Catholics should know the Deal by Kevin Wandra
Georgians will soon head to the voting booth to choose the state’s next governor, Republican Nathan Deal or Democrat Roy Barnes. The race is expected to be one of the closest in the nation, with the Cook Political Report rating it as a tossup.
A key voting bloc that could decide the hotly contested race is the growing number of Catholics in Georgia; according to PewForum.org, 12 percent of the state is comprised of Catholics. Many of these Catholics are taking part in Respect Life Month events across Georgia that focus on key issues such abortion and embryonic stem cell research, among others.
Based on my experiences as a conservative Catholic living in Georgia, these same Catholics are politically active and motivated. But will they overlook the aforementioned life issues in favor of, say, jobs and the economy during these immensely difficult economic times?
If Catholics adhere to the Church’s teachings on placing a priority on respecting the sanctity and dignity of all human life above all other issues, they could give Deal, a staunch pro-life supporter, the votes he needs to decide the outcome of the race.
The choice should be obvious for them.
Barnes once was pro-life – he opposed abortion when he first ran for governor in 1990 – but his daughters later convinced him to become pro-choice. He also supports embryonic stem cell research. In fact, life-destroying embryonic stem cell research is such an important issue to Barnes that he discussed his support for it during his closing statement in the first formal gubernatorial debate.
Deal, on the other hand, has a strong pro-life voting record, having received a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee during his last two terms in Congress. He has received the endorsement of the Georgia Right to Life PAC, as well. Deal proudly touts both distinctions on his campaign website, where he states he will “stand up for human life at all stages.”
He reaffirmed his pro-life credentials at the first formal gubernatorial debate when discussing stem cell research. He proclaimed his support for research that is “scientifically appropriate as well as morally appropriate.”
Deal’s support for ethically and morally sound stem cell research could be a decisive issue for devout Catholics, who believe embryonic stem cell research destroys a human life. Embryonic stem cell research is increasingly becoming a pivotal issue in Georgia. Atlanta doctors recently became the first in U.S. History to use embryonic stem cells in an attempt to treat a partially paralyzed human.
Daniel Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, vowed to push the General Assembly, currently safe under GOP control, to enact legislation that would ban embryonic stem cell research. If elected, Barnes would likely do his best to thwart any effort to ban such research.
Well-informed Catholics have a choice to make. Will they give Barnes, who openly supports abortion and embryonic stem cell research, another term as governor, or will pro-life supporter Deal be given the keys to the governor’s mansion?
Catholics should know the Deal.
You can reach Mr. Wandra at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinwandra.