The President and the Pope

Paul Finkelman paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu
Mon Jun 14 18:11:01 PDT 2004


I wonder how Bush would respond if the Bishops all said that no Catholic 
voter should support a man who 1) vigorously endorses the death penalty, 
whcih the church opposes, and as a chief executive did not do everything 
in his power to oppose the death penalty and who did not use all his 
powers to pardon anyone who might be executed.  I imagine we would hear 
howls from the Bush people about separation of Chuch and state. 
 Similarly, what would happen if the Bishops attacked those executives 
who do not do enough to end world poverty and hunger.  It is fascinating 
to see Bush pick and choose which Catholic doctrine he likes;  I am 
sure, however, that His Holiness can see through all of this.

Paul Finkelman

Mark Tushnet wrote:

>My intuition is that openness matters, in constraining what 
>a politician will say.  But I agree that we're dealing with 
>quite a marginal issue here.
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Richard Dougherty <doughr at udallas.edu>
>Date: Monday, June 14, 2004 5:51 pm
>Subject: Re: The President and the Pope
>
>  
>
>>Mark:
>>I would have thought that it was the other way around on 
>>    
>>
>the 
>  
>
>>"problematic" score, no?  If Bush is looking for electoral 
>>    
>>
>support, 
>  
>
>>wouldn't it be more advantageous to make a public 
>>    
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>statement about 
>  
>
>>the matter, rather than making what looks like a rather 
>>    
>>
>innocuous 
>  
>
>>comment to a Vatican official in private?  (About which, 
>>    
>>
>of course, 
>  
>
>>he was perfectly accurate.)  Or is your suggestion that if 
>>    
>>
>he does 
>  
>
>>so openly then at least we know what he's up to?  I 
>>    
>>
>suppose were 
>  
>
>>Bush to make public a criticism of the Catholic bishops 
>>    
>>
>he might 
>  
>
>>risk alienating Catholic voters?  (But we should all be 
>>    
>>
>aware that 
>  
>
>>an attempt to influence Catholic voters in America by 
>>    
>>
>appealing to 
>  
>
>>a Vatican official in private is essentially futile.)
>>
>>This might be a mountain being made into a molehill.
>>
>>Richard Dougherty
>>
>>
>>---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
>>From: Mark Tushnet <tushnet at law.georgetown.edu>
>>Reply-To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics 
>><religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>Date:  Mon, 14 Jun 
>>    
>>
>2004 15:43:05 -0400
>  
>
>>>I have the feeling that this thread may have played itself 
>>>      
>>>
>out, 
>  
>
>>but one 
>>    
>>
>>>matter hasn't come up -- whether there's a difference 
>>>      
>>>
>between a 
>  
>
>>public 
>>    
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>>>statement soliciting support from religious leaders, etc., 
>>>      
>>>
>and a 
>  
>
>>private 
>>    
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>>>conversation in which such support is solicited (and 
>>>      
>>>
>whether, in a 
>  
>
>>world 
>>    
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>>>of leaks, such a distinction is anything close to 
>>>      
>>>
>coherent).  I 
>  
>
>>simply 
>>    
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>>>report my intuition that the public statements are lower 
>>>      
>>>
>on the 
>  
>
>>>"problematic" scale than the private conversation 
>>>      
>>>
>(which is not to 
>  
>
>>say 
>>    
>>
>>>that either one is high on that scale).
>>>
>>>      
>>>
>>______________________________________________
>>    
>>
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>  
>
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>>>
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>  
>
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>>    
>>
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>  
>
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>
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>>    
>>
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-- 
Paul Finkelman
Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Tulsa College of Law
3120 East 4th Place
Tulsa, OK   74104-3189

918-631-3706 (office)
918-631-2194 (fax)

paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu


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