope actually says during his U.S. visit had best tune in to coverage on EWTN.

    SolaGratia: I agree wholeheartedly. Deacon Fournier of Catholic.org (IMO) provides some valuable analysis and insights into the various candidates. That isn't to detract from some of the insightful articles and comments we read here at Catholic Exchange. We need all the reflection from orthodox Catholic viewpoints that we can find. You won't find anything like it in the secular media, that's for sure.

  • Guest

    The irony here is so palatble that you can almost taste it. These folks, especially Clinton and Obama claim to be Christians-they make it a point to tell us this. The I have one question for them: Would the Man-God they publically profess to follow, that is Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ agree with their stance on the "right" to kill innocent babies? Would He as these two support, the right to murder a baby who has actuually been partially born (i still fail to understand what exactly "partial" birth means-yet these two somwhow feel even this horrendous act is permissable).

     

    Unlike Mr. Shaw, I have no problem with them proclaiming their religion, but I sure would like Christian leaders to also hold them accountable to the precepts of Christian values- Life is Sacred!

  • Guest

    I praise the Holy Father for being the leader of all Catholics, and for letting us know it by virtue of Cardinal Bertone's words. (I hope my pastor will read this, and end his Bush-bashing remarks that turn his sermons into political rants.)

    I'm not interested in any politician's religion. I'm only interested in their values as expressed by their record.

    In the words of Ross Perot, "Words are plentiful, deeds are precious."

     

  • Guest

    Those articles on Catholic.org are not free, people, and CE does not have a budget for content.  Now if one of you wants to go over to Catholic.org and buy one of those articles for us, we would be very happy to feature it.  Meanwhile I guess we just have to put up with commenters driving people away from our non-profit site to their for-profit site…

    As for the other topic — personally, I support Mike Huckabee.  CE cannot take an editorial position because it is a non-profit.

    I really had to ponder for a couple of days whether I would run this piece; I don't recall ever disagreeing so much with Mr. Shaw. I don't think I have to agree with every piece that appears in this section, but I really thought that a good number of our readers would take exception to this. And when that happens somebody is likely to get mad and tell us that they are cancelling their monthly donation to CE and after all there is that little matter of us being a non-profit and dependent upon your donations to stay online.  But I decided that I'd go ahead and post it anyway and just let the fur fly.

    Russell Shaw does not consider Mormonism reason in and of itself to vote against Romney. As I pointed out in my column about the Mormon view of law, I think his religion is pertinent to the kinds of arguments to be made for securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — especially the unborn posterity.

    Shaw sees this as the application of a religious test (we exchanged some emails about it) and argued that if a Mormon could not run for president then Mormons are not full citizens of this republic. I take this seriously and it is nothing to be glib about, because Mormons are actually in many ways excellent citizens with a high level of civic mindedness.

    Nevertheless, there are all kinds of people I consider full citizens of this republic who aren't qualified to be president and in some cases this is a conclusion based their membership in a particular group – religious and otherwise.  Just because the Constitution says that the government cannot employ a religious test, that does not in any way mean that citizens in the voting booth cannot, nor does it imply that they should not.

    My immediate problem with this article was that Shaw said "On the whole, knowing that an office seeker is a practicing member of some respectable religious body (I tend to exclude snake-handlers and devil-worshipers) leads me to take a somewhat more positive view of him or her than might otherwise be the case."

    There are many people who do not consider Mormonism to be a "respectable religion" — even apart from Mormonism's philosophically troubling conception of law.  On what basis would a Catholic exclude snake-handlers — fundamentalist Christians who happen to take literally several verses in Mark's Gospel — and yet include Mormons who think that each male Mormon will someday be a god over his own planet and that the salvation of each woman depends upon her marriage to one of those men?  To the snake handler, who is Shaw's fellow Christian and worshipper of Christ, he personally applies a "religious test" — but to the polytheistic, superstitious pagan, he does not. I am afraid that many Catholics agree with him and will vote for Romney, when in Huckabee we have a real Christian, completely pro-life, candidate that they could vote for instead.

