Fred Thompson on Religion

Even though Mitt Romney has lost his momentum and Mike Huckabee seems to have improved his position, I would still be surprised if Huckabee came away with the Republican nomination. It’s obvious, though, that Romney’s Mormonism is hurting him with some of the Protestants of the right. (His statism, the issue that matters, is hurting him with some.) However, I don’t think that Huckabee will find much success in the relatively secular Interior West or on the coasts.

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson’s campaign has sputtered out. Nevertheless, his campaign did send me a letter that mentions church and state. (I last recorded Mitt Romney’s positions on church and state; link back from there to find additional commentary.) Thompson’s letter, dated November 24, offered no details: “I know one challenge that concerns you is about church and state issues. [Or, fill in the blank.] For more information on my policy views, please visit my website at” So I did.

Thompson believes (see “Principles”), “A healthy society is predicated on belief in God…” Unsurprisingly, then, Thompson wishes to impose Christian doctrine through politics. Even though he claims (see “On the Issues: Building Strong Families”) that he wishes to “advance freedom of religion,” elsewhere he makes it clear that what he really wants to advance is religion itself, via political force.

The web page states:

Fred Thompson is pro-life. He believes in the sanctity of human life and that every life is worthy of respect. He had a 100% pro-life voting record in the Senate and believes Roe v. Wade was a bad decision that ought to be overturned. He consistently opposed federal funding to promote or pay for abortion and supported the Partial Birth Abortion Act… While Fred Thompson supports adult stem cell research, he opposes embryonic stem cell research. He also opposes human cloning.

So Thompson wants to outlaw at least most abortions. I don’t know whether Thompson would make exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, but his commitment to “every life” seems to include every fertilized egg, regardless of circumstances. Thompson would also forcibly ban some medical research, according to his religious dogma.

Under “Protecting our Kids,” Thompson writes, “While censorship is dangerous, obscenity is not legally protected, and laws against it should be vigorously enforced.” Unfortunately, nobody has ever offered an objective definition of “obscenity,” because there is none. Does anyone wonder where religious conservatives would draw the line, if they controlled prosecutors and the courts? Thompson also writes, “Parents need to be empowered to protect their children from inappropriate matter, whether on TV, in video games, or on the computer.” But parents are already so “empowered,” simply by virtue of being parents. What more does Thompson have in mind? I’m not sure, but it seems to involve more federal controls.

I could not find whether Thompson supports the spending of tax dollars for religiously-affiliated groups. He does express support for vouchers, which presumably would direct some tax dollars to religious schools.

Obviously, Fred Thompson holds no serious commitment to the separation of church and state — he instead seeks to forcibly impose religious doctrine. Therefore, I will not vote for Fred Thompson for any office, under any circumstances.