.- Two 2008 U.S. presidential candidates — both Catholic — discussed their differing views and positions on politics and public policy decision-making from their respective interpretations of the Catholic faith this week.
Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) appeared at the first Boston College forum on faith and politics April 23rd and spoke on abortion, civil unions for same-sex couples and embryonic stem cell research, reported The Associated Press.
The forum, organized by Boston College's Church in the 21st Century Center, was moderated by NBC "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert. The center seeks to be a catalyst and resource for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the country by engaging critical issues facing the Catholic community.
The two senators suggested that Democrats and Republicans could bridge gaps between them with more tolerance for their respective positions, reported the AP.
They both urged President George Bush to work with Congress toward a solution that would allow continued funding of U.S. troops in Iraq but also promote a diplomatic solution and reduce the military death toll.
Brownback said he told Vice President Dick Cheney last week that the administration should consider a "three-state, one-country" solution in which Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis live independently but under the banner of a federal city in Baghdad. Brownback said his proposal was met with no reaction.
Brownback, who was raised a Methodist, said he became a Roman Catholic four years ago because of the Church’s rich faith tradition.
"I love the depth of thought that's there," Brownback was quoted as saying. "Coming from the Protestant tradition, you don't build as much on past people's comments, with saints. And going into the Catholic Church, you've got people thinking about something for 2,000 years, and it's a great source of wisdom, and maybe I can appreciate it better than many who have been raised in the Catholic Church."
Dodd and Brownback agreed that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman, but they differed in their views on homosexuality.
“I think it's a good question to ask how you would like your children treated," Dodd reportedly said.
Brownback said homosexual acts are immoral and sanctioning them threatens the stability of marriage.