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December 06, 2007

Comments

Ed Peters

Excellent comments. Would love to see what you'd do if HAD the time. Anyway, IMHO, FWLIMBW, Romney is finished.

AnotherCoward


And now Jimmy needs to do a post on the divergent views of Christian theosis vs. Mormon exaltation.

Dan Hunter

The United States would prosper greatly if it were a Catholic Confessional state.
I wonder what Romneys take on the High Meadows Massacre, is.
Ut Prosim

Memphis Aggie

The entire presidential field leaves me cold.

Memphis Aggie

In defense of Romney he at least sticks to what he believes (even if it is quite odd) and is still married to his first wife. Unlike the only "Catholic" entry who is an embarrassment in terms of compromise of religious principles.

Mountain Meadow Massacre, that is.

BC

It is interesting that Romney uses the title "Creator" since there is no real creation in LDS belief, only the orgaization of pre-existing eternal matter.

Tom

Absolutely dead on right.

StubbleSpark

Great points.

I am tired of the Hugh Hewits of the world who equivocate criticism of Mormon doctrine and Romney with applying some sort of unconstitutional religious test. It reminds me of the folks who said you are racist if you do not vote for Jesse Jackson.

Say what you want, but when I go into that booth to vote there is nothing you do to call me names.

One of my friends is black and he has a real problem with Mormonism's doctrine regarding people of dark skin being a cursed race. Do Mormons still believe this? Given the fluid nature of their revelation, it is very likely that some teaching has come along that nullified this offensive doctrine. But there has been no explanation so my friend who is a devout Catholic has told me he was incapable of willing his body to perform the necessary kinesthetic moves to vote for Romney. That is how repulsed he is by the doctrine.

But Hugh Hewit dismisses such concerns as anti-Mormon bigotry. Blacks are bigots for being offended by a racist religion? Insane.

Polygamy is another issue. It is a despicable, deeply sinful, sexist, and demeaning practice. Liberals and "feminists" can pretend they are open-minded enough to accept it, but I do not. Though no longer required under penalty of Hell by the Mormon institution, I do not think they go so far as to accurately portray the practice for the moral depravity it is.

Polygamy still plays an important part in Mormonism because the first breakaway group claimed the practice was never part of true Mormon doctrine and that it was an aberration. So the main trunk of orthodox Mormonism jealously guards all their documentation of the teachings and the prophet's practice of it (including more than thirty wives) as proof of the validity of their denomination.

And I do not care what anyone else says JFK was not the first Catholic president, but an apostate who practiced just to keep up appearances.

Which, if you think about it, is another thing that would irk American voters about Romney. He would be the first president to worship in secret.

And Guilliani would be the first president to be denied communion.

No to both. I'm going with Huckabee. I suggest checking him out. My take is that he is a godsend.

Memphis Aggie

Huckabee's too liberal for me

William

"Huckabee's too liberal for me." Ditto here.

ajesquire

Romney's campaign is not being fueled by Mormons who want a Mormon president. It's being fueled by Republicans who want a Republican president.

He represents the money-wing of the party and will serve their interests ably.

This will be an interesting test of the so-called Religious Right. Will they elect a person regardless of creed as long as they say the right things and

RULE 1 VIOLATION DELETED.

AJESQUIRE, THIS IS YOUR RULE 1 WARNING.

WE WILL NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF TROLLING ON THIS SITE.

Dan Hunter

Isn't Alan Keyes 100% pro-life?
If he is, Catholics must vote for him, that is unless there is another 100% pro-life candidate out there.
Ut Prosim

Memphis Aggie

Quite a slur ajesquire.

Memphis Aggie

McCain and Thompson are both strongly pro -life

Memphis Aggie

Further Romney stood up to block embryonic stem cell research. So he's plausibly pro life, although that's a change. Note Thompson was also once pro choice.

I'm not a McCain fan on many issues but he does have courage and has stood up for the unborn.

horatio

If Romney, Guiliani, and Huckabee are out, that leaves us with McCain or Thompson.

Seems McCain has the only realistic shot with a possible victory in New Hampshire.

Thompson's candidacy never got off the ground.

Memphis Aggie

As for McCain, I hate his maverick tendencies but I respect his personal strength.

JohnD

Excellent post Jimmy.

As an aside, I always note that if you want republicans to stay home or vote third party in record numbers on election day, get Rudy McRomney nominated. If you don't want republicans to stay home or vote third party in record numbers on election day, support someone else.

It's that simple.

William

Excuse me, but I'm shocked you all aren't talking about Ron Paul, the candidate who is most in line with Catholic teaching. Google ("Ron Paul" and "Thomas Woods").

David B.

William

I don't mean this to be an attack on Ron Paul, I'm just concerned. Why did a brothel owner support Paul? Did Paul say we should legalize brothels?

horatio

William,

Ron Paul wants to eliminate the CIA, the FBI, foreign bases, Social Security, wants to withdraw from NATO, and opposes the Federal Reserve. I'm not a Libertarian, so I'm not very interested in Ron Paul.

Memphis Aggie

I don't take Ron Paul seriously and do not see why anyone else should either. He's a fringe player and as only a congressman has no real base.

MarkC

In my opinion (as a Catholic), a principled Mormon like Romney is preferable to an unprincipled Catholic like Guiliani. So, I would vote for Mitt before Rudy ...