  • Guest

    I agree with what you are saying mkochan and also support Mike Huckabee, but unfortunately it does not appear he will get the Republican nomination. It now looks like a two man race between McCain and Romney. Now from my Catholic perspective while each one of these men have some serious flaws, I must ask myself how they compare to the two potential Democrat nominees for President. In my mind, there is not even a comparison in regard to the life issues. The two Democrats I would say are not even o the fence, they are staunchly pro-abortion. With the two Republicans it is less clear, but I feel that they would at a minimum nominate strict Constitutional constructionist to the Suprem Court which I believe is where the life battle can be one. So given this choice and the concerns you have rightly raised about Romney, perhap McCain  is the only viable choice from a Catholic perspective. I know I will pull the lever for Huckabee next week here in NY, but if the polls are to be believed he has no chance here.

     

    BTW, I appreciate what you and CE provide us and your courage to put up articles like this one should be applauded my us all as it gets us thinking and discussing.

  • Guest

    How are you possibly coming to that conclusion?  Wikipedia has a prediction analysis based on the latest polls showing McCain with 812 delgates, Huckabee with 581, and Romney garnering only 185. Go here to see their prediction. If Huckabee took only the state of CA (173 delegates) from McCain, that would put him at 754 and McCain at 639.

    USA Today national polls also show Huckabee 2nd.

    Bottom line — looks like the Catholics in California alone could give us a true pro-life candidate.

  • Guest

    Thanks, Mary Kochan!  I did not realize that catholic.org was a for profit site unlike this one.

    I also really appreciate you responding to the spin about the "2-man race".  That baloney is coming from the same sources that told us that Giuliani was inevitable – now even Hillary is looking like a long shot.  Why do people let the media manipulate them so?  It's one of those self-fulfilling prophecy type things – tell the sheople it's inevitable so that they all fall in line with the herd mentality. 

    They also don't realize that Romney's Bain Capital is trying to buy Clear Channel which is the company that writes the paycheck of almost every big name conservative pundit – Limbaugh, Hannity, et al.  What a stunner that they all come out pitching Romney to us. 

    Last night I heard that Hannity actually had a pro-abort Hillary Democrat who had converted her vote to Romney (Clear Channel connection there, too) come on his show to pitch the koolaid to the masses.  I was laughing – here's this neocon, who has been screaming about how the liberals would love allegedly liberal Huckabee, parading a liberal who loves Romney — these guys don't even see how absurd they look.  What's scary is their followers who don't see how absurd they look…

  • Guest

    I'm not sure what your seeing in the links you provided-with a few exceptions they show McCain and Romney ahead and Huckabee a distant third. The links below show Gallup and Rasmussen latest polling and it clearly shows Huckabee a distant third. Unfortunately in California the numbers are even worse for Huckabee. Now, I still support him and I intend to vote for him, but I still stand by my earlier statement the likelihood of him being the party's nominee is very slim. The question therefore still remains-MCain or Romney? 

     http://www.gallup.com/poll/104107/Gallup-Daily-Tracking-Election-2008.aspx

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/most_recent_rasmussen_reports_primary_polling

  • Guest

    From the Wiki link:

    Using only polls since December 1, 2007

    First Place: John McCain, 812 delegates, 13 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida?, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire?, New Jersey, New York†, Ohio?, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina?)

    Second Place: Mike Huckabee, 581 delegates, 10 states (Alabama†, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa?, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee?, Texas, Wisconsin?)

    Third Place: Mitt Romney, 185 delegates, 5 states (Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan?, Nevada?, Wyoming?)

    ____________

    The crossed through W indicates it is already won and the cross shape indicates that a front runner in that state has pulled out so delegates are projected to the 2nd place holder.

