Video Round-Up: GOP Candidates for President Speak Out on Marriage

The Holy Family

Would you like to know where Republican candidates for President stand on the issue of preserving traditional marriage? Here they are, in their own words, in alphabetical order. Only those candidates and potential candidates who could be found expressing their position on video are included. If you find video for others not included here, send me an email and I will add them as an update.

Suggested things to look for include:

1) Whether or not the candidate is expressing a position that is in keeping with Catholic teaching on this issue.

Suggested reading:

Pope Benedict’s defense of marriage, June 5, 2011, Apostolic Journey to Croatia.

USCCB Summary: Marriage and Same-Sex Unions

2) Whether or not you believe the candidate is comfortable defending his/her position.

3) Whether or not you believe the candidate has an eloquent and convincing message.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:

Businessman Herman Cain:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

Newt Gingrich:

Rudy Giuliani:

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman:

Congressman Ron Paul:

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty:

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

44 Responses to Video Round-Up: GOP Candidates for President Speak Out on Marriage

  • I only listened to Cain, Christie, Pawlenty, and Romney. I already know Santorum’s stance. I won’t vote for Bachmann, Gingrich, Guiliani, Hunstman, or Paul.

    I didn’t hear Cain give an opinion about so-called gay marriage. I heard him say that he would defend DOMA because it is his job as POTUS.

    I didn’t like Romney’s answer about separating his religious beliefs from his political and governing roles. I don’t think that it is possible.

  • Nick, why the opposition to Huntsman? I’m not defending him; I just don’t know enough about him to have any strong feelings either way, and I’m curious about your reasoning.

  • Yeah, I don’t really get the hostility people have to Huntsman. I’d vote for him. But I’d never vote for Mitt Romney under any circumstances.

  • Let me clarify my previous comment: there are 2 sticking points that I have with Huntsman that would need to resolved to my satisfaction before I could vote for him: (1) his support for civil unions; and (2) his support for cap-and-trade type solutions to alleged “man-made climate change”.

  • Where does Obama stand on this vital issue?

    It is him or the economy.

    The US economy will not survive a second term.

    You likely will find intolerate his replacement system.

    America’s economic system is the worst, except for all the others.

    America’s health was the worst except for all the others. If Obamacare is not repealed before 2014, seven-eighths of us will suffer like the rest of the one-eighth.

  • (2) his support for cap-and-trade type solutions to alleged “man-made climate change

    Tradeable permits, excises, and command-and-control regulations are just tools in a box to address the ‘externalities’ which result from economic activity and manifest in environmental degradation. It took some time for environmental lobbies to accept any but the third of these. Arguments against any applications of same ought to be grounded in a discussion of granular aspects of specific situations. In any case, this is the sort of public policy you can split the difference on if you are compelled to do so.

    Providing for ‘civil unions’, however, is a response to a question with a binary set of answers. You enact them or you do not and the whole idea is tacky. Huntsman is not from Massachusetts. He is from Utah. He advocated civil unions because that’s what he thinks policy ought to be. Stick a fork in him.

  • Cain knows squat about foreign policy. Granted, I’m not sure Obama did either but compared to the other GOP candidates Cain is very weak on foreign policy. Paul is insane. Palin is stupid. Pawlenty just released a joke of an economic plan that screams “Please, don’t take me seriously.” Romney’s positions change with the polls which populists should like but I hold many unpopular positions so for me his pandering undercuts the respect I have for his intelligence and abilities. Same goes for Gingrich and unlike Romney, Gingrich isn’t even personable. Giuliani isn’t just pro-choice, he’s the only one of the bunch who supports public funding of abortion. I like Christie but we don’t yet know where he stands on many national issues. I know less about Bachmann. So far I like Huntsman and Gary Johnson despite their stance on civil unions. Johnson is a rare example of someone who’s personally pro-choice but doesn’t believe government should protect that choice and therefore opposes public funding and Roe. The opposite of the standard Catholic Democat’s line. Santorum is as right-wing as you can get. To the right of Clarance Thomas. I don’t find him any worse than the rest but he’s way outside the political mainstream which makes him unelectable.

