I guess it should come as no surprise that conservative religious leaders are paving the way for the faitful to back the leading Republican candidate. Remember 2004, when faithful Catholics were told that a)Catholic candidate John Kerry should be denied Communion because of his support of abortion rights and b) any Catholic who voted for him was imperiling their immortal soul? But this time they face a connundrum: Rudy Guliani has a record of backing both gay rights and abortion rights. No worry, because now Catholic voters have been given the "wiggle room" needed to cast a guilt-free vote for the Republican, thanks to the U.S. Catholic Bishops. In a document released yesterday, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," the bishops laid out the theological gymnastics needed to move abortion from "non-negotiable" voting criteria to "acceptable" when faced with other "morally grave reasons."
These flip-flops aren't limited to the Catholic Church; earlier this week, Pat Robertson threw his support behind Giuliani — telling conservative evangelicals that it was more important the Rudy had promised to appoint conservative judges in the mold of Roberts and Scalia than his history of support for abortion rights and gay rights.
Of course, the hard-core conservatives are in an uproar about the apparent pragmatism, some declaring that if Giulini becomes the Republican nominee, the party will certainly lose the '08 elections. Not to mention that by removing roadblocks for the Republican, they similarly remove them for Democrats who have a tough stance of other moral issues: like ending the war, stoping torture and the restoration of civil liberties. At least that is what I'm hoping. Clearly retaining power trumps everything for this bunch — and the price of one's soul isn't too steep.