  • Guest
    Also if you go to Fox's election page, you will see Mitt Romney at 22.2% and Mike Huckabee at 19.4%.  (This is esp. significant because Fox has always had the numbers that were the most negative for Huckabee – coincidence or Clear Channel?)

    Huck was originally only 1% behind Romney over at Fox before the media campaign began to convince Huckabee voters that Romney was inevitable and Huck was out.  That's because Romney hopes to split some of Huckabee's votes since he cannot compete with McCain. (Saw an article in the Boston Globe where one of his MA backers said as much) 

    I have been trying to get the word out to everyone I can think of that we are being manipulated to vote for a man who cannot even win over his own party let alone carry the general election.

    I have been telling them that the GOP primary is NOT a 2-man race as some in the media are trying to spin it.  Mike Huckabee is only a fraction behind Mitt Romney and has a much better chance of closing the gap with McCain that Romney who has clearly maxed out his support.
    The suggestion that Romney's supporters are making that Huck is the one splitting the conservative vote has been proven untrue by several opinion polls including this one from FOX news
    7. If John McCain and Mitt Romney were the only choices in the Republican
    primary, how would you vote?
    30-31 Jan 08
    Republicans: McCain 62%/ Romney 29%/ (Don’t know) 6%/ (Would not vote) 3%

    So you can see that not only is Huckabee NOT out & NOT taking votes from Romney, but clearly a vote for Romney is actually the one that's a vote for McCain!!!  (Since Huck's votes would mainly go to McCain if Huck dropped out)

    We "social conservatives" still have a chance here if we can rally quickly behind Huckabee!

    (Additionally, if you look at some of the analyses of this primary, you will see that we even have a very good chance of this going to a brokered convention with the added possibility of ending up with someone else entirely for those who are not happy with any of their choices.  So you could even argue that a vote for Huckabee is a vote for a brokered convention, lol, but I'm encouraging everyone to ignore the media, vote their Catholic principles and pray, pray, pray!)

  • Guest

    SolaGratia thank you. If only Catholic's and people of good will would look beyond this media hype we could have a true prolife/family candidate.  

  • Guest

    Umm, no offense Mary, but to put faith in a Wikipedia poll is a little bit out there. If you haven't realized by now (think Guiliani's front-runner status in every poll a month ago) that the media is beyond rehabilitation and will skewer polls for their benefit every time, then like you said, I guess our saving grace really does come from all the Catholics out there praying for other's salvation.

    Romney had to cater to the wishes of Catholics in Massachusetts.

     

    "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9,  

  • Guest

    Zephyr they aren't Wiki pols, they are a compilation of various polls analyzed according to standard statictical methods — not something off the wall.  Also everything is sourced with further alternative sources given.

  • Guest

    Are they like the standard statistical methods that said Giuliani is leading the race some days ago?

  • Guest

    Carping is easier, I know. But why don't you click on the links, read the data and give us your own analysis?

  • Guest

    The media loves to ignore Pro-Life candidates.  Look what happened to Fred Thompson after National Right to Life endorsed him…he got NO media attention after that and the same is happening to Mike Huckabee because he unashamedly comes out in support of a Human Life amendment to the Constitution and an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.  OH NOOOO!  The media doesn't want THAT message broadcast on their networks, so they completely ignore and discount him as being out of the race.  We have to get the word out and stand up against media hype of the "newsmaker" candidates, and vote for Mike Huckabee and surprise all those pundits.  Vote Huck for the primary and see what happens!!!  With God all things are possible! 

    Jesus is the human face of God and the Divine face of man. John Paul II

  • Guest

    Keyes: Romney responsible for same-sex marriage fiasco
    Charges 'complete misunderstanding' of role as governor, significance of court's opinion

    Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes may not get invited to the televised debates but that doesn't mean he's going stay out of the fray or attack his opponents when he believes they've abandoned his party's values – particularly on the issue of same-sex marriage.

