Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry and the Catholics

I forgot to mention last week that our parish "Respect Life" group had a drive for new and gently used baby goods for unborn babies at risk for abortion and their mothers. What was interesting about it is that the group is headed by a pretty vocal Democratic activist. When I approached the table to drop off our family’s contribution, I noticed a huge display on the election. There were transcripts of Kerry’s comments on abortion, including partial birth abortion, as well as President Bush’s comments. The implication was clear. There was no support for Kerry among even the Democratic Catholics involved. They were actively campaigning for Bush because they are actively campaigning for life. Republicans need to tend these young seedlings over the next few years--not just reap the benefits for this election.

This means explaining, in a much more convincing and clear way, the connection between a respect for life and other aspects of Republican social policy and fiscal policy. That means we have to explain the relationship between respecting life and respecting liberty as equally important and connected gifts from God. Bush calls it compassionate conservatism. Not bad, but not clear enough. We can do better.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I’m sure some Republican could make large in-roads with catholics, generally speaking, in the future. But maybe not Bush. I’m not the only RC that was turned off by Bush kow-towing to the anti-Catholic bigots at Bob Jones University back in 2000. I fully understand that electioneering requires reaching out to people that I, as a voter or a Catholic, might have a problem with, but the Bob Jones crowd crosses the line.

Granted, there isn’t anywhere else for a pro-life voter to go.


We Catholics need to do alot of our own in-road making with evangelical protestants of all stripes. There is alot of unnecessary misunderstanding between us and them. We have more in common than not and that goes for both politics and religion. I don’t have a problem with talking to anyone. Talking to someone does not mean you endorse their ideas. I have no more problem with Bush speaking at Bob Jones than I have with him NOT speaking at the NAACP. You talk to people with whom you share some common ground . . . you work toward persuasion. That is what a statesman does. He tries to make them better than they are by showing them the connection between what they already believe and the truth of other things they may reject or not understand. I also wonder whether Bush is the Republican for this work--he’s not bad, as I said before. Others may be better. I encourage them to try.

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