I think Chesterton said something similar, but I can't come up with the quote ...

BC

I am concerned about the secret oaths the LDS take in their temples. Why doesn't anybody ask him about this? Clearly, even if they are considered "secret" I think the American people are entitled to know what he has sworn himself to uphold because those oaths may conflict with the oath of office or in other ways have consequences on public policy.

Memphis Aggie

I agree with you MarkC

StubbleSpark

Memphis,

On what issue is Huckabee "liberal"? And how could you consider McCain pro-life when he is not?

Memphis Aggie

I thought McCain was highly rated by pro-life groups and given a poor rating by NARAL. If you have contrary evidence fine, let's hear it. Huckabee likes to raise taxes, and that's a liberal position.

StubbleSpark

BC,

I am not certain but I believe Masons have held high public office before and they do in fact take secret oaths.

Which, like the many secrets of the Mormon faith, can be found on the internet and other sources.

My problem with Mormon secrecy is that this will be the first president who will worship in a building that requires proof of membership to get into and that is very unAmerican, in my book.

Ed Peters

Both major parties are fielding dismal candidates. JohnD is right, conservatives could well sit this one out in massive numbers, in part because they tend to see that temproal political results are NOT the criteria by which we will all be Judged. (It's also why liberals vote Democratic even when they hold their noses doing so: a partial political victory here is worth more to them than to conservatives).

MarkC

When Mitt says, "There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution.", he is insulating himself against the loaded questions the liberal press have been throwing at him (and Huckabee). Questions like "Do you believe in evolution?", "Is Mitt Romney a Christian?" and "Is the Bible the Word of God?".

These questions are irrelevant to public policy and simply an attempt to paint Republicans with religious affiliation as wide-eyed, irrational, Bible-thumping extremists. Never mind that liberal Democrats routinely get a pass when they pass themselves off as "Reverend" or hold political gatherings in Churches.

OK, Romney's formulation did not quite pass Jimmy's sniff test, but he did better on the issue than JFK and he gave himself some needed room against the "gotcha" press corps. I'm sure he didn't mean he will not answer a question about an article of faith which does legitimately impinge upon public policy (e.g. slavery, polygamy, just war, the nature of marriage). Perhaps he'll clarify this point ...

I'm afraid Huckabee's pardon of the serial rapist is going to sink his candidacy ...

Pauli

Luckily there are tons of Mormons that don't believe the goofy stuff. (The evidence I have for this is purely anecdotal, so take it fer what it's worth.) But it seems like MR might fall into this group.

BC

Ok, but why can't the oaths of Masons also be subject to scrutiny. What someone is sworn to uphold is certainly an important issue in my book for someone who is running for the President of the U.S.

MarkC

Sorry, I should have been more precise: ... Huckabee's alleged intervention on behalf of a rapist who went on to assault at least two additional women ....

Agellius

What kind of name is "Mitt" anyway? And he has a son named "Tag"? What's up with that?

Memphis Aggie

Robert Novak has an article (Nov 26) describing at length why Huckabee is a "false conservative" and giving specifics. His talk is strong right now, but that's convenient. What matters is his record which, from what I've seen, has tilted left.

Frankly I'm unhappy with the entire field - I might be voting against the worst candidate rather than for someone I actually like.

Agellius

Pauli:

I believe the reason there are tons of Mormons who don't believe the goofy stuff is that the LDS church has backed off a lot of the goofy stuff, i.e. it has jettisoned some of its former teachings. I used to have discussions with a former Mormon girlfriend and some missionaries that she introduced me to, and we would discuss things like becoming gods, and the "fact" that "Heavenly Father" (no article, please) had physical sex with Jesus' mother, since that is the only possible way a woman could conceive.

These things were spelled out by one or more prophets (Brigham Young I think stated the latter, but it's been a while so don't quote me) in sermons that were transcribed and published under the auspices of the church.

More recently I was having an online discussion with some Mormons who flatly denied that the latter had ever been a Mormon belief, and that if it had been preached by Young it was only personal speculation. As to having our own planets and becoming gods, I don't remember exactly what they said but they downplayed it. The main point was, that they said the only *official* beliefs of the LDS church are those found in the Articles of Faith and the Mormon scriptures. No sermons or writings of any prophet apparently count for anything, unless they are later added to the scriptures.

Of course the question then is, why bother having prophets if what they solemnly profess to have been revealed by God does not thereby become doctrine?

My point being, I'm sure that a watering-down process has been taking place over about the past 20 years or so.

I remember a few years back reading that some Christian representatives were meeting with Mormon leaders to discuss problems they had with the Mormon faith, and why they didn't consider Mormons to be Christians. I'm afraid such discussions might be helping the Mormons in their watering-down project, so I hope they don't continue. I think the more obvious the differences between Mormonism and Christianity, the safer people will be from being seduced by it. I'm sure that is the very reason they are toning things down. Very subtle. Deceiving. Tempting. If you catch my drift.

Bill Q

On the one hand, I agree with those who don't love any of the people running for the presidency. On the other, if I listen to Clinton, Obama or Edwards for a couple of minutes, virtually anyone running from the opposing party begins to sound a lot better.

Heck, even Ron Paul sounds like a reasonable person when he's chatting with the cast of "The View."

