Loading
Biden selection pleases delegates, legalized abortion activists
By Timothy P. Carney
Sen. Joe Biden
Sen. Joe Biden

.- Senator Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Vice President, is a Catholic who openly defends his faith, but who supports Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion. At the Democratic National Convention, Democratic delegates of all stripes—pro-life, pro-legalized abortion, Catholic, and non-Catholic—appear to be happy with Obama’s choice of running mate.

All of the approximately 25 delegates and alternates interviewed by Catholic News Agency expressed support—sometimes enthusiasm—about Biden as a running mate. His faith, and his abortion stance seemed to play almost no role in their views of him.

But Biden is not shy about his faith. In an April 2006 episode of the HBO talk show Real Time, Bill Maher was assailing political figures for being too overtly religious, when Biden interrupted to relate a conversation he once had with a Democratic colleague. Biden told this fellow senator that his mother dedicates a rosary every Sunday to her deceased brother. “And he looked at me and said, ‘I think that’s quaint.’ And I said, ‘…were we not senators, I’d rip your goddamn Adam’s apple out, because who the hell are you to look at my mother and say it’s “quaint”?’ We have too many elites in our party who look down their nose on people of faith.”

Biden on another occasion showed willingness to use violence in defense of his faith. In 2005, the Cincinnati Enquirer quoted him as saying, “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”

And in this race, Biden is already playing up his Catholic identity. On the eve of the Convention, the major television networks carried footage of his coming out of Sunday Mass back home in Delaware and speaking with his priest.

Biden is outspokenly pro-choice, with a record of fighting to save Roe v. Wade. On the other hand, he consistently votes to outlaw partial-birth abortion on the federal level. Choosing a pro-choice Catholic could help or hurt Obama among Catholic voters.

Joshua Mercer, spokesman for Fidelis, a pro-life Catholic political action committee and advocacy group, argued that, “It will ultimately hurt Obama to have a Catholic pro-abortion running mate, because the issue will come up again.”

The battle for the Supreme Court, the crux of the policy struggle over abortion, is where Biden has most pleased the defenders of legalized abortion, and it is one reason activist groups support him.

Biden, as a member and former chairman of the Judiciary Committee has been at the heart of this battle, and consistently has fought against judges who might overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision he has supported with public statements and a “sense of the Senate” resolution.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan noted her appreciation in a statement, released after Biden was named: “Sen. Biden has a strong record of opposing judicial nominees with hostile anti-choice records. He voted against George W. Bush’s two anti-choice nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and he opposed anti-choice Justice Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Court as well as multiple anti-choice nominees to lower federal courts.” Additionally, he was at the forefront of the liberal defeat of Judge Robert Bork, nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987.

Four years ago, at the Democratic convention in Boston, delegates heavily placed judges as a top reason for supporting John Kerry, understanding that it is the Supreme Court, not elected legislators, keeping abortion legal for nine months of pregnancy.

In interviews Monday with arriving delegates, Biden’s faith and his abortion views had little impact.

John Hadley, Jr. is a Catholic from Pelousas, Louisiana, who sends his children to Catholic school. Hadley describes himself as “100 percent pro-life” and acknowledges that Biden and Obama are not. Still, he supports the Democratic ticket without hesitation and was cheered by Obama’s choosing a Catholic running mate. Noting that the last Catholic in the White House was Kennedy, Hadley said, “It’s about time” Americans put another Catholic there.

When asked about Biden’s being a Catholic who supports legalized abortion, Hadley responded, “As a Catholic, that’s a decision that Biden and God are going to have to work out at the Pearly Gates.” While stating Biden should talk to his pastor about his positions on abortion, Hadley said it didn’t affect his support for Biden.

Larry Veselka a delegate from Houston, Texas who supports legalized abortion, disagrees with Biden’s support of a ban on partial-birth abortion, but that disagreement doesn’t bother him. “Biden starts from the belief that a woman has a right to choose, and that’s what matters.”

--

Timothy P. Carney is the editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
25

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Gospel
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »

Saint
Date
04/24/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Homily
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: