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March 18, 2004

Flipper Wars

It is not even Spring yet. We have Spring and Summer and a good chunk of Autumn before this is over. The Presidential Candidates are taking personal pot-shots at each other, and it is the issues that will suffer.

I think it is reasonable to change one's mind when new information or experience is available. This business of attacking someone for flip-flops is bogus on the face of it. It allows us not to discuss the issue.

All we will have then is a conflict between Bush's Flip Flops and Kerry's Flip Flops.

Also, I would encourage Catholic Bloggers out there not to become too closely defined by your identification with either candidate. Instead we should be identified with the respectful discussion of the issues and the search for truth. This election may turn into a schoolyard brawl. People who identify with Christ should try to do it differently.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at March 18, 2004 2:23 PM

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I wanted to answer you, Fr. Keyes, here in a new post since your comments really touched on some thoughts that have been developing in me over the last couple of weeks. As I watch the politicking develop this year,... [Read More]

Tracked on March 18, 2004 10:23 PM


I think the reason the flip-flops are noted is they can support the assertion that a candidate just cares about winning at any cost.

If there is a change of mind in light of new information, or in light of the consequences of a decision turning out differently than what was intended, then yes, we should think about that and not take the candidate to task.

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at March 18, 2004 3:02 PM

I think the trick Father, is to support the candidates and the causes that you believe do best help you identify with Jesus Christ.

This country stands once more at a cross roads. It is either going to sink into the mire of secular humanism with a socialist twist, killing more unborn children and leaving us open to foreign attacks - or not. As a Catholic Christian wife and mother, I think it is absolutely essential that I do everything in my power to try and elect a presidential candidate with the leadership that I think will takes us into the opposite direction and that candidate is George W. Bush So I respectfully disagree with your posting Father.

BTW The flip flops you linked to on Bush were that writers opinions and many of them didn't present the entire truth of the candidate.

Posted by: Elena at March 19, 2004 5:37 AM


Opposite direction? ahem. try not to be quick with judgments. I did not go in either direction. And in speaking my mind on the issues I will not enter into a conversation about either candidate or their personality. And the discussion of flip flops does not describe the entirety of either candidate. I will agree with you on that.

Since I must minister to everyone and we receptive to all, and make myself available to all, you will not find me endorsing any candidate. I will try to focus on issues and the search for truth. That, at least, is my goal.

Posted by: Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at March 20, 2004 7:53 AM

But as a Catholic priest, isn't a pro-life agenda pretty important?

I guess you could not name him but support the nameless candidate who is pro-life, and tell people not to support the nameless candidate who is overtly pro-abortion.

See this link from Mark Shea's blog:


Posted by: Ken M. at March 20, 2004 9:50 AM

I've never been able to identify a candidate for public office at any level that I could honestly describe as "pro life" in the full seamless garment sense, the Evangelium Vitae sense, of being on the side of life.

Those who speak out against easy, on-demand abortion are often "fry 'em" death penalty advocates and are opposed to genuine programming, as opposed to warehousing, in our prisons.

What about the right to medical care? The number of people who lack access to basic, preventive health care in the US is a scandal. No one from overseas can understand how our health care is linked to having a good job.

What about basic education?

What about affordable housing?

What about all the people who want to be treated for drug addiction but can't get into effective programs?

We know what to do about the homeless; we simply lack the political will and the communitarian spirit to do it!

What about the undocumented immigrants without whose labor our lives would be much less comfortable?

I'm not necessarily saying the government should be the sole provider of these things. But the sense of community that one would think stands behind "No child left behind" doesn't seem to exist. It's an empty slogan.

To be on the side of life is not just a question of how we vote.

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at March 20, 2004 1:45 PM