Memphis Aggie

I pulled the lever for Bob Dole in 96 because I didn't care for Clinton, not out of enthusiasm for Dole. I worry that the "anybody but a dem" sentiment might not be enough.

StubbleSpark

Allow me to disabuse of your misconception regarding the pro-life tendencies of McCain.

Alan Keyes:
http://www.euthanasia.com/keyes2.html
McCain has twice voted to override President Bill Clinton's veto of a bill that would have ended partial birth abortions.

National Right to Life:
http://www.nrlc.org/Election2000/mccain/prolife_case_against_mccain.html

McCain ... ridiculed citizens who decide which candidate to vote for on the basis of the right-to-life issues he referred to them as "otherwise intelligent people."
Seriously, where are you getting your data?

As far as the "liberal" taxation accusation for Huckabee, is concerned, I want to point you to a blog post written by economic conservative Michael Medved:

According to figures from the non-partisan Tax Foundation (based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce), Huckabee’s term as governor (1996-2007) led to a modest increase in the overall State-Local tax burden for Arkansas: from 10.1% in the year he became governor to 11.1% the last year he served. In terms of overall tax burden (state-local-federal) Arkansas remained virtually unchanged--- from 30.3% (39th among the 50 states) to 30.5% (32nd place).

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, saw sharper increases in taxes during his single gubernatorial term (2003 to 2007) in Massachusetts. The state-local burden rose from 9.8% the year of his election to 10.5% his last year as governor. Meanwhile, the total tax burden went up from 31.2% to 33.9% -- vaulting Massachusetts from 9th place to 7th place in the nation.

source:
http://michaelmedved.townhall.com/blog/

And please read his wonderful post on Compass while you are at his site.

Memphis Aggie

I stand corrected on McCain , but address the concerns about Huckabee.

Memphis Aggie

Wait a minute at NARALs site John McCain scores 0%. He may not be as pure as Alan Keyes but he's very strong for a Senator.

Memphis Aggie

The National Right to light site has John McCain as for the ban on partial birth, abortion, against Roe v Wade but for ESCR. That's not as strong as I'd like to see: stronger than Rudy and the left but weaker than Bush.

Memphis Aggie

Sorry that's the National Right to Life not "light"

Esau

...National Right to light site...


Mephis Aggie,

What's that organization about?

Memphis Aggie

Typing too quickly again

StubbleSpark

The establishment of state religions in Europe did no favor to Europe's churches.

I really take issue with this particular statement as it blames Catholic systems for the secularization of Europe and not the dissolution of Christianity by Protestantism that started the downward spiral of relativism into the pit Secularism. In other words, it is like blaming the fire department for having too many firehouses and discounting the poor management of said firehouses as a factor in a great fire.

I found a lot of what Mitt spoke for and against worthy of praise (the true meaning of church/state separation and dogmas of secularism) but none of these are ideas that are particular to his campaign. Oddly enough, though they are ideas that practicing Catholics in the public square have been saying for years now reaction in the media seems to be lauding praise on Mitt for finally speaking out on the topic.

Finally, the speech is not beautiful. It contains imagery and allusions alright, but it fails the beauty test. It has holes where there are not supposed to be any. Jimmy already pointed out one: his belief that explaining his faith amounts to a breach of the Constitution. This is a flat-out falsehood. Another hole would be the quote I put up about the Church being responsible for the dissolution of faith in Europe.

It does not ring with truth, it simply sounds off-key.

StubbleSpark

I stand corrected on McCain , but address the concerns about Huckabee.

The quote I gave from Medved did not help? How about the fact that he wants to get rid of the IRS?

Jon

I've come to know some people from Southeast Asia (Pakistan/India) as well as some from the Middle East and they've helped open my eyes to a few things. I've learned to understand things from their point of view, and I think if more people understood these things better more people would support Ron Paul.

Initially I told these Muslims friends of mine that Islam is more violent and is obviously a problem. But walk in their shoes and see if they really are so crazy.

Imagine for a moment that the Muslim Pakistan was the economic and military superpower of the world. Imagine that they sent billions to US presidential candidates that supported Pakistani ends. Imagine that you as an American Christian strongly suspected that Pakistan was essentially buying your leadership off. Imagine that some radical Christians flew a plane into a Pakistani building and Pakistan responded by violently overthrowing all kinds of American leadership as they saw fit, bombing cities and causing hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, in addition to deaths of US military personnel. How would you react? How would other, maybe more hard right Christians react? Do you think we might start to see some Christian suicide bombers, and some Christians wanting to instigate jihad on Pakistan? Is it really so strange to observe how they react? Is it really so surprising that Saudis and Pakistanis hate the U.S. with a passion?

Osama bin Laden said that the main reason he flew planes into the trade towers was because US infidels resided in the holy land. Bin Laden's response is of course murderous and evil, but why do we want to irritate these people by desecrating sites they consider holy? Why don't we pull back, defend our own borders, and let that part of the world solve their own problems. The more we stick our nose in their affairs, the more we tick them off, just like we would be ticked off if they stuck their nose in our affairs. I've come to realize that Ron Paul is right. Get out of there and save a trillion dollars a year.

