In the wake of the election, practicing Catholics and Protestants of a traditional orientation have been inundated with advice from their liberal brethren. The advice generally goes like this: to win future elections, conservative Christians need to moderate their views on abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and other issues. In other words, they need to move left so that the liberal agenda can be fulfilled without resistance.
No serious Catholic or Protestant can ever accept the abortion-rights agenda. Moreover, there is less reason to do so now than ever before: more Americans consider themselves to be pro-life than at any time since Roe. This does not mean, however, that pro-life candidates who are manifestly stupid should be nominated.
No serious Catholic or Protestant can ever sanction gay marriage. To do so is not only a breach of Christian teaching, it is a recipe for social instability. This issue remains divisive, but it is worth recalling that until millions of out-of-state dollars were poured into a few state initiatives, the pro-traditional marriage side was 32-0 in state elections.
Immigration is different. On April 20, 2006, I wrote, “The position that the Democrats have staked out on this issue is something many Americans, myself included, feel is superior to that of the Republicans.” For starters, Republicans should cease silly talk about deporting 11 million people and start talking about realistic pathways to citizenship (while simultaneously securing our borders). The American people may not have invited immigrants to come here illegally, but they, along with both the Republicans and the Democrats, have found it very convenient to look the other way while millions did. This ambivalence must end, and it must be reflected in new legislation.
Finally, the religious liberty campaign sponsored by the bishops must go forward. Our foes would like to see it end, which is all the more reason why it must succeed.