  • RR, of course you’d say something like that about Santorum if you are okay with abortion being legal.

  • Pinky,

    The reason I am laying off of Huntsman is because of his support of civil unions, which would not placate – but might even encourage – the “gay marriage” crowd.

    I’m not particularly enamored of any potential Republican candidate. And, maybe I’m just getting finicky, but none of the “possible” candidates sends a thrill up my leg either.

    Because I’m willing to reconsider everything in a couple of months, maybe I should have used some weasle-language in my previous post: I *probably* won’t vote for Huntsman or Bachmann

  • Question:

    Is an essential (?) difference between Cap and Trade and civil union/gay marriage the fact that everyone uses energy and will be forced to pay cap and trade TAX, while the man cannot force me or my sons (no have daughters) to marry some person of the same sex?

    Vote for Obama, again. Kiss your country goodbye.

  • Needless to say – I love Santorum. I will not vote for Romney. I really am starting to like Cain. I love Gingrich too but I think it is time for him to step aside. BTW as fart as Gingrich and Romney being similar – I think Newt got a wake up call upon is converting to Catholacism… Maybe that is wishful thinking but I listen to him often I really hear honesty in his voice. Didn’t Christie say he would not run? In any case I really like him too. All the others – ehh – not so much…

  • Santorum used to be one of my favorite politicians (to the extent one can put “favorite” and “politician” together in the same sentence). But, for some reason, he just rubs me the wrong way these days. If he can’t appeal to someone like me, who used to think the world of him and is open to his message and vision, then my belief is that he is going to have very little appeal, and may fare even less wll than Sam Brownback did 4 years ago.

    But, while we’re on the subject of those who may have limited appeal, let me go on record that if Virgil Goode runs on the Constitution Party ticket, it is going to be very difficult for me not to vote for him over all of the above (except, perhaps, Pawlenty or Santorum, but even with those two, I’d still have to give it a lot of consideration). If the nominee is either Romney or Giuliani, it’s a no-brainer, as I will not vote for either of those two under any circumstances.

    The ideal scenario for me would be Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell throwing his hat in – executive experience, strongly pro-life, good economic and fiscal credentials, and a devout Catholic (not that that really plays a big role in my decision-making, but it certainly weighs in McDonnell’s favor as far as I’m concerned). I think he’d walk away with the nomination, and would deprive Obama of one of the red states he managed to win in 2008. He’s also got a little bit of a teflon coating, as The Washington Post threw everything they had at him during the gubernatorial election, and he still won by a 20+ point margin. I believe him to be, without a doubt, the strongest possible candidate the GOP could put up against Obama, and I think he’d win handily. Alas, he hasn’t shown any inclination toward running this time around.

    I’d also consider Rick Perry (who, apparently, is prepared to jump into the mix), although I view him as mostly an opportunist without core principles other than what’s best for Rick Perry. His HPV executive order also weighs heavily against him. But he’s a vast improvement over anyone currently in the field from the perspective of being a formidable challenger to the President while still being broadly acceptable to GOP voters.

  • Jay, how about I use your reasoning? Bob McDonnell hits me the wrong way, therefore he can’t win.

  • Jay,

    I voted for Chuck Baldwin in 2008. Here in Louisiana, McCain was always going to win, so I didn’t have any compunction about “wasting” my vote. As I looked down at the ballot, I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for McCain. I was glad that my vote wasn’t going to be THE ONE that decided things in this state.

    I’m writing this post without having looked at Goode, but you’ve intrigued me, and I’ll be sure to check him out.

    As for McDonnell, maybe I’m behind the times, but I was under the impression that he isn’t going to run. Certainly if he does, I Iike him a lot.

