By Herb Silverman
You might say I watched the October 4 vice presidential debate “religiously.” I thought the moderator’s most interesting question was whether Tim Kaine and Mike Pence had ever struggled to balance their personal faith with a public policy decision. This was probably the most civil and thoughtful conversation in a previously contentious debate, with neither debater wishing to criticize religion. Each said he had a lot of respect for the sincere faith of the other.
I like to know positions that politicians take, and why they took them. I think basing positions on a legislator’s personal religious faith is a bad idea, though I might have good secular reasons to agree with that same position. If a politician focuses on portions of ancient religious texts to justify a vote, I think the politician either has no rational argument for it or is pandering to voters of that faith.
Kaine mentioned he had struggled as governor of Virginia to uphold capital punishment, which his Roman Catholic faith opposes. He said he tries to follow Catholic teachings in his personal life, but as an elected official it is his duty to uphold the law. Governor Kaine presided over eleven
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