    On his campaign website this week, Keyes blasted former Gov. Mitt Romney for being "single-handedly responsible for instituting same-sex marriage in Massachusetts" for the way he responded to a state court ruling in 2003.

    "Most people are unaware of the way Massachusetts came to adopt same-sex marriage," the former Reagan administration diplomat said. "They think the state's Supreme Judicial Court forced it to happen. That's incorrect."

    "The court merely issued an opinion stating that, in its view, the existing marriage law was unconstitutional because it failed to allow persons of the same sex to marry," Keyes said. "The court then gave the legislature 180 days to 'take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion' – implicitly telling lawmakers to come up with a new marriage statute."

    Noting that the legislature did not act within the court-imposed 180-day window, refusing to let the judiciary infringe on its law-making powers, Keyes said the only reason same-sex marriage became the law was because of Romney's actions.

    "Mitt Romney pushed through same-sex marriage all by himself, in the absence of any authority or requirement to do so, having a complete misunderstanding of his role as governor and of the significance of the court's opinion," said Keyes.

    "The court never ordered him to act, nor did he have the right to act, since the legislature never changed the law. Romney claimed he had no other choice, but that's completely untrue."

    Keyes' charge echoes reporting by WND last July on Romney's role in implementing 'gay' marriage while he was governor.

    Romney's aides told WND that after four of the seven court members reinterpreted the definition of marriage in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the governor believed he had no choice but to direct clerks and others to change state marriage forms and begin registering same-sex couples.

    Constitutional expert Herb Titus – Harvard law graduate, founding dean of Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School and former candidate for vice-president on the Constitution Party ticket – said Romney got it wrong.

    "What Romney did [was] he exercised illegal legislative authority," Titus said. "He was bound by what? There was no order. There wasn't even any order to the Department of Public Health to do anything."

    "All the Supreme Judicial Court did was pronounce their judgment, declared their opinion," he told WND. "Gov. Romney is like too many other governors in America. If a court says something, they jump."

    Keyes concurred.

    "The appropriate course of action for Romney was to do nothing," he said. Instead, "as governor, he created, in essence, his own same-sex marriage rule and then enforced it – reportedly threatening local clerks with dismissal if they refused to comply with his executive order."

    And while Keyes called Romney's actions "catastrophic" and "among the most socially-damaging actions by a chief executive in our nation's history," their significance lay in the way he would operate as president.

    "The failure by Romney to 'say no' to corrupt activist judges in a critical controversy over 'separation of powers,' and his willingness to take unwarranted steps that exceeded his lawful authority, reveal the kind of chief executive he would be if elected president," Keyes said.

    Titus noted that the Massachusetts Constitution probably is the most specific in the nation on the separation of powers.

    "It makes it very clear that … the judiciary doesn't have either executive or legislative power," he said. "It specifically rejects any claim of supremacy by any one of the branches over the other."

    But in the Goodridge case, the court said, "We are the supreme expositors on the constitution," he said, even though the justices admitted reformulating the definition of marriage, "which means they have blatantly exercised legislative power."

    "It was a phony lawsuit … much the same way as they have show trials in the communist countries," Titus told WND.

  • Guest

    Mary, I wouldn't be able to make the case that the Wiki polls and Giuliani polls are substantively different in any conceivable way either.

    It's unfortunate Romney had to cater to the wishes of a majority left Catholic electorate. Btw, did that article come before the "Cow has sex change operation" on World Net Daily, or after it?

  • Guest

    Zephyr in what way is that a substantive response to the Constitutional law argument made by Alan Keyes? I don't care for the tabloid nature of a lot WND news, either, but that doesn't mean that their columnists' are writing nonsense.

  • Guest

    I don't have time right now to verify what Keyes said, almost ready to leave for a Super Bowl party. But his argument is troubling, no question about it. I wonder why he and other conservatives waited until now, right before an election and not earlier, so more time could be spent getting to the bottom of it. And his choice to bring this forward on the internet equivalent of the National Enquirer……. Curious. Deep down I've never really trusted Keyes because of certain questionable ways in which he's acted. Call it a gut feeling. I also weened myself from Farah's titillating and phony site years ago, and you should too.

