The blog STLtoday.com
reports that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia was in the state to give a lecture, but he also "attended a Law Day Mass celebrated by Archbishop Raymond Burke at the Basilica of St. Louis. Attendees included Gov. Matt Blunt and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay."
I guess I still find it amazing that a good Baptist like Matt Blunt is happy to seek favor with Catholic leaders. On issues like abortion, stem-cells and gay rights, Catholics (or at least the Catholic Church's leadership) is very much in step with the religious Right. I was listening to conservative Christian talk radio after the death of Pope John Paul II and listened to caller after caller sing the praises (ok not literally) of the Pope. Anti-Catholicism has been such a significant part of many American Protestants' belief systems that to see the negative attitudes diminished is very suprising. (I'm quite frankly torn between believing it is a step forward in tolerance or is it just politically astute for the Religious Right to try to broaden their base).
However, just to remind us that there are limits to the "Big Tent" of the Religious Right. Robert Novak
recently wrote about Governor Mitt Romney that:
Prominent, respectable Evangelical Christians have told me, not for quotation, that millions of their co-religionists cannot and will not vote for Romney for president solely because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Romney is nominated and their abstention results in the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton, that's just too bad. The evangelicals are adamant, saying there is no way Romney can win them over.
The irony is that the LDS Church is much more aligned with the political agenda of the Republican party, than the Catholic Church is (I am always inspired by the Catholic Church's prophetic teaching on issues such as concern for the poor and the marginalized). Yet criticizing the LDS Church (including calling them non-Christian and working to convert them) has become a cottage industry for fundamentalists. Perhaps because both fundamentalists and Mormons are trying to convert the same groups of people, suspicion between the groups continues. I mean when was the last time you had Catholic missionaries knocking on your door!
It is an interesting dilemma for those that are trying to form a political coalition from religious groups with very different theological positions.