And yes get rid of the federal reserve. This unaccountable body can devalue your money to help pay for a wasteful war and there is nothing you can do to stop them. If you have any savings they are stealing from you right now. Oil is at record prices. The Canadian dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar for the first time in my lifetime and it is because the federal reserve is just doing whatever they want with the value of your money. It's not good.

francis 03

We have to have taxes to run the government, don't we? I'd be happy to vote for a tax-and-spend candidate who (1) could beat Rudy and (2) is seriously pro-life (i.e., hasn't been or worked in favor of abortion rights in the past). So far Huckabee looks pretty good to me. We'll see about the rapist pardon thing.

StubbleSpark

One final gripe about this and I will leave it alone.

I have recently had the time to actually check the poll numbers for the GOP race and was surprised to see that for weeks now Mitt has ranked third, fourth, and fifth overall. Why was I surprised? Because if you watch the news on TV, listen on the radio, or read the papers, you would think that Mitt and Rudy are practically tied.

Romney has put an amazing amount of money into his campaign and the result has been that the Fox news page devotes nearly their entire GOP election coverage to Mitt, Hugh Hewitt and a few other conservative radio hosts have become pundits for Mitt, and the liberal media just eats him up (perhaps because they know he is a loser just as conservatives know Hillary is a loser).

But the man is almost as much a non-entity as Ron Paul!

This whole speech on religion is just more free publicity.

Especially because the speech is nothing but a red herring. Mitt thinks people are treating him like JFK and he would like to disabuse them of that. But people are not worried that Mitt will suddenly become a puppet of his institutional hierarchy, like they were with Kennedy. People's gripes with Mitt's sincerity and the creepy tenants of his faith go completely unanswered in his speech.

He is taking a valid criticism, mischaracterizing it, and then answering that mischaracterization as wrong. Sound familiar?

The man is running on pure theater and his campaign has been a colossal waste of millions of dollars. It is time for the press to let him drop and see if he can pull himself up by his own britches like Huckabee has.

StubbleSpark

francis,

Take a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZq7YYDZ-zI

William

Memphis and Horatio, I would say I’m in pretty good company supporting Ron Paul with Catholic historian and constitutionalist Thomas Woods who has come out strongly in support of Paul. For those who may not know, Woods has written such books as How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, The Church Confronts Modernity and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History He has been an editor of The Latin Mass magazine for eleven years, and has appeared in periodicals such as Inside the Vatican, Catholic World Report, Catholic Historical Review, Catholic Social Science Review, New Oxford Review, Crisis, and This Rock. Woods wrote an “Open Letter to the Catholic Community in Support of Ron Paul” which can be found at http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods83.html . All of Paul’s positions can be found at catholicsforronpaul.com

Jeb Protestant

I'm no fan of Mormonism, but I'd vote for Romney. He seems like a decent enough guy.

And when it comes to religion, what about George Bush I and George Bush II, both of whom the evangelicals supported. Bush I is a member of the Episcopal Church and Bush II is a member of the United Methodist Church. Neither of these groups are Christian by any traditional standards. The Mormon Church may be soft on abortion, but these groups are pro-abortion.

Alan

"Ron Paul wants to eliminate the CIA, the FBI, foreign bases, Social Security, wants to withdraw from NATO, and opposes the Federal Reserve. I'm not a Libertarian, so I'm not very interested in Ron Paul."

Let me dissect your comment with commentary:

Ron Paul wants to eliminate the CIA

Sweet!

the FBI,

Cool!

foreign bases

Not so great.

Social Security

Awesome!

wants to withdraw from NATO

no opinion

and opposes the Federal Reserve

EXTREMELY AWESOME!!


RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL! RON PAUL RON PAUL!

mistac34

Ronpaulblimp.com

RC

Living in Massachusetts, I've seen plenty of Romney, and am not a fan. For the record, I'm for Huck.

Gov. Romney displeased social conservatives here with his "pro-choice" pronouncements and the fact that he implemented "gay marriage" here despite the lack of a legislative basis for it. He did earn a little cred back, however, by opposing embryo farming for stem-cell research.

I wouldn't blame him for the level of taxes in Massachusetts at all. The Republican party is very weak here, and the legislature has long been run by veto-proof Democratic majorities: Romney rarely vetoed bills and was rarely sustained, if ever. The state's House Speaker is the de facto prime minister of Massachusetts, even now when the governor is a Dem.

Romney deserves some credit for taking on the religious question, even though he is following JFK's bad example in how to do so. He seems to be saying that his public duty could override the moral obligations pursuant to his faith -- not really a well-integrated approach.

I suppose I want to give him credit mainly because of how disappointed I am at people who oppose Romney for strictly religious reasons.

As for the name "Mitt" -- if your first name were Willard, you'd have a nickname too.

RC

Living in Massachusetts, I've seen plenty of Romney, and am not a fan. For the record, I'm for Huck.

Gov. Romney displeased social conservatives here with his "pro-choice" pronouncements and the fact that he implemented "gay marriage" here despite the lack of a legislative basis for it. He did earn a little cred back, however, by opposing embryo farming for stem-cell research.

I wouldn't blame him for the level of taxes in Massachusetts at all. The Republican party is very weak here, and the legislature has long been run by veto-proof Democratic majorities: Romney rarely vetoed bills and was rarely sustained, if ever. The state's House Speaker is the de facto prime minister of Massachusetts, even now when the governor is a Dem.

Romney deserves some credit for taking on the religious question, even though he is following JFK's bad example in how to do so. He seems to be saying that his public duty could override the moral obligations pursuant to his faith -- not really a well-integrated approach.

