John McCain on Religion

Now that it seems more likely that John McCain will become the Republican nominee, I thought it was a good time to see where McCain stands on religion in politics. The short answer is that he’s all for it.

The official John McCain web page contains the document, “Human Dignity & the Sanctity of Life.”

McCain said, “To sacrifice for a cause greater than yourself, and to sacrifice your life to the eminence of that cause, is the noblest activity of all.” He really means it. For example, he wishes to force women to sacrifice their lives to the Christian dogma against abortion. Here’s what McCain’s web page says on the issue:

John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.

However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. …

McCain’s ultimate goal, then, is “ending abortion.” The web page lists no exceptions; I don’t know whether McCain has mentioned possible exceptions elsewhere. However, it seems that his official web page should be taken at face value as the statement of his positions. If we take the goal of “ending abortion” seriously, that means a complete ban on the “morning after” pill. It means criminal penalties for women and/or doctors involved with abortion. It means that women who are raped will be forced to carry the child to term. It means that women whose lives are in danger will be forced to face death rather than get an abortion. It means that, from the moment the sperm enters the egg, that embryo is fully protected by law, regardless of the the health of the embryo, the cause of the embryo, or the health, choices, and welfare of the woman carrying the embryo. Even if McCain hastens to carve out exceptions, his policy would still subvert the health and autonomy of the woman to an embryo. McCain calls for sacrifice, and he means it. He literally means that women must sacrifice their lives to the “eminence” of the Christian doctrine that equates a fertilized egg with a human being. (Notably, the text about abortion appears on the web page right next to a video titled, “Faith.”) That is what John McCain means by the term “human dignity.”

Not surprisingly, then, McCain also wishes to potentially sacrifice the lives of sick people to embryos; he opposes stem-cell research. [February 6 update: McCain opposes some forms of stem-cell research but also believes, “Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases…”]

Back in October, I pledged to “vote against any candidate who does not explicitly and unambiguously endorse the separation of church and state.” Obviously McCain wishes to impose religious doctrine by force of law. Thus, I will not vote for John McCain for any political office, under any circumstances.