  • Guest

    Zephyr, I am not the person who posted this. Nor do I regularly visit that site — in fact I rarely go there and only when prompted by someone sending me a link and telling me to read something on it.  I would never have known about this article if not for the commenter who posted it. That being said, I do appreciate knowing about it.

    You really have to learn the difference between making substantive replies and attacking the person. I agree that Keyes' behavior has been a disappointment and that his "run" this time was more self-pormotion than serious engagement with the political process.  However, that is beside the point. Try weaning yourself off of ad hominems, especially when they are made in ignorant speculation.

    I'm sure Keyes choose WND because of a combination of their reach and their ability to pay him.

  • Guest

    Wow…..sounds like a Huckabee party! Though I supported him at the outset….the more he speaks, the more nervous I become. Then, he stated that he would like to see our constitution 'brought into line' with God's word??? Respectfully, sir, keep your hands off the constitution! That kind of rhetoric scares me every bit as much as 'Hillary-care'; or Obama's 'real change'. Here a few questions we should be asking both as responsible citizens and as Catholics: Are the values this candidate speaks about evident in their lives? What role is a president to play according to the consitution? (Hint: it is a whole lot LESS then any of these folks would have you think.) Also, it makes me very nervous for you (or anyone….)to identify one as "the real Christian". If you'll remember, the 'real Christian' passed by the injured man on the side of the road…it was the 'samaritan' that did the 'christian' thing and took responsibility for him. There is another lesson in that story as well. If we are so very concerned about the 'disenfranchised' and the 'poor'…..how about your own neighbor? Is is okay for the Church to sluff off on government what Christ called her to do? I think not. This kind of thinking gets us in trouble every time. The government does not, indeed CANNOT do this well. As the director of a crisis pregnancy center I see the sad truth of this DAILY! These young women, mostly poor and on some type of government assistance have no idea how to get out of the trap they are in..and, sadly, we (the Church) have allowed this to happen as we go about our daily lives. May God have mercy on us. Huckabee may be a 'nice guy', but he hasn't a chance in this. He knows it as well–why else would he be positioning himself for VP on a McCain ticket? Thanks, but I'll pass on that one.

  • Guest

    If McCain does get the nomination, what would be so bad about having Huckabee on the ticket?  If they won, we would have a president who seems quite qualified to be Commander in Chief and a VP who will fight for the unborn.  What is not to like about that?

    And a person who is baptized with Christian baptism can certainly be contrasted with a polytheist as a "real Chrstian" — context counts.

  • Guest

    I'm with you mostly on this thinking mkochan, especially because we won't get a better option. I still don't like the fact that both of them have weak conservative credentials. I don't know how much influence Huckabee as VP would have on appointing pro-life judges. You seem to be quite adamantly against the "polytheist" even though he presents the best economic option. I know as Catholics that's not our priority but less gov't meddling in the affairs of it's citizens has always produced good results all around.

  • Guest

    McCain….that in itself is a problem. Have any idea where the man stands on embryonic stem cell research? He wants more of it and says he needs to 'be convinced' of the benefit of adult stem-cells. Come on, all. It is time we really think this through. How about a Romney/Thompson ticket. Some of the people I most respect in the pro-life, pro-family movement (i.e. Sen. Jim Talent and Sen. Rick Santorum) back Romney. They know him, they've worked with him and say he is the real thing. Brownback is supporting McCain–but that makes no sense to me with his stem-cell opinion. Look, this country is a big business. You are wanting to hand it over to someone who has never run anything but a campaign? Further, did you know that McCain, when asked by a reporter, said he would 'consider' running on a ticket with John Kerry???? Is that ok because John Kerry is CatholicFrown We are being fooled this time around. Further….economics should not be a priority for us as Catholics? While I understand the comment, and, indeed our priorities are different….but, with what money will YOU be supporting your parish? Last I looked, they don't run on good intentions…

  • Guest

    Well, Wiki has recalibrated from the latest Tennesee polls and is now giving that state to McCain instead of Huckabee — very disappointing.

