Although Bush isn't a Catholic, and not all of his positions are always consistent with Catholic teaching, it is he, not his nominally Catholic opponent, John F. Kerry, who promises to foster and defend the Catholic ethic of life.
At the core of that ethic--and I'll say it bluntly--lies abortion, the life issue that most sharply divides Bush and Kerry. Bush supports at least some restrictions on abortion; Kerry supports almost none. Related to it are the Catholic Church's positions against euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.
Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World Report, takes a look at how John Kerry's "Catholicism" will affect the outcome of the election in Mixed Messages.
Patrick O'Hannigan ("The Paragraph Farmer") notes a conflict of ideas between Christianity Todayand Touchstone magazine on "single issue voting", and believes the latter has the upper hand.
If, for example, I was a powerful Senator married to a billionaire who was "not in favor of abortion", but I thought it wrong to work directly against abortion in the legal arena, I might do some or all of the following things:
Work to fund pregnancy crisis centers that provide non-abortion counseling
Work to ease adoption restrictions and promote awareness of the adoption option
Work to encourage strong marriages
Work to encourage abstinence in young people not ready for childbearing
Generously contribute to pregnancy centers
Generously contribute to non-profit adoption agencies
Generously contribute to social welfare organizations working with young mothers
I wonder what Senator Kerry's actual record is in these areas? I'm sure it must be outstanding. Surely a man of such strong faith has made enormous contributions to the areas of public policy and private charity.
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.