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June 03, 2004

Rating the Catholic Politicians

Senator Dick Durbin has released a survey of Catholic Senators (pdf) that rates them in three categories: Pro-Life, Domestic Policy and Foreign Policy.

Unsurprisingly, Democratic Senators do poorly on the pro-life rating, but the news is in the Domestic and Foreign Policy ratings. Using the stated legislative priorities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Durbin has ranked the Senators on Catholic positions from the minimum wage to the right to unionize on the domestic front to the Iraq War Resolution and Global AIDS funding on the international side.

And some Catholic Republicans are way off the Church's legislative priorities. Senator Sununu and Santorum received the lowest domestic ratings (23%) with Bunning and Santorum tied with the lowest ratings in foreign policy (6%). Other Catholic GOPers with notably low ratings were Senator Domenici (27% Domestic, 12% International) and Murkowski (33% Domestic, 7% International).

BTW Kerry had the highest domestic rating of any Catholic Senator (95%). Of course, conservatives will say only the abortion issue counts. Now, many Catholic leaders may say it counts more-- and Durbin gives it its own rating, but it should raise questions in some quarters-- hint to the media-- that additional stories on who is a "good Catholic" could be done.

Posted by Nathan at June 3, 2004 08:16 AM