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I support the right to life, on entirely secular and rational grounds. However, the continued emphasis of the so-called socially conservative part of the conservative movement on this one issue is causing action on far more immediate issues to lapse. Look at it this way. Yes, it is important. But, how important is it compared to everything else? I’m not talking about picking a candidate simply on the basis of being able to win the next election. I’m talking about balancing the budget, entitlement reform, regulatory relief, tort reform, a line-item veto, border control and immigration, who sits on the Supreme Court, national defense all the other size and scope of government issues that, broadly speaking, define a very large part of the conservative agenda. Many of those issues enjoy a broader base of support than is generally assumed. Progress could be made on those. By insisting on abortion and for that matter gay marriage (I’m against it too), all that is achieved is to convince millions of Americans with more pressing and immediately relevant concerns that the conservative movement generally and the Republican Party in particular is indifferent to those pocketbook and good governance issues and thus is unfit to govern.
Such an approach plays directly into the hands of the left in every possible way. It also reinforces the perception that the conservative movement and the Republican party are essentially the captives of religious people bent on forcing their religious views down everyone’s throat. Put it another way. If a candidate came along who was firmly pro-life and anti-gay marriage but who was otherwise “big government,” would religious conservatives support him? I know that I wouldn’t. Moreover, some would say that this is what we have with GWB right now and that isn’t working out so well, on any front.
Now, think about it from yet another angle. Suppose a firmly right-to-life candidate like Ronald Reagan won the presidency. This would not in any significant way change the status of abortion in our country. Not unless the Supreme Court actually overturns Roe will that happen. And, even if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe, abortion would simply shift back to the states, not become illegal on a national basis. Some states (e.g. California, New York and Massachusetts) would likely keep abortion on demand legal. Others might go where South Dakota tried to go (and incidentally failed). So, unless one overturns Roe and then passes a constitutional amendment criminalizing abortion nationally, or unless a constitutional amendment establishes the status of abortion one way or another, nothing is going to change on this issue, no matter who wins the presidency…p>An argument based purely or heavily on religion will not sway enough people to make a change on any of the social and cultural problems facing us. Even man people who are religious tend to reject that approach. If the socially conservative and religious part of the conservative movement cannot understand and accept this approach, or if this issue and related religious issues, are more important to them than cutting back government, then it is time for them to establish a separate movement dedicated to those issues. br> — Anthony Mirvish /p>
In stark contrast to the drivel that passes for conservative, Christian thought, Lisa Fabrizio’s skewering of Signor Giuliani as a viable presidential candidate is the first effort I’ve seen on this website that meets most of the criteria why, as a matter of conscience, no self-respecting Catholic could ever vote for this man.
“All men that are ruined, are ruined on the side of their natural propensities,” wrote Burke, and the words of none of the other Republican candidates, espousing their putative devotion to the Church, are as hollow and empty as those uttered by Rudolph Giuliani. There was a time, before that on-going disaster that befell the Church, called Vatican II, when the bishops and incardinated clergy would have bellowed from the pulpit that Giuliani, Biden, Cuomo, et al. were wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. Today, however, our ecclesiastical officials, such as the diocesan heads of New York and Washington, D.C., proclaim their “friendship” with people like Giuliani, Pelosi, et al. Part of The Rudy Dilemma can be seen in the loss of nerve and authority in the Church. After all, if “conscience” becomes your only guide - not right and wrong - then, to quote the title of a song of long ago, “Anthing Goes.”
At the outset, I wrote that Signorina Fabrizio’s article meets “most” of the criteria for not voting for Giuliani, but not all. I, for one, would never vote for any elected official who decides which laws he will enforce, and Giuliani fits that bill perfectly. There is a belief amongst many that, during his reign, Giuliani did NYC a great deal of good; for the most part, so he did. But after becoming Mayor of New York, Giuliani acted in a way that is not consistent with any elected official: like the current occupant of the White House, he decided which laws to enforce.
In 1996, a federal law overturned a 1989 NYC ordinance which prevented city employees, under penalty of losing their jobs, from assisting Federal immigration officials in identifying illegal aliens. Giuliani claimed the federal law violated the 10th Amendment, and sued. Turned down by the District judge and the Second Circuit Court (not known as conservative), Giuliani appealed to the Supremes, which denied a hearing. Yet, five days before 9/11, Giuliani and the City Council reissued that City ordinance, despite its questionable legality in doing so. Such an act indicates to me that, as president, Giuliani could not be trusted to carry out his responsibilities in executing all the laws.p>”What’s not to like about Rudolph Giuliani?” our author asks. Some of his achievements, including his strengthening of law enforcement, and serious fiscal restraint were helpful to the denizens of Gotham, but his actions befit a “fiscal,” not a “social,” conservative. While Signorina Fabrizio is annoyed by Giuliani’s “cafeteria Catholicism,” she should not be surprised; Giuliani is another Republican candidate who believes that, to win the grand prize, all he need do is recite the mantra so favored by the New York Times and Washington Post . But while Giuliani’s actions are indicative of a man with no religious principles, the real culprits in “Rudy’s Dilemma” are those Church officials who sit back and say or do nothing in the exercise their pastoral duties. It is they, not Giuliani, who have failed. br> — Vincent Chiarello br> Reston, Virginia /p>
“How can anyone trust a man who freely admits that he leaves his religious and moral beliefs at the church door?” The same way New Yorkers elected carpetbagger Hillary R. Clinton to office or the Democrats nominated John F. Kerry to run against George W. Bush, thatâ€™s how.
If Rudy Guiliani’s unwilling to take a risk and stand for something with such deep personal meaning as purported Christian faith in God, then, really, can he be counted on to stand for anything?p>For what it’s worth, the Bible’s Book of James may answer that. It says that a double-minded man is unstable — inconstant, undependable — in all his ways. That would seem to fit Rudy’s apparent hypocritical moral life, the one in which he “publicly repudiate(s) the dictates of his conscience.” br> — C. Kenna Amos br> Princeton, West Virginia /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?