Arnold Schwarzenegger told a Toronto newspaper that his Catholic faith does not impact his decisions as governor of California.
“I always said that you should not have your religion interfere with government policies or with the policies of the people,” Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying in The Toronto Star. The former actor was in Canada at the end of May for a three-day trade mission.
“I am a Catholic and a very dedicated Catholic, but that does not interfere with my decision-making because I know that stem-cell research, the way we are doing it in California ... is the right way to go and will save, very quickly down the line, lives and cure a lot of these illnesses,” said Schwarzenegger, referring to embryonic stem cell research.
After signing a $30-million research agreement with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Schwarzenegger told the Star his support for stem-cell research was based on his father-in-law’s struggle with Alzheimer's.
He referred to his father-in-law, Sargent Shriver, as having had “one of the most brilliant minds in the world.” Shriver worked under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and began the Peace Corps.
The newspaper said McGuinty, who is also Catholic, shared Schwarzenegger’s views on faith and politics.
“I would argue... there's one moral imperative that transcends all faiths, all culture and all traditions, it would be this fundamental desire to relieve pain and suffering and death where we find it,” McGuinty told the Star.