First off, I don’t really care what religion a politician professes to observe. In fact, I find it odd that we should know at all. What should be important is their grasp of the facts and their positions on the issues. I do take exception, however, when politicians make public claims about the importance of their faith and then cherry pick which aspects of that faith they will apply to policy. You want to claim religious grounds for being anti-choice? You had better also pay attention to the teachings of your faith on matters related to health care and welfare.
All politicians in the US, on both sides of the aisles, do this. However, the GOP currently holds the bulk of the power right now, so I am going to pick one of them, Pat Toomey, one of the senators from Pennsylvania.
What has Pat Toomey publicly said about his faith? Here is one quote:
“I was born and raised Catholic. I am a practicing Catholic. We are active members of our church. Our kids attend Catholic school, so my faith is a part of who I am. What I have learned through faith helps inform my judgment on many, many issues. It’s hard to quantify, but my faith is an important source of informing my judgment.”source
One issue Toomey has been especially vocal about is sanctuary cities. His rhetoric on this matter is vehemently anti-refugee and borders on hysterical.
The reality is that our law enforcement officers on the ground know the facts. They know that sanctuary cities pose a serious public safety risk. They know that the people of Pennsylvania, especially our children, deserve better. They know that it is past time to end dangerous sanctuary city policies. As your senator, I will continue leading the charge to do so, and to keep our children and our communities safe from dangerous sanctuary city policies.
He’s basically plying the same old Willie Horton crime card. FWIW, Toomey also posts frequent tributes to police officers who get killed on the job (which is not bad in and of itself) but pretty much has nothing to say when police anywhere kill an unarmed person ( seems like a strange omission if he cares about everyone).
What do prominent leaders in the Roman Catholic church have to say about the refugee issue?
Joseph Tobin, recently elevated to Cardinal by the Pope, says the following, and more in an article on the Catholic Philly website:
“Regardless of their religious affiliation or national origin, these refugees are all human persons — made in the image of God, bearing inherent dignity, and deserving our respect and care and protection by law from persecution.”source
Pope Francis himself has said the following:
“the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions.”source
“The sad experience of these brothers and sisters recalls that of baby Jesus, who at the time of his birth could not find a place to stay when he was born in Bethlehem,” the pope said during a brief address in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. “He was then taken to Egypt to escape threats from Herod.”source
What about health care? It’s a little harder to find a quote where he actually makes a 100% concrete stand on this, but his staff who answer the phones in his Philadelphia office confirm that he is willing to repeal the ACA without a replacement.
Some words from the Pope on the matter:
“Health is not a consumer good but a universal right, so access to health services cannot be a privilege,” source
It would appear that, for Senator Toomey, his faith is little more than a flag of convenience. As far as I can tell, what he really worships is money, as do most politicians who identify as Christian.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”