In its zeal to promote the “right” kind of candidates, the Associated Press put out a piece called, “Death Penalty, Bush Loom in Va. Race.” While citing the main issues as capital punishment and the popularity of President Bush, author Ron Fournier seeks to paint Democrat Tim Kaine’s Virginia gubernatorial candidacy as one reaching out to “so-called values voters:”
Kaine is a Roman Catholic who opposes the death penalty. That puts him at odds with most Americans (two-thirds support capital punishment for murderers), and poses even greater peril in a conservative Southern state that favored Bush by 9 percentage points last year.
Nonetheless, “Kaine pledged to enforce the death penalty ‘because that's the law’." Fair enough, especially since the Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty is not total and is not a part of its doctrine. The article continues:
Kaine said it's a matter of values. In a separate telephone interview, the Democrat said voters tell him they disagree with his position but respect him for sticking to his principles. "I'm not going to change my religious beliefs for one vote," Kaine said.
It’s truly heartening to hear a candidate talk like this--if he is consistent. But a visit to Kaine’s website seems to cast doubt, at least Catholic-wise:
I have a faith-based opposition to abortion. As governor, I will work in good faith to reduce abortions by:
1. Enforcing the current Virginia restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother;
2. Fighting teen pregnancy through abstinence-focused education;
3. Ensuring women's access to health care (including legal contraception) and economic opportunity; and
4. Promoting adoption as an alternative for women facing unwanted pregnancies.
We should reduce abortion in this manner, rather than by criminalizing women and doctors.
Mr. Kaine should not expect a ringing endorsement any time soon from the Vatican, which doctrinally opposes all abortions, not to mention contraception. But that doesn’t stop Mr. Fournier who reports that, “Kaine now has a way to highlight his faith and values -- something Democrats normally struggle to do.”
As do the media in general and the AP in particular who are tone deaf when it comes to matters of faith as opposed to those of a specific religion, especially the Catholic one.