Dennis Prager
In the vice presidential debate, the two candidates, both Roman Catholics, were asked about their religious beliefs, how they impact the candidates' political positions and specifically about abortion. This was the response of Vice President Joe Biden:

"My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who -- who can't take care of themselves, people who need help.

"With regard to abortion, I accept my church's position on abortion as a -- what we call de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception. That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

"But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and -- I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

"I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women, they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court -- I'm not going to interfere with that."

Let's analyze this response.

1. "My religion defines who I am."

If a conservative, evangelical Christian candidate for national office said that he defined himself by his religious beliefs, liberals would be screaming that the wall between church and state was in danger of being taken down.

Here is the rule in American politics: When the left uses religion to promote liberal policies, it is a beautiful thing. When the right uses religion to promote conservative policies, it threatens the separation of church and state and may lead to the creation of a theocracy.

2. "It has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help."

This illustrates my previous point. Biden's Catholicism leads him to promote liberal social policies, specifically an ever-expanding state to take care of "people who need help." What else could his statement mean? After all, what religion doesn't expect its adherents to take "care of those who can't take care of themselves"? Protestant Christianity? Judaism? Islam? Buddhism? Mitt Romney's Mormonism?

Since all religions do, what is the difference between Romney's religious call to help the less fortunate and Biden's religious call to help these people?

The difference, as seen in the enormous difference between Biden's charitable donations and Romney's, is the difference between conservatism and liberalism: Conservatism holds that we all have to take care of ourselves and our fellow citizens; liberalism holds that the state -- funded by some of us -- has to.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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