  • Guest

    Well, if we are going to put the economy before our moral principles & values, then we deserve Romney.  Do we serve God or mammon?

    The idea of Romney as being the economic wizguy & Huckabee being a liberal nanny stater is just more garbage from the same propaganda machine.  Forget who said what – look at how their actions match their rhetoric.

    Romney made a fortune buying failing companies, taking them apart & laying people off – how does that kind of business experience translate into helping a faltering US economy recover?

    I just read today that Massachusetts Romney-care is going to the feds for a bailout to the tune of $1.4B because of the dramatic underestimation of the costs. 

    And what about their campaigns!  Romney has paid millions – to get to essentially the same point that Huckabee has done on fumes.  With a return of investment like that, what kind of businessman would continue to back such a failing product!

    No, Romney is not a real conservative (even in his current "conversion" mode he still supports gay rights & ENDA) nor is he an economic savior.  As Deacon Fournier said, Romney appears to be a pragmatist, judging by his record - he does not follow a moral compass of right and wrong, but looks at what is the most expedient solution – for himself. 

    The fact is he is almost universally disliked politically[ http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1709507,00.html ] and has not only helped fracture the party in this race, but is already proven to be totally incapable at unifying and then going on to beat a Hillary or Obama.

     Think about it – who, after rejecting John Kerry as a flip-flopper, is going to turn around and defend Romney from the same?  Much as I would rather not have McCain, I will take him any day over Romney who strikes me as an unprincipled self-seeking opportunist  – and the majority of Huckabee's supporters feel the same (look at the poll I cited above).  Huckabee is not splitting the conservative vote - it is Romney who is doing so.

    Jonathan Last of the Philadelphia Enquirer just wrote this:                                    "why did Romney take off like a rocket in the national polls two weeks ago?           This was the congealing of the anti-McCain vote, which is sizable. Many conservatives distrust McCain, particularly in elite and movement circles. Several weeks ago, these forces decided to rally 'round Romney as their alternative. They picked the wrong horse. Had the movement conservatives gone with Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson, they would have had a better chance of derailing McCain."  [http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080203_One_Last_Thing__Be_seated__take_notes_-_its_the_super-duper_midterm.html]

    And if you look at the polls from Rasmussen et al, you will see this is the plain truth.

    P.S.  Santorum is probably backing Romney for similar pragmatic reasons as his backing of Arlen Spector.  I would strongly caution against voting for someone based on an endorsement.  We just learned that a supposedly social conservative Republican group in CA is backing Romney because his campaign came to their convention in 2006 – when Huckabee hadn't even begun fundraising yet – and lavished them with attention & financial support.  This is a fairly big group & they didn't even compare the candidates values or positions – they just rubber stamped an approval to Romney's calculated conservative positions.  Be careful who you place your trust in – do your own due diligence & verify, verify, verify…

  • Guest

    Huckabee is not going to get the nomination-the numbers nor the polling are there. So the choice we have is either Mccain or Romney. Both have serious flaws; both are certainly not the ideal cabdidates from a Catholic perspective. However, faced with the alternatives that the Democrat party will give the voters-Obama or Clinton, from a respect for life point of view, there are clear distinctions. I don't feel great about Mccain or Romney and would much rather have seen Brownback or Huckabee, but this will not happen. Therefore,without a shadow of a doubt, I will pull the lever for either one of these men as they are clearly  (certainly not perfectly aligned) better choices than an Obama or Clinton.