    I hope that Jindall really stays out of it (as far as POTUS); not because I necessarily want to keep him in LA, but because I don’t want to be put in the position of not voting for him. I just don’t see him as presidential material yet. (Of course, compared to some of the other candidates, he doesn’t shape up too badly. The Republicans really are on a 2016 agenda; too bad.)

    I haven’t looked too closely at Perry, but what I have read seems to indicate that “opportunist” is an appropriate word.

  • I agree with Jay that Santorum shouldn’t be any less appealing to me than some of the others but for some reason I can’t put my finger on, he rubs me the wrong way. I think it might be his Catholicism. He comes across as a Catholic from the George Weigel School. Marc Thiessen is an alumnus. I have a problem with people processing Church teaching through a Republican lens.

  • The problem, Lisa, is that McDonnell is a pro-life Catholic who has broad appeal, whereas Santorum is a pro-life Catholic who does not. From what I can tell, he doesn’t even appear to have much appeal in his own home state. And if McDonnell really does rub you the wrong way, then that leaves you, The Washington Post editorial board, and about 20 hardcore leftists in Charlottesville who feel that way.


    That said, I don’t believe McDonnell is likely to run in 2012. I wish he would, though, because I think he would win going away.

  • “Jay, how about I use your reasoning?”

    And what reasoning? As with any of this stuff, it’s a feeling about who I believe are the best candidates in a fairly lame (thus far) GOP field. I never said “Santorum hits me the wrong way, therefore he can’t win”, so I’d appreciate if you didn’t put words into my mouth that don’t reflect what I wrote. My quote: ” If he can’t appeal to someone like me, who used to think the world of him and is open to his message and vision, then my belief is that he is going to have very little appeal”.

    I have no horse in this race, other than to acknowledge that Romney and Giuliani are non-starters for me. I’m open to all the other candidates, but hope for some additinal choices before all is said and done. In my comment above, I mentioned two that are currently in the field that I could vote for: Pawlenty and Santorum. So, it’s not like I’m completely dissing Santorum – I’ve merely stated a belief that, like the candidate I backed in 2008 (Sam Brownback), Santorum is going to have very limited appeal to a narrow subset of pro-life voters (in other words, even within the pro-life community, he’ll probably only take a limited portion of that vote), and I’ve based my belief on the fact that he really should be more appealing to me as a candidate, and he just isn’t. I never said don’t back him because he can’t win. It’s the primaries – back the candidate of your choice, not the one you think will win.

  • The difficulty you have with Mr. Santorum is deficient preparation for the office itself. The last several years should have taught everyone that you do not want someone in that post who has never superintended any kind of bureaucracy.

  • Didn’t see all the vids, but what I did see most acted like typical pols. Seemed to vary from the people should decide to not the gov’t business to enforce the law as written. Christie came out strong. Gingrich, though I don’t care for him, did a great job fielding the questions thrown at him. Not many gave a straight up or down response save those two.

  • Nick – Thanks for the reply. Matt Labash who said that the non-crazy candidates are boring, and the non-boring candidates are crazy. I wouldn’t go that far, but I understand the hesitancy about committing to one of these candidates so early on.

    Art – I can’t picture voting for anyone who has less than 8 years of serious high-level experience under his belt. It doesn’t have to be executive, but I want to see something.

  • Hey, these are all just experienced political leaders, some of who are contemplating running for President, and most probably via the Republican Party.

    Obama has helped by dividing the Nation right down the middle, thinking he’s so smart he can get away from it; and there’s the smell of opportunity for Republicans in the air. I, for one, have told Obama’s (i won’t call him my President any longer, because he is not presidential) campaign staff to take me off their email list. Reason? Pretending to defend DOMA. That’s worse than not defending it. And i believe enforcing DOMA means defending it, to be logical, for

    DOMA stands for Defense of Marriage Act. To enforce it, you got to defend it, by definition.

  • The only sensible thing to do is to abolish state-sanctioned marriage. The reason governments are interested in marriage is so they can have greater influence over lives and property. Why else do you think guys like Thomas Hobbes define marriage as strictly a contract versus what it actually is: a sacrament?

