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« Catholic = Pro-Life | Main | The confused dogmatism of the "I'm pro-God, anti-organized religion!" crowd »

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Mark Brumley

Biden "bears the Catholic denominational label," but he doesn't uphold Catholic teaching on a core moral issue: abortion. Quite the contrary.

For the record, he also does not uphold Catholic teaching on experimentation of embryonic human beings and on same-sex unions.


Just an FYI: Palin was raised Assemblies of God (largest Pentecostal denomination in America) and still attends an AoG church when she is in Juneau, but her home church, Church on the Rock, in Wasilla is evangelical nondenominational:

The vast majority of nondenom churches are Baptist in practice and theology with a mild dose of charismaticism (e.g., modern praise & worship but no speaking in tongues or very rarely).


Via West Coast Catholic, who found a transcript of a Time's interview with Sarah Palin:

Q:"What's your religion?"
Q:"Any particular...?"
A:"No. Bible-believing Christian."
Q:"What church do you attend?"
A:"A non-denominational Bible church. I was baptized Catholic as a newborn and then my family started going to non-denominational churches throughout our life.",8599,1837536,00.html


Pro-life Catholics are much more concerned that someone is really pro-life and not the denomination they are from. Sure we want everybody to be part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith, but are joyous whenever the truth is told and lived.

The fact that she was baptized as a Catholic and her parents later changed to an Assemblies of God church is of little issue and that the fact that she is fully pro-life and not just one to give it lip service is what is awesome.

John Kerry as a Catholic lost the Catholic vote, and Joe Biden certainly doesn't help Obama to get it back. The fact is that a ticket with a pro-abortion Catholic has never succeeded. Ferraro-Mondale, Kerry-Edwards, and hopefully the hat trick of Obama-Biden will continue the trend.

Ed Peters

Yup. A Catholic raised outside the Church is a vastly better pro-lifer (and several other things) than is a Catholic raised in the Church. Symptomatic? Maybe, maybe not. But emabarassing, for sure.

Robert Miller

Thanks Trubador. Guessing from her mother's maiden name, I suspected she was originally Catholic. Which raises an interesting (to me, at least) question...

How many other born-in-1964 (or thereafter) non-denoms are there out there who, victims of a botched Catholic education or upbringing, nevertheless have found their vocation in a powerful moral adherence to Christ? Anyone who was a young Catholic in the 1960s and 1970s in the US will remember how poisonous the atmosphere was -- worse than it is today. If one's parents were moved by the spirit of the times, it wouldn't have been all that hard to end up being a non-denom.

I suspect that there are about twice as many Catholics in the US as PJ Kenedy counts -- and I'm not counting illegals (may their tribe increase).

Godspeed Governor Palin's candidacy and God bless Senator McCain for finding the political wisdom to nominate her.


Definitely a sad case of postmodernism.

Any good qualities about Palin are quickly fading in my book. Yes, we cannot underestimate the value of pro-life, but really are they going to make a difference? I don't believe McCain is really going to put in effort to stop abortion, he is playing lip-service to conservatives. The VP spot has no real power, and I believe this is used to sway conservatives without actually having any solid promises behind it.

The idea that you can be a conservative and postmodern just goes to show what fits for "conservative" now days, it is a 'neoconservative' mentality which I characterize as a Republican base that is just as guilty (and indifferent) of divorce as the Democrat, along with contraception (all the while considering themself "conservative"). Having no denomination is absurd and dangerous, it is just the thing Paul warned about with getting blown around with every new wind of doctrine. Give me a Lutheran, give me a Presbyterian, but don't give me a "non-denominational," which translates into virtual doctrinal relativism, including attending Sunday services only if YOU feel like it that day.

Note the latest news to hit the front page: Palin's teen daughter is pregnant (and unwed).

Carl E. Olson

Note the latest news to hit the front page: Palin's teen daughter is pregnant (and unwed).

Which means...what? That Palin approves of pre-marital sex? That she doesn't believe in God? And what if a good Catholic family has a 17-year-old unwed daughter who becomes pregnant? Does that mean that her parents aren't good Catholics? Are "neo-conservatives"?

While what I call "non-denominational denominationalism" is certainly influenced by elements of that vague demon called post-modernism, I'm not sure why you write, "Give me a Lutheran, give me a Presbyterian, but don't give me a "non-denominational," which translates into virtual doctrinal relativism, including attending Sunday services only if YOU feel like it that day." Is it the case that all Lutherans, for example, hold the same beliefs and adhere to the same moral standards? One positive of many small "post-denominational" groups is that they do take seriously the directives of Scripture; of course, they don't have a final authority to guide them in understanding what Scripture states. But, ultimately, neither do Lutherans or Presbyterians, otherwise I doubt there would be so many competing and disagreeing factions within those denominations. Put another way, "post-denominationalism" is simply a logical product of classical Protestant principles, however well-intentioned those faulty principles might be.