I suppose I want to give him credit mainly because of how disappointed I am at people who oppose Romney for strictly religious reasons.

As for the name "Mitt" -- if your first name were Willard, you'd have a nickname too.

William

I wonder how many Catholics really know what Mormons believe. This is worth checking out.
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=192123

bearing

I think it would be a kinder and more accurate way of putting it if, instead of

And they claim to be Christian,

you wrote

And they believe themselves to be Christian.

It's not like they know they're not Christians and are trying to pretend that they are. They believe that they have a different Gospel than ours, and that theirs is right and ours is wrong. But I think we can at least assume an intent to follow Christ, even if they misunderstand His nature so much that it's practically unrecognizable to us.

Maria Ashwell

I'm going to quickly post this comment, have not read any other comments. Just wanted to say, excellent post. Especially the last part about Mormonism versus Christianity. Excellent.

Stephen Braunlich

Just as an FYI, the names are permitting me to e-mail the various commentators... not too cool.

As an unrelated note, I'm struck by this passage:
The prohibition on a religious test for office that the Constitution contains is a prohibition on a particular creed being a legal requirement for office. In other words, it prevents Congress from passing a law that says, "To hold this federal office, you are legally required to be an Episcopalian" or "you are legally required not be a Catholic."

It has absolutely nothing to do with what decisions voters choose to make based on a candidate's religion. To cite an extreme example for purposes of illustrating a principle, if I don't want a Satanist in office, I don't have to vote for one. And if I as a voter have questions about a candidate's religion, I am perfectly entitled--without violating the intent of the founders--to withhold my vote from a candidate until I have those questions answered to my satisfaction.

Now it would seem to me that would legitimize a Senator who said that while not being Catholic isn't a legal requirement to be on the Supreme Court, it's something that would prevent the Senator from voting for a Catholic nominee. The argument may be made that a justice is different in that religion shouldn't play a role in jurisprudence, but if that is the case why do we hammer Kennedy for being pro-abortion and Catholic? For that matter, what would that say about the role faith should play in public life?

Not that I've got time to check up on this, but just a thought from a 1L.

labrialumn

Ron Paul simply believes that he is bound to keep his Constitutional oath. That doesn't make him a Libertarian. I don't think he is any sort of Randroid.

Do you prefer people who say beforehand that they are going to perjure themselves if elected, when they place their right hand on the Bible? .

I don't agree with him on some prudential issues, but he and perhaps Alan Keyes are the only ones who from the get-go won't be breaking the law and ruining their word.

Leo

I think it would help the discussion if anyone was able to provide examples where Mitt Romney (as Governor of Massachusetts) did anything to confirm Jimmy's concerns or conversely had the opportunity to 'do wrong' but didn't.

I'm not thinking about the sorts of acts that any politician or Governor might be criticized for but those specifically relating to Mormonism.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Stephen Braunlich,

If the e-mail box is filled in, the name becomes linked to that e-mail address. This is helpful for carrying on off-blog conversations that might spin out from the topic. Giving an e-mail address, at this point, is optional.

The Chicken

horatio

"Ron Paul simply believes that he is bound to keep his Constitutional oath. That doesn't make him a Libertarian."

Maybe. But running for Presidency of the United States in 1988 as the Libertarian nominee does!

RC

Isn't Alan Keyes 100% pro-life?
If he is, Catholics must vote for him, that is unless there is another 100% pro-life candidate out there.

It's not mandatory. If the 100% candidate doesn't appear able to win, a Catholic may vote for the best of the remaining candidates. (The conditions of the "principle of double effect" have to be fulfilled for this to be morally licit.)

David B.

Sorry, I should have been more precise: ... Huckabee's alleged intervention on behalf of a rapist who went on to assault at least two additional women

MarkC,

Mike didn't parole that evil man. The parole board did. Many people thought the creep was innocent. They were wrong. Directly blaming Mike isn't justified, IMO.

DG

Thanks, StubbleSpark, for the info on Huckabee. My husband's from northeast Arkansas--in large part it is a poor, poor state in real need of a healthcare, education, & economic overhaul. It's also one of the, ahem, "largest" states, with terrible overall citizen health. Visit rural AR and then tell me Huckabee's too "liberal" with the social programs & the rather modest increase in taxation to fund them--the jobs aren't coming in to let these people get off the ground (which is exactly where a lot of them are...I hate driving through some areas because I can't tell the difference between abandoned houses and ones that are inhabited).

Yeoman

"I'm not impressed with what Romney said, but before I go further, allow me to add that I'm not impressed with what John Kennedy did, either. Kennedy ran away from his religion in his speech to Protestant pastors in Houston, and while I understand the political expedience of what he did, I am fundamentally a person of faith and what I care about most is fidelity to one's beliefs and not the political expediency of the moment."

I thought I was the only one who held that view.

Kennedy's separation of his Faith from his role in public life has long been held to be a victory for Catholics, but I really wonder if it wasn't the beginning of that particular brand of defeat, the Cafeteria Catholic. Kennedy taught us that it was okay to say we believed one thing, and do another. Catholics were so eager for one of their own to be President, they ratified that view.

Had Kennedy not taken that position, I think he would have become President anyhow. And even if he hadn't, I have to wonder if Catholic "otherness" wouldn't have served the Faith better in the long run.