    Think about it fellow Catholics: if you concede that government has a say in defining marriage, then one day that power can be used against you. Eventually gay marriage will pass, and eventually those laws and regulations will be used to justify intervention in the affairs of religion. By allowing government to “regulate” marriage, you sow the seeds of your own undoing.

    You don’t have to be pro-gay marriage to believe the government should stay out of the question.

  • Marriage has already been defined. Our government has always honored that definition. What we’re facing here now is a “re-definition” by secular forces. If you think they’ll stop at this, you’re deluding yourself, and if you think it’s possible to take moral issues out of politics and not have immorality in exchange for it, that is also delusion.

  • The delusion is in thinking you can make people virtuous through the coercive power of government.

    I don’t believe “they’ll” stop “at it,” any more than I believe the other side would, because if history has proven anything its that humans have a pathological need to tell other people what to do.

    All laws are moral (its moral to outlaw stealing and murder), but not all vices are outlawed. Even Aquinas conceded that point in his Treatise on Law. (not to imply that Thomas and I agree on every thing)

    Government has always wanted to have a say in marriage, that’s true, but they’ve changed the definition over the centuries according to convention (polygamy? divorce? age of consent? all have changed). But we know, as Catholics, what marriage really is. After all, in a world of divorce, Catholics don’t exactly see “their” definition upheld for all society, do they? So, we’re already not getting what we “want.”

    Wasn’t humanity warned about wanting a king in the Old Testament? Maybe we ought not expect our government to codify the truth for all. It usually doesn’t work out well. Taking an us vs. them attitude will not resolve this debate.

    I say live and let live, and the truth will win out on God’s schedule. All we have to do is patiently make the argument and do our best to be virtuous in our own lives. That’s a far more powerful witness than any law. I see no point in getting wound up over something that will only backfire. Why not believe that freedom works when it is given the chance?

  • Anthony writes: “The delusion is in thinking you can make people virtuous through the coercive power of government.”

    Seriously? If there are any who understand that law teaches….it’s Catholics. You claim to be Catholic and yet you don’t know that the law teaches? Explain how the law cannot teach people. I”m interested in what you base that claim on.

  • There are many laws. The “worst” among them is the human law. Where exactly in the US Constitution is our republican form of government given the task of teaching? Or making us better people? And, please do more than cite the “General Welfare” clause.

    Churches teach. Teachers teach. Families teach. But politicians and their “laws”? Those are not designed to teach, but to control. I think it’s a little naive to think that our secular laws have a teaching effect. I suppose you could argue they do, but I suspect it’s rooted in power worship (ie, if Senator Such-and-Such gets a law passed, I should “learn” from it because he’s such a powerful person.) The “teaching” comes strictly from authority, but I don’t see much “understanding” resulting. Don’t we learn in order to understand? Plus, aren’t coercive laws just as likely to fill us with resentment as “teach”? I’m inclined to say the former.

    And didn’t Jesus want us to follow the law, but also to “mean it” and contemplate it? If we didn’t, wouldn’t we end up just like the pharisee who follows all the rules, but in his heart doesn’t understand what it is God’s law wants for us?

    But, let’s say I DID agree with you that laws teach, and only teach. Is the HUMAN law supposed to teach us EVERYTHING? I’m not exactly advocating that gay marriage be promoted, am I? I’m merely taking a position whereby secular law does not actively contradict divine and natural law. In that sense, you could say I’m “anti-gay marriage.” But in reality, what I’m advocating is that liberty remain the foundation of our political tradition, that marriage remain in its true place (in the Church and between individuals), and (most importantly) that free, caring and honest people should come together to discuss the Truth, even through their vast differences.

  • Obviously the law doesn’t teach everyone….but most people are informed by the law and obey the law. Gay marriage is not “liberty”. It’s license. If all the governments were to crumble, man would still not have “liberty” to engage in sodomy, because it is God who gives liberty and rights. If the governments crumbled and a man engaged in sodomy, he would be practicing license, not liberty.