  • Guest

    MREINER,

    Wake up!  Romney is not going to get the nomination – period.  I've provided links to several polls showing that people absolutely will not get behind him.  Look, the guy is disturbingly dishonest!  Yesterday, he denied saying that Huckabee should drop out of the race to consolidate the conservative vote behind him – there were at least 3 different articles cited in the comments following that quoted him saying precisely that.  There are numerous cases of him following that same pattern of saying something & then denying he said it (take the time tables for Iraq thing – I read the context of the interview & he was indeed suggesting secret time tables). 

    Huckabee is only a percentage or two behind Romney in some places and ahead of him in others.  If people would stop believing the media pablum, we would have every chance of taking this thing with Huckabee instead of having to settle for Romney the chameleon. 

    Today our family is going to be praying a Rosary marathon for our country & this election – I do hope everyone here can at least agree on that & pray, pray, pray!

  • Guest

    I did not say Romney was going to get the nomination. I said it was a two man race between him and McCain and that unless something very dramatci happens, Huckabee will not get the nomination. Assuming you are correct and Romney is not getting the nomination, are you saying Huckabee can somehow be the nominee? If, for argument sake, Romney drops out of the race, does Huckabee get all of the Romney support and does that give him the edge over McCain?

     

    All I'm saying is right now, it's down to a two man race and I agree, McCain has the edge. So, with all his flaws and the concerns that we should have as Catholic voters on McCain's record, he still would be a better choice from the Catholic perspective than Obama or Clinton.

  • Guest

    "However, that is beside the point. Try weaning yourself off of ad hominems, especially when they are made in ignorant speculation." 

    Mary, pointing out inconsistencies of another's reasoning with very simple logic is not an attack. Back to the initial point. I did a quick check on your link of the first two polling organizations cited on Wikipedia, Rasmussen Reports and Insider Advantage. Here's what I and anyone else can find and should be able to remember.

    January 23, 2007

    Rudy Giuliani Leads Florida Poll Released by Insider

    Washington D.C. 1/18/2008

     

    What do you think about this?

  • Guest

    MREINER,

    I am & have been saying  – with proof provided – that it is most certainly NOT a 2-man race.  Huckabee was one percentage point behind Romney in the polls until Romney's campaign started feeding that line to the news media.  And it has been very effective at knocking Huckabee a few percentage points more behind though at least he has been regaining ground as Romney keeps talking & people start realizing that he says whatever he thinks people want to hear even when he ends up blatantly contradicting himself.

     

    McCain has a lot of "soft" support – meaning a lot of his support could easily be swayed to another candidate.  Additionally, Huckabee has been deluged with attacks & smears that could be easily cleared up if he just had the financial support to counter them.

     

    And yes, if God is willing, we could still unite behind Huckabee and he could pull this thing off.  Polls have shown that Romney's support is coming from conservatives who would vote for Huck before they would vote for McCain – whose numbers started going up as Huck's were going down.  The reverse was not true however – Huck's supporters would rather vote for McCain than Romney because they don't trust Romney at all. 

     

    I'm starting to think this sense of fatalism is a bigger obstacle for us than the moneyed opposition & the MSM that is more than delighted to "help" the GOP move more left this election by edging Huckabee out.

     

    Here's an article by Michael Medved you might find edifying (& I heard that he has endorsed McCain so it's hard to accuse him of Huck bias) -

    http://www.townhall.com/blog/g/4ad761aa-4f6e-44b3-8855-af53b74c6395

    and another by Gregg Jackson

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/GreggJackson/2008/02/04/why_im_voting_for_mike_huckabee?page=full&comments=true#postComments&voted=5

    Vote for the candidate that comes closest to our Catholic principles – not the one that the media & talking heads are steering you towards.  After all, they follow the father of lies and cannot be trusted…

  • Guest

    Mr. Shaw wrote: "Cardinal Bertone's comment reduces the chances that anything the Holy Father does choose to do or say will be misinterpreted — accidentally or on purpose — by some journalist stretching for a story."

    Evidence, please, of a single example of when a Cardinal's comments months prior to a papal visit ever reduced the chance the press would misinterpret the pope?

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