Justin West

"But there are some people, nevertheless--and I am one of them-- who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger, it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy's numbers, but still more important to know the enemy's philosophy. We think the question is not whether the theory of the cosmos affects matters, but whether in the long run, anything else affects them."

-Chesterton, Heretics

Gabriel

Well, I saw and heard the speech, and I must say that I found it very inspiring. Even Pat Buchannan, a well known Catholic, said he was impressed, and said it was one of the greatest speeches he's ever heard.

St. Augustine said that he would rather feel compunction of heart than merely know its definition.

In other words, it matters little to know the profound doctrines of the Holy Trinity if we do not live our life according to God's laws which are written on our hearts.

I would much rather have a decent God-fearing man as President, who through no fault of his own was raised a Mormon, than a Catholic who should now better and who doesn't practice his faith.

All authority is given from above. Jesus specifically told Pilate that his authority was given to him by God. Constantine was a Pagan Roman Emperor who became an instrument of God. It wasn't until his deathbed that he was baptized.

A person can be a pious Catholic and be a lousy leader. A person may be a persecutor of Christians and be chosen by God, such as He did with St. Paul.

Would you vote for George Washington or Thomas Jefferson based on their religion?
Historians tell us that George Washington was, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, a deist. Deists believe in a non-personal God-Creator of the universe.


Would you rather vote for a Southern Baptist who may believe that the Catholic Church is a corrupt institution and the "Hoar of Babylon", or a person who loves God, loves neighbor, has great ideas and is a great leader?

A husband and father's duty is to support his family and educate his children. He does not do God's will if he leaves his family to be a missionary in Africa and lets his family disintegrate.

A missionary's duty is to serve the missions. A priest's duty is to minister the Sacraments. A bishop's duty is to tend the flock. The President of the United States has the role of leader in matters of state.

It matters little to call one self a "Christian". Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, etc etc etc. all call themselves "Christians". I would vote for Mitt Romney over them any day. God hears the prayers and guides all men of good will. I believe Mitt Romney is a man of good will.


Memphis Aggie

A word on libertarians and Ron Paul. While I'm sympathetic to the idea of eliminating many of the excesses of government but the FBI is not an excess. Sure they have been poorly run and misused but they are necessary. They run the stings that find corrupt mayors and state legislators, they put bank robbers in prison, they put mob bosses in prison. What is government for if not for protecting us against criminals? Be real.

Another mark of childishness is the idea of bailing on foreign bases and hiding our heads in the sand. This is a dangerous world where threats or either addressed abroad or at home - not dealing with them at all is not a real option for adults. Isolationism is the choice of the naive.

Eliminating the CIA is also exceptionally naive and hints at paranoia. How do we assess the threats against us without it? Eliminating NATO and foreign bases is to turn our back on a our treaties and our promises to Europe. How very honorable.

In short the support of Ron Paul is the mark of adolescence. Grow up and pick a real candidate.

Memphis Aggie

While I'm picking fights about candidates - let me return to something posted about Huckabee at NRO yesterday.

The link to a youtube file where Huckabee is comparing his campaign success to the feeding of the 5000. While it's pretty timely given the daily liturgy the other comment was that his rise comes from the same source! I found it pretentious and self righteous and it put me off, way off. I'm attracted to humility - the admission of sin and the need for forgiveness, the self deprecation of a humbled man. I don't see it in Huckabee - but I'll let you offer up counter examples.

Let me make another point - I'm not looking for someone to punch all the right slots on my checklist - although that would be great. I'm looking for a man a character.

Memphis Aggie

Sorry that should read "a man of character"

Jamie Beu

It would be one thing to elect a polytheist who makes no pretensions of being a Christian, but to elect a polytheist who claims to be a Christian--and, indeed, whose religion claims to be the true form of Christianity--would create enormous confusion about what Christianity is and what it teaches.

For anyone who holds to the historic Christian view of God and man, that alone is reason to feel very, very uncomfortable with the idea of electing a polytheist who claims to be Christian to our nation's highest office.

In other words, do not elect Romney for President because he is a known liar. He is attempting to pull a fast one over us by saying one thing about himself when he is most definitely another.

Unfortunately, lying is accepted in politicians, especially in the post-Clinton era. Character and honesty are no longer important factors to the majority of voters.

I hear Australia is supposed to be lovely for the next 4-8 years...

Memphis Aggie

Foster's lager, white sand beaches - hmm...

Jack G

Stubble,

Nationally Mitt may be in third or fourth place, but the reason why he gets so much attention is that he is the leader in the first states to vote: Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, Wyoming, South Carolina.

Those are the states that his resources have been pumped into.

William

Memphis, if you're really serious about "looking for a man of character", then Ron Paul should be your man.

Jamie Beu

Here's the Republican field, as I see it:

Ron Paul - very interesting libertarian views (I am intrigued, in an "experimental curiosity" sense, about what would happen if the Federal Reserve and Social Security went away) , but I fear his brand of "isolationism" in a globally interconnected 21st century is just a return to the 1930s

Huckabee - strong religious values, but not only does he like to raise taxes - he's also never seen a spending bill he didn't like. Also, he dodged the question of whether Mormonism is a cult. (His response to the reporter should have been, "Please give me your definition of a cult, and I'll tell you if I believe Mormonism matches that definition.")