    Governments are instituted so that the liberty of man may be protected from those who would practice license. Gay marriage would be destructive of society. As such, it is an attack on liberty, not an exercise of liberty. Don’t confuse license with liberty.

  • Then why don’t we reinstitute laws against sodomy? Why not fine every 16 year old boy that masturbates? Or publicly humiliate anyone who uses fowl language? People have the “license” to do all these things, yet no sane person would attempt to make the argument that Congress ought to pass laws regarding these matters.

    I can’t speak too much to your use of “license,” but it has always struck me as odd to essentially say that a person only has the liberty to do good. People have the freedom, ie, the possibility, of doing the wrong thing, even with good (but confused) intentions. Our rights, the things we are entitled to by virtue of our human dignity, or granted by our Creator (or Nature, if you’re an atheist).

    In our society, people have the freedom to make mistakes in their personal lives. Gay marriage, despite my own beliefs about it, is not an act of physical violence against society. Does it complicate society? Yes. Does it put the responsibility on defenders of marriage to make their case? Yes. But, I see little point in demanding that government regulate marriage. If anything, it gives governments an undeserved authority, and makes them something they aren’t: a religion.

    Besides, did the legalization of abortion suddenly mean that everyone went off and got abortions? Did the entire population suddenly abortion was a wonderful thing to be celebrated? Not at all, and I actually DO think government has a legitimate claim to intervene in abortion (seeing as how it is an act of violence against a human being).

    Many people learned the hard way about the evils of abortion, and I have no doubt that if gay marriage became “mainstream,” in time a large number of people, including homosexuals, would begin to have reservations.

    We should believe in the teaching power of divine and natural law, not coercion. Pretty simple.

  • Anthony writes: “Then why don’t we reinstitute laws against sodomy?”

    Um…there are laws against sodomy. Here are some recent news reports on crimes of sodomy in my state of Kentucky.

    You’ll note that the charges include “sodomy” in and of itself…and these are just the most recent.

    People don’t have reservations about things because they’re legal. The opposite is true. The law instructs people and especially does so when it is in accordance with Natural Law.

    Of course there could be laws against masturbation and they would not be opposed to Catholic teaching. People do confess to crimes and accept the consequences for their crimes willingly….sometimes. It takes a humble person to do that, but it happens.

    I’m really surprised to hear your arguments, Anthony. They’re not at all what I would expect a faithful Catholic to say. What matters more to you? Ron Paul or your Faith?

    I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that. It’s a rhetorical question.

  • I can’t help but notice that all three of your examples are accompanied by violent acts: rape, assault and sex with a minor. It has been quite some time since I’ve read about simple sodomy charges between consensual adults. I do believe there was a (in)famous Supreme Court case in which laws against consensual sex acts were struck down. Would the officials of Kentucky be so quick to charge a person for simply engaging in sodomy with another’s consent? What about when a heterosexual couple commits an act of sodomy within the context of marriage? Should they be charged?

    Surely you can provide me with better examples. Remember, the question is not whether sodomy is right or wrong, but whether civil governments have a legitimate authority to regulate consensual sexual acts.

    People do not have reservations about things because they are illegal, they have reservations about them because a.) the thing is actually bad for them, and b.) they might get caught, in which case they’d be humiliated and punished. The later is not the same as having a reservation against the thing itself. I may not have a reservation about killing someone I hate, but rather I hesitate because I might be caught. But in truth, I do not do (or try not to do) bad things… because they are bad things!

    I see your surprise, Ms. Graas, and match you with my disappointment. If it is so obvious what a faithful Catholic should think, why do so many Catholics of perfectly good standing disagree? Catholics are no more monolithic a group than any other. We are united by our faith, but it is not always clear how the faith should be taught and applied. Look at what a bang-up job the Church in the last 40 years has done to transfer the faith. It’s the fruit of their poor efforts. Thank God we have a wonderful Holy Father!

