What do CUF Catholics do about Rudy? Do we:
A) Repeat the same arguments used against John Kerry, to the effect that it would be impossible or nearly so for a Catholic to support him in good conscience? And then if he wins the nomination, do we support Clinton, who has no pretense of being Catholic; back a third party “values” candidate; or stay home entirely? In any event, the result would be the same—a big win for Hillary. Purity—in this case at the price of whatever damage a 4–8 year Clinton interregnum would do.
Or, B) Do we support another GOP candidate and deny the nomination to Giuliani even though, according to polls, none of the others is as likely to win in November? Of course, this will be a moot point if Giuliani wins the nomination. But there will be purity at the price of having a nominee who checks the right box on abortion, but in truth has no passion for any “values” issues and may well go onto lose in the fall anyway. I think it’s safe to say that none of the others (except maybe Huckabee) cares much at all about right-to-life, which is why Giuliani is doing so well in the first place.
Or, C) Do we hold our noses and support Rudy as the best hope to stop Hillary? True, he does “stink” on abortion and other issues, but a proportional reason argument could be made in his favor. He is a reputed law-and-order man who will likely appoint conservative judges to the federal bench and have the muster to muscle them though a liberal senate. And here is where a president is most likely to do harm or good, since abortion is not likely to be illegal any time soon. The price of this impurity is the scandal of a non-practicing Catholic who publicly dissents from key Church teachings from the highest office in the U.S. Would this not be a big boost for secular do-it-yourself Catholicism? Is the situation really made any better that Giuliani, unlike John Kerry, rarely bothers to go to Church or receive Communion, thus making no real pretense of being a practicing Catholic?
I’m not sure what to make of all this, but sooner or later the issue will be before us. Maybe it’s time to talk about it.