McCain - he's got a bit of a "moderate/liberal" stripe in his coloring, but he is for finishing the war in Iraq properly and he is against torture. Not popular positions, but he's still standing up for them. (If he got the Repub nod, my vote for him would be weighed very heavily by who his running mate is, due to his age. I'd love a McCain/Tancredo or McCain/Hunter ticket.)

Thompson - don't know if he's actually pro-life. He (sometimes) talks a good talk, but then he (or his firm) also did consulting/lobbying work for Planned Parenthood. Not the most exciting of speakers, but then again, maybe we've had enough of "showbiz" politicians in the White House. Maybe we need a "boring" President.

Romney - not impressed with http://jamiebeu.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!6E0753BD56367285!263.entry>his sudden turn toward pro-life. Oh, and all the stuff above too.

Giuliani - do I need to list the reasons why he would be a disaster?

Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter - either one of them would be fine by me (edge to Tancredo). Unfortunately, they don't register high enough in any polls to be "electable".

Alan Keyes - talk about not registering on any polls, most people don't even know (if) he's running. That said, he got my vote in 2000, and after hearing him speak at the JMJ Life Center annual fundraiser, he'll get my vote every time. The man knows his stuff - and for that reason alone, he will never be President.

Check out http://glassbooth.org>http://glassbooth.org to see how your own personal views match up with all the candidates.

Michael Sullivan

St. Augustine said that he would rather feel compunction of heart than merely know its definition.

Actually it was Thomas a Kempis who said that, in Imitation of Christ.

Mary

Osama bin Laden said that the main reason he flew planes into the trade towers was because US infidels resided in the holy land.

That's what they say IN ENGLISH. Along with the rest of the laundry list of grievances we all know.

IN ARABIC, for their co-religionists, they talk about the duty of jihad.

Memphis Aggie

William,

I meant a man of character, not a cartoon character.

Mattheus Mei

interesting article jimmy, I have to agree. Mormonism is not a part of the Christian Faith Tradition. If St. Irenaeus were alive today he'd bunch them in with the Gnostics and other heretics and heresiarchs. Guliani isn't the only Catholic in the game... There are a few Catholic Democrats running too.. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.

Memphis Aggie

All three "Catholics" are support abortion

RJ

Romney's "religion speech" was better than JFK's 1960 speech IMO. Kennedy spent his time distancing himself from the Catholic Church and even brought up the issues of contraception and divorce. This quote from Romney's speech is solid:
"[T]he notion of separation of church and state has been taken by some beyond its original meaning," Romney said. "They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgement of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in the public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong."

From the perspective of evaluating a speech I didn't have many problems with Romney's. Your objections seem to be with the tenets of the Mormon faith, in which case there is nothing Mitt could say to impress you.

Mike Petrik

I agree with RJ.

This debate about whether Mormons are Christians just strikes me as silly. Sure, the Shiites don't regard the Sunnis as Muslims and vice versa, but that doesn't stop us from considering both sects Muslims in the practical sense. The fact that Mormons consider themselves Christians while Catholics do not regard Mormons as Christians (and rightly so for our purposes) is a downright silly reason to not vote for a Mormon for president. Catholicism is an organized religion and, as such, can properly make certain proprietary claims as to who is a Catholic as well as who is in full or imperfect communion with the Catholic Church. Christianity, sadly, is a collection of denominations, all of whom are divergent on major matters of doctrine in various degrees. To expect secular media to focus on the intramural debate among sectarian groups regarding the breadth of the term "Christian" is unrealistic, especially since it is NOT relevant to the campaign.

Joe Johnson

Regardless of who your preffered candidate is, if you believe in American Exceptionalism, you owe Romney a big KUDOS for his speech yesterday.

Pauli

Heh

I especially liked the end: Mr. Romney also extended an olive branch to evangelical Christians suspicious of his belief in Mormon doctrine, promising to “continue speaking in vague, inoffensive language about Jesus and the Bible if you’ll agree to do the same.”

In a sense, Ott sums it up. The only was the so-called religious right can get along politically is to be vague and superficial about religion. Ironically this is borrowed from "liberal Christianity" but they are vague out of "conviction" rather than in the interest of pragmatism. I suppose you could see this political pragmatism as part of an "ecumenical movement" if ecumenical is taken in the most negative sense. The object is to avoid any real definitions or asking certain questions. E.g., as soon as someone asks "Who was/is Jesus?" they've entered the realm of theology.

William

Memphis, I find it odd that you would call the only candidate running who believes in the Consitution and has been consistent in their positions a "cartoon character". Now if you want cartoon characters, consider Huck Huck Huckabee, Guiliani or McCain. Those are the real cartoon characters!

Memphis Aggie

I agree with RJ - I disagree with Mormons theologically but personally I have no concerns about their behavior, trustworthiness etc. as a class. As for what kind of example would a Mormon send to those interested in Christianity, that's a really good question. I have to say only if he's a really good president would people be drawn towards Mormons.

I wonder about the converse. What if a secular "Catholic" like Rudy becomes prez? Doesn't that harm the faith as well? Perhaps even more seriously. Of course that stellar example of personal rectitude Ted Kennedy has already done quite a bit for the publics perception of Catholics.

jrg

Has anyone read Peggy Noonan's column in today's Wall Street Journal?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/

I didn't see the speech and haven't read a transcript, but I trust her judgment.

