Friday, August 5, 2016

Although both major 2016 vice presidential nominees were raised Catholic and still profess to be Christians, their public policy records have drawn concern from some members of the faithful. The “free exercise” of religion “is not simply about what you do in Church on Sunday morning,” Deacon Keith Fournier of the Common Good Foundation told CNA. “It’s how you exercise that faith in every sector, whether it’s commerce, politics, participation – all of it.” Both major nominees for vice president are baptized Catholics. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine still identifies as a Catholic and was seen at Sunday Mass on July 24 after he was picked by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to be her running mate. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, meanwhile, was raised Catholic but identified in 1994 as a “born-again, evangelical Catholic.” He started attending an evangelical megachurch with his family in the 1990s. It is unclear which church Pence attends now. “I’m a pretty ordinary Christian,” freelance journalist Craig Fehrman reported him saying. Pence told the audience at the Republican National Convention that he was a “Christian, conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” Both Pence and Kaine have drawn controversy for their public policy positions. While Sen. Kaine has said he’s “personally opposed” to abortion, he has received a 100 percent rating in 2016 from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider, and a perfect rating in 2015 from NARAL Pro-Choice America. More recently, it was reported that he privately told Hillary Clinton that he would support overturning the Hyde Amendment, a 40 year-old policy that prevents federal dollars from directly funding most abortions.