    I’m going to answer your rhetorical question. My faith matters to me more than Ron Paul. And my faith does not teach that people should be brought to God through force. Show me the place where Jesus told us that Caesar should make us all good people.

  • Darn it. I accidentally pushed the post button! :)

    I had one last parting question:

    Who is sovereign, Ms. Graas: the individual man, or the State? Because, if you say the State, then you believe in a Hobbesian world, where the Leviathan can do whatever it pleases and pass whatever laws it desires. Be careful what you wish for… Hobbes was no fan of the Catholic Church.

    How many examples from history do you need to learn that when governments regulate the personal choices of individuals, religion is first up on the chopping block?

    When will Catholics (and Christians, and Republicans) learn the lesson that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? Do you really think America can drag the world to heaven kicking and screaming?

  • The point is that sodomy itself is a crime here in Kentucky. The fact that the crime is included with other crimes in those cases actually proves an important point against the “gay rights” agenda. What two consenting adults do privately in their bedroom is known to no one…so the “gay rights” movement is not about their personal lives.

    Anthony writes: “Who is sovereign, Ms. Graas: the individual man, or the State?”

    I respond: God is sovereign. He has given us certain rights. No one has a civil right to do something that is morally wrong. Now, in order to defend Ron Paul, you have reached a point in your discourse where you are now arguing that laws themselves are wrong. You claim laws serve no purpose.

    Anthony writes: “If it is so obvious what a faithful Catholic should think, why do so many Catholics of perfectly good standing disagree? “.

    I respond: Why do so many Catholics buy into things that are opposed to our Faith? The answer to that is that Satan wins sometimes.

  • I’m curious to see if Anthony believes that an individual state can prohibit sodomy. I’m not asking if he believes it should make anti-sodomy laws, but whether the state should have the right to do so. In other words, does he agree or disagree with the majority decision in Lawrence v. Texas?

  • Good grief!

    @Ms. Kraas. Who said I was in favor of the gay rights agenda? I completely agree with your point: it is not about private lives, its about public promotion, because if “one side” can get the veneer of legitimacy through power it makes the “other side” look false. After all, can’t a gay couple technically get married now? Nothing is stopping them, so why change the law? If Catholic marriage were outlawed, wouldn’t Catholics ignore the law and get married through the Church anyhow? Pulling marriage away from the state is merely reflecting reality. In my scenario, no one gets their silly political “win.” Instead, both side must battle it out in the “private” sphere amongst themselves. The tit-for-tat game of politics and legislating will lead to nowhere, spur unnecessary conflict, and worse, lead people away from the Church, not toward it.

    With regard to God being sovereign: that is obvious by definition. In fact, you just proved my point— since God is sovereign, what should it matter what the State declares? We only know about God through divine revelation and by faith, after all. What do you do about the people who disagree? Beat them into submission? In order to defend your position, you have to make everyone either a Catholic, a Christian, or at the very least a theist. Quite a difficult task by itself, wouldn’t you say? But what happens when you are limited to Reason alone in your argument? What happens when you rely on the State to proclaim the Truth? All that is left is varying lines of reasoning that can result in ANY policy. Convention becomes the rule, not the Truth.

    Yes, laws can be wrong. Why? Because (human) laws do serve a purpose: to control. And they are made by fallen people, and as you stated yourself: Satan “wins” sometimes. Heck, Thomas Jefferson once supported a state law forcing people standing for office to swear they didn’t believe in transubstantiation! And yet, I’m supposed to believe that human laws teach? You may as well argue that the disestablishment of religion is horrible and that Catholicism be established as the official religion of the United States. Yet, I don’t see Catholics arguing that, even though millions of people every day choose not to be Catholic. How dare they! Where is the line?

    All the more reason to deprive Satan of the opportunity of such a victory in the case of marriage laws! Why not pull the rug out from under your intellectual opponents? You’d be protecting religious liberty at the same time, too.