Memphis Aggie

Gee you're mighty sensitive William. I'm sorry I can't take Mr. Paul seriously because his proposals are so radical and so manifestly infeasible. In fact I think Ross Perot was more rational. He may speak to your idealism but really I think I spelled out my view reasons clearly already, don't you think?

Also if Mr. Paul believes in the Constitution then he must know that as president it would be his responsibility to protect and defend the US, not to duck and hide under the bed.

Also as a matter of fact the Constitution holds that treaties are binding as law and that tossing them like your NATO example would break the law he'd pledge to obey. Also as a obvious point the many many radical proposals he supports would have to run through Congress. So he knows that none of it has a ghost of chance of happening. It's all fantasy land, about as likely in the real world as Star Trek.

David

Personally, I think that the Republican party is showing its true colors in that it is basically telling us that the only choice is Romney (who takes whatever position is politically expedient) or Rudy (who is in line with NARAL on social issues). The reason: they are the "economic conservatives" that have a chance to win. However, when Huckabee makes a good showing, and is a very polished and likeable candidate, and is in agreement with Christians on the issues that matter most, they attack him mercilessly because he is not fiscally conservative enough. So apparently, being socially conservative doesn't matter, but raising taxes is a "non-negotiable." I'm just surprised that so many who comment on this board are towing this line.

As for his influencing the release of a convicted rapist, from what I have read about it he regrets what he did. The criticism of this benefits greatly from the fact that hindsight is 20/20.

William

Memphis, I'm not sensitive. It was all in good fun as I thought your comment was. I am curious as to what views Ron Paul has that are so radical? Would you mean the ones that line up with the Constitution (Which is all of them of course.)? Do you think we were protecting NY on 9/11 when we had (as we still have) troops stationed in 130 countries. How is spreading our troops all over the world protecting us? The Founding Fathers would be shocked beyond belief.

Memphis Aggie

I object to Huckabees overt religiousness. I think it's a gimmick and I don't trust it. I read him as holier than thou (Krauthammer has a new article on it if you're interested). I would vote for him against any dem, but I'm still on the fence in terms of the primary. Moreover, since I'm not registered as a Republican (I suppose I can change that) and since I'm not in a state with a consequential primary, my opinion is of very little import and will not appreciably effect the outcome.

Still I'm open to hearing good things about Huckabee and to be fair I've not heard much in his defense.

What is his position on the War on Terror?

Jamie Beu

So apparently, being socially conservative doesn't matter, but raising taxes is a "non-negotiable." I'm just surprised that so many who comment on this board are towing this line.

I doubt that - I think many people commenting are highly critical of those that aren't socially conservative (e.g., definitely Giuliani, possibly Romney and McCain as well).

I think everybody has their favorite "underdog", be it Paul, Huckabee, or my favorite Tom Tancredo. Therefore, we are willing to find faults in the judgment/coverage by everybody else (especially the media) that doesn't help our underdog. Unfortunately, nobody is willing to say "I'm leaving the party", because it's such a one-or-the-other scenario, and the other side scares the [expletive] out of us.

I'd love to hear how we can realistically start a 3rd party in this country. We are the only major, industrialized nation that does not have a Catholic party (even if only in name as a disguise for socialism).

Memphis Aggie

Would it shock you to hear that I think George Washington was wrong about "foreign entanglements?" That might have been sound policy in 1783, although I doubt it given the Barbary pirates of Jefferson's era.

The Constitution is not sacred writ. I like it and I agree that we've drifted too far from it but where's the Constitutional beef against the FBI? They'll comfortably within the regulation of interstate commerce clause.

Had he said the FDA or the EPA a number of other overreaching government agencies he might have my ear. But use your mind a minute. Let's pull up stakes all around the world AND get rid of the CIA and FBI so that we will be forced to fight the next threat at home AND we won't even know it's coming. Brilliant truly outstanding.

Esau

I think everybody has their favorite "underdog", be it Paul, Huckabee, or my favorite Tom Tancredo. Therefore, we are willing to find faults in the judgment/coverage by everybody else (especially the media) that doesn't help our underdog. Unfortunately, nobody is willing to say "I'm leaving the party", because it's such a one-or-the-other scenario, and the other side scares the [expletive] out of us.

That's exactly why the Democrats will unfortunately win out in the elections.

In addition to having such a pathetic pool of Republican candidates, more likely than not, conservative voters will likely go for those candidates that do not have a chance in hell of winning.

Certainly, people should vote for who they believe is the better candidate in their eyes; however, supporting a candidate that won't have a chance of winning will only contribute to the success of a democrat win (take for example, the Perot situation).

I'd love to hear how we can realistically start a 3rd party in this country. We are the only major, industrialized nation that does not have a Catholic party (even if only in name as a disguise for socialism).

Why is Catholicism often equated with Socialism?

Also, what infallible decree exists that declares the Catholic Church as having purview over matters of economic policy?

The latter is beyond the ken of the Church.

Popes are protected in matters of Theology and can even teach theological premises infallibly if they choose to do so; however, their understanding on the social realities all over the world and how to apply moral principles to all of those complex situations is not similarly guaranteed.

These beyond the Pope’s teaching sphere.


In short, I would support a Catholic party that upholds non-negotiable Catholic values -- but not one that wreaks of Socialism!

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