I agree it doesn't definitively say whether Palin is conservative, but I do believe situations like these often do arise from poor parenting. Poor parenting is not proven here, but future details could point this direction. For example, if the parenting was of the typical mainstream type that says what the daughter does is none of the parents' business then that definitely is a strike against the parents' conservative values.

As for Lutherans and Presbyterians, I meant of the Confessional sort, ones with at least an admission of church structure and at least the claim to the historical creeds. You can better bank on their conservative values more than almost any other denomination. That's all I was getting at. It is similar to the "traditionalist Catholic" crowd, while conservative is not guaranteed it is more likely than not they are conservative.

The non-denominational system is, at its very core, a rejection of all historical Protestant denominations, including their creeds and confessions. That doesn't make them instantly non-conservative, but the foundation itself is certainly paved for non-conservative, non-traditional teachings to take hold more easily than in Confessional crowds.

And I do agree that the non-denominational crowd is really the most logical and consistent use of classical Protestant principles, though it is also true that much of what is acceptable today would be unthinkable to the Protestants of the past.


For the record, Palin believes in abortion in cases where the mother's health is as risk. For the record, that's not Catholic teaching.


I don't know what any of this proves, beyond nondenominational protestantism being "right" on some things by accident and that proves what? Anyone can be right, by default, 20% of the time.


What, as Vice President, can Palin do about abortion? Just about nothing. On the off chance that abortion legislation is tied with a 50-50 vote, she can break that tie. But, then again the chances of that situation are slim. Abortion will be legal as long as Roe v. Wade is intact, and there's nothing she can do about that, she won't be a judge, and she won't be able to vote on a constitutional amendment.

I still don't see how this makes her a "protestant Catholic", just because she agrees with some Catholic teachings, and doesn't believe in denominations (probably because 'non-denoms' can individualise their beliefs even more than 'denoms').

Robert Miller

I think a bunch of folks on this thread are missing the message of the Palin nomination.

No, she's not Catholic. Maybe she isn't the the most perfect mom in the world (I don't know). Maybe she's not "conservative" (whatever that means). And she most likely can't do anything as VP single-handedly to end "legal" abortion. All stipulated.

But she is a "sign of contradiction" to the very American "values" most Catholics ought to despise most. She is an electrifying pro-life image; she is the anti-Hillary, but much more. And she can put the Baby Boomer feminists where they belong -- with the other old ladies.

My friends, McCain and the GOP are doing us, the US and the future a huge service (as the GOP already has done by giving us W) in nominating Palin. Remember: We're talking about US politics. The unfolding Palin story is the right kind of (positive) "teachable" moment for Catholics in the US.

(And, no, I'm not a GOP activist, and this message was not approved by John McCain and Sarah Palin).


I worked for the Republican party (at the state and county level) from 2005-2007. I've seen this tactic before, they are nominating Palin for purely political reasons. They are scared that the social conservative base won't turn out and vote for McCain (they wouldn't vote for Obama either, they just wouldn't vote). And, they cannot win without the social conservatives voting for McCain. They don't give a *choose an expletive of your choice* about a counter-revolutionary message, they just want to win. What have Republicans done about abortion? They banned extreme late-term abortions...ok, so abortions that counted for 1.4% of abortions. And while abortion were on the decline from '95-2005, they are now on the rise. Each year, about two out of every 100 women aged 15–44 have an abortion; 47% of them have had at least one previous abortion.

And, remember Governess Palin is not the presidential candidate, John McCain is. And, leaving aside his very very dangerous foreign policy, let's look at John McCain:

August 1999: Publicly says he wants Roe vs. Wade made irrelevant, but would not repeal it. "I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.""

2007: Voted to expand embryonic stem cell research and federal funding of it.

And, numerous times he has stated his support for abortion in the circumstances of rape and incest.

2005 & 2006: voted no on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex 'marriage'

So basically McCain is for traditional values and life.... except if a child's father was a rapist...except if the child's parents were related...except if the child can be used for research...except for banning a re-definition of marriage

Also, "[T]he important thing about Palin's abortion views is that she wouldn't be proposing new anti-abortion legislation, and that while her views on the subject are firm, she's not running for office to advocate for them."


Additionally, I don't see how Palin going to work as a government executive 3 days after giving birth is counter-feminist.

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