Roberts Should Come Clean on Religious Views

John Roberts should come clean on his religious views on abortion. This country has seen enough double standards and heard enough of the Orwellian double-speak. Conservatives are the ones who have thrust religion into the the forefront of political issues and debate. They can’t have it both ways. E.J. Dionne makes a good case for Roberts coming clean in his WaPo column today

It’s also disingenuous for Republicans who have profited from the rise of issues related to religion and “moral values” to discover a sudden squeamishness about even mentioning them. Recall John Kerry’s battle during the 2004 campaign with conservative bishops who proposed to deny him Communion because of his stand on abortion rights. If there was a mass movement of Republican politicians insisting that Kerry’s religion should not be part of the public debate, I must have missed it.

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo is, like Kerry, a Catholic Democrat who has tangled with his church’s leaders on the politics of abortion. Cuomo wondered during a recent phone conversation how those bishops who tormented Kerry would react if Roberts said that his religious views would not affect his rulings on abortion cases. To defend such a stance by Roberts, Cuomo said, “the bishops who went after Kerry would have to say that it’s different for a judge, but that would be very hard to explain.” Indeed.

But if religion is to play a serious role in politics, believers have to accept the obligation to explain themselves publicly. That’s why it would be helpful if Roberts gave an account of how (and whether) his religious convictions would affect his decisions as a justice. President Bush has spoken about the political implications of his faith. His nominee should not be afraid to do the same.

There is a great concern by women that the right to choice could easily be overturned by a vote from Roberts. On this merit, the American public has a right to know Roberts religious convictions.

Update: During a a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, Bush “said he did not ask Supreme Court nominee John Roberts about his views on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.”

The primary topic of the interview was whether “schools should discuss “intelligent design” alongside evolution when teaching students about the creation of life.” Here we go… does Bush understand the meaning of separation of church and state?

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13 Responses to Roberts Should Come Clean on Religious Views

  1. Fritz says:

    EJ is wrong. I dare Democrats to open this religious test. Roberts, “There is an overriding requirement of my faith to adhere to the duly elected laws of a democracy. Catholicism requires me to act truthfully in the bounds of the law, even when those laws conflict with my faith. I find it a sad day in our history that the religious faith of a nominee is questioned by a tribunal in a society that prides itself for its’ religious Liberty”.

    Go ahead, make my day.

  2. Fritz says:

    ID can be considered monolithic such as the laws of nature. Contrast that moral harm with the animal sexual deviance religion and the placing of condoms over a cucumber.

  3. Fritz

    It was a sad day in history when the conservatives ran rough shod over Kerry’s faith and political views. Sorry, Fritz, NO DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Also you should clearly check who posted this.

  4. Fritz,

    “animal sexual deviance religion”? What the heck are you mumbling about?

    Condoms? Want your kids to get AIDS?

  5. Ron Chusid says:


    Since ID is so vague, in theory it could be considered anything. In reality it is just a stalking horse for creationism. ID is bunk and has no place in science education.

    Use of condoms, on the other hand, should be encouraged. Condoms reduce transmission of STD’s as well as preventing pregnancy. Abstinence education does nothing.

    Re Roberts, so far a strong majority feels he should be confirmed, but also a strong majority oppose any justice who would overturn Row v. Wade. Roberts’ support could drop should people become more aware of his views. Most likley he will be confirmed, but that could change if he appears to be willing to overturn Row v. Wade.

  6. Ron

    DiFi being the only woman on the Judiciary Committee has made it quite clead she will oppose Roberts if she has any doubts about him overturning Roe v Wade. I don’t trust him to keep his word. None of them can be trusted.

  7. Ron Chusid says:


    Regardless of what he intends, I would be surprised if Roberts says he intends to vote to overturn Row v. Wade.

    I also doubt the Republicans want this. They know that supporting laws against abortion would be political suicide, and many Republicans would change their position to survive, as is happening with stem cell research.

    The Republicans prefer to be able to blame the court for abortion being legal and to be able to avoid actually casting a vote on whether abortion is legal.

    Sooner or later the religious right will realize how they are being conned by the Republicans.

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  10. Marjorie G says:

    Wow, long-winded but savvy. The interdependency of corporate donations, faith-based money for the religious leaders is what creates this talk of piety and partisanship. Some anti-abortion big-hitters even support Diebold. We get a pro-let’s give him a pass-Roberts but an anti-Kerry.

    I agree they’d rather have the carrot dangling to the polls on abortion.

  11. Alice Venturi says:


    Pope Benedict recently urged Spanish bureaucrats to engage in civil disobediance or quit their jobs rather than support a Spanish law that he perceives to be in opposition to Catholic doctrine. That doesn’t sound a lot to me as if Catholicism is requiring believers “to act truthfully in the bounds of the law, even when those laws conflict with … faith.”

    I don’t believe that John Roberts being a Catholic is the issue. I do think that we need to know, if there’s a discrepancy between American law and Catholic doctrine, which one of these he’ll side with.

  12. Alice

    I agree. It’s not about him being Catholic, it’s about how he interprets the law. As Kerry said during the election, he can not legislate based on his faith. That’s it in a nutshell.

  13. Marjorie

    I am finally reading Crimes Against Nature. That faith based money is everywhere with the. OY!