Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the likely Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, affirmed his allegiance to Roman Catholic teachings yesterday as he addressed a conference of Catholic families at the Baltimore Convention Center.
"You will find that you cannot divorce your faith from your public service," Steele said, as the audience, primarily composed of parents who home-school their children, applauded. "There can be no conflict between God’s will and my duty as a public servant."
Steele, who spent three years in the early 1980s in an Augustinian monastery, has stated publicly that, unlike Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., he opposes abortion and the death penalty. Although he has marched in anti-abortion demonstrations, Steele has not openly lobbied to change the state’s abortion laws while in office.
Steele did break with the church to support legalizing slot machines at Maryland’s racetracks, a key part of the governor’s platform in the 2002 election.
"You can’t please everyone, but you can certainly make them all mad at you at the same time," Steele said, as the audience chuckled. "As an African-American Catholic Republican, I’m pretty good at ticking everyone off."