    Honestly, what is this really about? Is it about the law, or is it about how we fundamentally see the human person? I don’t believe people are as horrible as you make them out to be. I think people are fallen and do bad things, but they are also fundamentally attracted to the good and desire it, even if they don’t quite understand it. I do not use my freedom to indulge in every vice, and its precisely the exercise of my freedom that allows me to discover and recognize when I do wrong. Nature is pretty good at getting man to feel the “costs” of his choices. I think when people are allowed the liberty to find the Truth, inevitably the Truth wins. The Truth isn’t a heavy set of miserable chains, it supposed to set us free.

    @Mr. Zummo: I believe in subsidiarity. Under the 10th Amendment, individual states do seem to have the power (I won’t say “right”) to regulate marriage, or not regulate it. Technically the same would apply to the practice of abortion (though I have one major conceptual issue with that line of thinking).

    I can’t comment further on Lawrence v. Texas because I have not read the specific decision. I only recall the ruling. My only point in citing it was to defend the ridiculousness of trying to regulate consensual sex, not whether the decision was constitutional. If I were attempting to guess what the majority tried to say, it would be along the lines that a person’s consensual, private activity is so fundamental to a free society that no government can truly “regulate” it. I think there’s substance to that, but that’s just a shot in the dark on my part.

    And I’ll repeat: I agree with the Church’s teachings on sexual norms, but I do not believe there should be a sex police. It’s folly and bad policy.

  • So…there should be no such thing as a sex crime in your book?

    Governments that do not uphold the good are operating in illegitimacy. That’s pretty basic Catholic teaching.

    I’m sorry but I think it’s time for me to shake the dust from my sandals with you, Anthony. Clearly you’re more interested in Ron Paul than Catholicism. I’ll pray for you.

  • I always appreciate prayers.

    Ms. Graas, considering you don’t know me, your claim that I’m more interested in Ron Paul than Catholicism is personally insulting, and frankly rather presumptuous on your part. It’s such a childish way to argue. Intellectual progress didn’t end with Thomas Aquinas (and I love the guy), and certainly you have not helped enlighten me in whatever errors I may have. Your prayers will be sufficient.

    Instead, you’ve reinforced my suspicion that far too many Americans, particularly Christians, worship power and not our Savior. See how that works?

  • If you would argue that things like working for just laws, like a Human Life Amendment, is “worshiping power”, then how could I ever hope to even begin to think you’re an educated and faithful Catholic?

  • I wonder if you could explain to me, Anthony, how your position on the “just laws” is any different from Joe Biden’s “explanation” for why he can’t support laws limiting abortion.

  • Is this an abortion discussion, now?

    I think working for just laws is perfectly fine, I just don’t think we require secular laws for every single aspect of human behavior. It’s the job of a religion to comment on “everything,” but in a pluralistic society it need not be so, and in some circumstances it may be undesirable. With the marriage question, given our culture, I think it wiser for the law to opt for silence rather than commentary.

    Re: Abortion. I consider myself pro-life. Life begins at conception, and that’s affirmed to my mind both by faith and reason. I have not read any proposed Human Life Amendment, but there are times I believe some kind of Amendment to the Constitution might be desirable. FYI, this would actually be a point I disagree with Rep. Paul on. [who, I’m sure you know, is an OB-GYN who delivered over 4,000 babies]

    I do have some reservations. Is American culture across all 50 states similar enough to accept such an amendment? Is the wording of such an amendment open ended enough to allow states and local communities to write their own laws? How do we know that a “Human Life Amendment” wouldn’t inspire a severe backlash the same way prohibition did?

    The advantage of the way things are under the Constitution as written (versus a post-Roe v. Wade interpretation) is abortion policy is left to the states. Yes, that means some states would allow abortion, but it also means others would outlaw the practice. Surely its better to have 25 states that outlaw abortion than to have all 50 forced to allow it. It’s certainly easier for the pro-life advocates to focus their efforts in places like New York, as opposed to having to make their argument in every state across the country.

