The Catholic League president says that Catholic politicians, who claim to personally agree with Church teaching, yet feel obligated not to vote that way, are guided more by “pure politics” than by “any alleged constitutional question” of church and state.
In a statement issued yesterday, William Donohue points out that Democratic Sen. John Kerry has expressed that his belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman will determine his public position on the same-sex marriage question.
In this case, Donohue underlines, “Kerry does not believe that his opposition to same-sex marriage, which mirrors the teachings of the Catholic Church, creates a church-and-state dilemma for him.”
However, Donohue says, the same is not true when the subject switches to reproductive rights. In this case, Kerry says that he cannot allow his personal opposition to abortion to determine his voting on the subject, “because then he would be imposing his Catholic beliefs on others.”
Donohue points out this contradiction by asking: “Why is it acceptable for a Catholic politician to ratify the Church’s teaching on marriage but not abortion? Alternatively, why is it possible to avoid a church-state dilemma when voting to affirm the Church’s teaching on one public policy issue, but not another?
“As long as the issue is a public policy concern … lawmakers of faith can easily reconcile their personal beliefs—grounded in an informed religious conscience—with the votes they cast,” Donohue says.
“The mere invocation of a church-and-state dilemma does not reflexively settle the issue,” he continues. “What may be at play is pure politics, having nothing to do with any alleged constitutional question.”