About a third of Minnesota’s delegates this year, at least 28, are Catholic, followed by Episcopalians with four. Only three people surveyed said they were Lutheran. That compares with four years ago, when 19 of the 66 delegates responding to the AP’s survey said they were Catholic.
Bill Flanigan, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, called this year’s Catholic numbers "curiously high" compared with the Protestant numbers.
Minnesota does have slightly more Catholics than Lutherans, 1.26 million compared to 1.1 million in 2000, respectively.
Julie Blaha, a 34-year-old teacher from Ramsey, said she objects to mixing government and religion.
"I don’t go to my church for politics," she said, saying it makes things awkward for parishioners like her who support abortion rights and gay marriage.
"This is the most pressure I’ve felt from my church in my life," she said. "You say you’re choice and there are parishioners who don’t want you there."
But among Minnesota’s Catholic delegates, her views are in the majority.
Most, 22 of 28 who responded, supported abortion rights and 15 of them said they backed gay marriage rights.
Former Minnesota House Speaker Phil Carruthers said he was troubled that politics and religion had become so intertwined.
"You try to take your faith seriously," he said. "There’s a set of moral principles, but that’s different from what the laws of the state and the country should be."
I for one am certainly tired of this excuse about laws and a supposed church and state conflict. When I was an atheist I came to believe that abortion was wrong. Those of many faiths and backgrounds who are not Catholic also recognize this. This is because this is part of the natural law and not just a set of moral principles dictated by a church. As for Phil Carruthers who is troubled that politics and religion have become intertwined, well it because the moral law and public laws have become untwined and separated. There is no way to be a legislator and not deal with issues that involve the natural law. Our own Declaration of Independence relies heavily on the natural law with the statement that "all men are created equal."
This though is just a platitude that is used since former Minnesota House Speaker Phil Carruthers actively worked to defeat a partial-birth abortion ban by replacing pro-life conferees with pro-choice ones. Whenever you hear these statements from a Catholic politician you do not have to dig far to find their pro-abortion views.