contenders Chris Dodd and Sam Brownback—one a
Democrat, the other
a Republican—demonstrated Monday how their
political differences are rooted in their varying
interpretations of their shared Catholic faith.
The two senators,
appearing jointly at a Boston College forum on faith
and politics, differed on abortion rights, civil unions for
gay couples, and embryonic stem cell research.
Nonetheless, they used modest tones to suggest that
Democrats and Republicans could bridge such gaps with more
tolerance for their opponents' positions.
While the two
Catholics agreed that marriage should be reserved for a man
and a woman, not gay couples, they differed in talking about
their views on homosexuality.
Dodd, a Democrat
and the father of two young girls, said, "I think it's
a good question to ask how you would like your children
Brownback, however, called homosexual acts immoral, as has
the Catholic Church, and said sanctioning them threatens the
stability of traditional marriage.
"When you take
away the sacredness or the uniqueness of marriage and
you start redefining it, a lot of people just say, `Well,
the institution doesn't have the meaning to me,' "
In a moment of
agreement, Dodd and Brownback urged President Bush to work
with Congress to devise a solution for Iraq.
Brownback said he
told Vice President Dick Cheney and national security
adviser Stephen Hadley last week that the Administration
should consider a "three-state, one-country" solution
in which Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis live independently
but under the banner of a federal city in Baghdad.
nor Hadley reacted to the proposal, Brownback said.
that both parties have gotten to more in the way of
fighting than trying to figure out what we can do," he said
afterward during an interview with the Associated
Dodd, who voted
in 2002 to authorize military action in Iraq, said he now
felt the war was wrong and called the Bush administration's
"I don't think it's fair to the troops on the ground
to second-guess it four years later." (Glen Johnson, AP)