    That being said, I have still have a major problem with abortion even if Roe v. Wade where overturned. The phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” I’ve always understood to be a fundamental value in this country. If the human person is not guaranteed their life, what is the point of having any discussion about liberty? Why bother even thinking about freedom if the act of creation can be voided at whim? It’s for that reason that I’m open to the idea of a Human Rights Amendment. But still, I’d have to see the wording.

    Re: Joe Biden/”just laws.” That’s a bit of a loaded question isn’t it? In principle I’m fine with supporting laws that restrict abortion, but my first instinct is that it is best handled on the state level. Outlawing abortion with exceptions for rape and incest might be politically possible in the South, but up north maybe the best that can get passed is parental notification laws. The good thing about Federalism like this is that, although you don’t get what you want on the schedule you want, the local people closest to a problem are crafting laws fit for their specific location.

    If I’m defending the position that the Federal government should “stay out” of the abortion question, there certainly there is no justification for funding foul organizations like Planned Parenthood or, even worse, abortions in foreign countries. Why on earth would you use the taxpayer dollars of people who oppose abortion to actually fund the practice?

    I do not see how my position bears any similarity to Joe Biden’s. When it is politically not possible to affirm what is just in the law, I recommend silence in the law over the possibility of an unjust law. This is so that localities and individuals can hammer out systems that work on their own. That is not the position Biden takes: he uses that language in order to obscure the fact that his political actions affirm what is not just. He’s abusing libertarian responses in the same way conservatives use the language when talking about economics (despite outright lying).

  • Do you really not see that you are all over the place because you fail to start from the foundation of Catholic teaching and work from there? Start by understanding Catholic teaching. Then decide what’s Catholic and what’s compatible with it and what isn’t compatible with it and go from there. You’re going backwards. You’ve found a candidate who appeals to you (Ron Paul) and are attempting to make his policies sound Catholic. They’re not.

  • I’m not trying to force the world to be Catholic. I’m not trying to force the world to be like me. I’m in favor of persuasion, not force. I prefer patience and persistence over rushing and arm twisting.

    I would never have been the mass-attending, Pope Benedict-reading Catholic I am today if I had been forced to. It was the persuasion and enthusiasm of others that caused me to reevaluate my lack of faith over a decade ago (long before I knew of Paul). Ironically, several of those close friends are Paul-supporters as well.

    Do you not see how twisted it is to think that passing a law will somehow make these problems go away? Do you really think Jesus would have run around focusing exclusively on the law over people’s hearts and souls? No matter how virtuous and true the law is, it cannot make up for the rot each of us carries in our soul. How about we work on that for a change rather than get wound up reminding other people how bad they are? Or, how about we try to make the world truly virtuous rather than making it LOOK virtuous on paper?

    I’ve gone through exactly the process you describe and I’m still a Paul supporter. I’m certainly not the only Catholic comfortable with supporting Paul, and yes, I do believe Catholicism is compatible with Libertarianism. Radical, I know. So unless the man’s got some horrible secret he’s hiding, I see no reason to change. Incidentally, Paul isn’t Catholic. So, if I’m “more interested” in Paul… why do none of his arguments cause me to rethink my Catholic faith? His advocacy of liberty and anti-state views do not shake my believe in say, papal authority to teach faith and morals.

    I do not believe I sacrifice my Catholicism in favor of my support for Paul. I’ve never felt as though I’m forced to choose between one or the other. In fact, I’d feel less Catholic supporting people like Rick Santorum (R) or Joe Biden (D) based on the question of war alone, versus Ron Paul. Why? Because it’s so obvious that those guys love power and prestige more than they love authenticity and the truth. Sue me for finding politicians that justify death and violence more offensive than the guy saying, “Hey, there’s another way!”

    Just because I’m attracted to peaceful, non-coercive solutions to complex problems doesn’t make me less of a Catholic. I make no apologies for desiring moral means to achieve a moral end, and I certainly am not disturbed by having compassion for sinners. It’s the Christian thing to do, after all.

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