As evangelicals gathered at the Values Voter Summit over the weekend to listen to candidates drone on about how they’re the “real conservative,” I find myself a little embarrassed to be a politically active Christian.

The very fact that large numbers of people think that candidates are actually going to go to a gathering such as the Values Voter Summit and pretend to be anything other than “ultra-religious” is unbelievably naive.

Fred Thompson said he’d go to the Oval Office within an hour of being sworn in and “pray for the wisdom to do the right thing.” Right. The thing that amazes me is that people actually applauded! What, exactly, in Fred Thompson’s rather public life has revealed that he is a “Jesus Freak?” Even Hillary Clinton invokes the name of God when in a room of folks that might be religious and these people really think that Fred Thompson is above such nonsense? Come on…

These are probably the same church goers who think that Rudy Giuliani and his three wives are all piously worshiping in some ultra-conservative church each and every Sunday morning.

Let’s, just for fun, discuss a few of the candidates and their supposed fit with the Religious Right:

  • Rudy Giuliani
    • Married: 3 times (wife #3 is the mistress he kept during marriage #2)
    • Children: 2 biological children who don’t speak to him, and 1 step-daughter
    • Political Affiliation: Democrat and Independent during the 1970’s; currently a Republican (although Giuliani’s mother said in 1988 that “He only became a Republican after he began to get all these jobs from them. He’s definitely not a conservative Republican. He thinks he is, but he isn’t. He still feels very sorry for the poor.”)
    • Abortion: Pro-choice (in 1999, Giuliani said, “I’m pro-choice.” That has been reaffirmed during the 2007 campaign.)
    • Gay-Rights: Pro-gay rights (In the same breath as the 1999 “I’m pro-choice” statement, Giuliani said, “I’m pro-gay rights.”)
    • Education: favors privatization and voucher programs
    • Drugs: supports Federal “war on drugs”
    • Gun Control: believes gun owners should have to pass a written test

    (source: On the Issues and Wikipedia) It is a bit difficult to assess Giuliani’s positions as he is best known for being the Mayor of New York City. Philosophically, state and local governing is different from National governing, so we really aren’t sure how Rudy would behave in National office. He has made it clear, though, that he is pro-choice and pro-gay rights. My take on Giuliani: he’s a Democrat.

  • Fred Thompson
    • Marriages: 2 (divorced first wife in 1985; currently still married to second wife)
    • Children: 5 (3 from first marriage; 2 from second)
    • Political affiliation: Republican
    • Religious affiliation: Church of Christ, although only attends church when in Tennessee
    • Abortion: Pro-life, although lobbied for abortion-rights organization
    • Gay Rights: opposes gay marriage; believes civil unions should be left up to states
    • Free Trade: favors (while in Congress, voted YES on permanent normal trade relations with China – a Communist country, in case you haven’t gotten the memo)
    • Iraq: “essentially” agrees with President Bush
    • Education: favors school choice
    • Foreign Policy: favors preemptive strikes

(source: On the Issues and Wikipedia) My take on Fred Thompson: He is George W. Bush with an extra wife.

  • Mitt Romney
    • Marriage: 1 (married to his high school sweetheart)
    • Children: 5 sons
    • Political Affiliation: Republican (sort of)
    • Religious Affiliation: Mormon
    • Abortion: wishy-washy – sometimes pro-life, sometimes pro-choice. Has said that he is personally pro-life but doesn’t feel that government should intrude, but has also said that he believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
    • Gay rights: opposes gay marriage, but supports benefits for gay partners
    • Education: supported abolishing the Department of Education in 2002; supports “means-tested” vouchers; believes that schools should teach family values but not religion or prayer
    • Energy: supports all means of gaining energy independence (alternative fuels, drilling in ANWR, etc)
    • Second Amendment: supports second amendment but also supports assault weapons ban and Brady Bill
    • Health Care: instituted universal health care while governor of Massachusetts (I will concede that, on a state level, it doesn’t seem to be a terrible plan when compared to, say, Hillarycare or the Edwards mandate)

    (source: On the Issues,Wikipedia, and Romney seems like an almost-decent-enough candidate, except for the fact that he’s a member of a cult and is singing a significantly more conservative tune than the one he sang while governor.

  • Mike Huckabee
    • Marriage: 1 (as far as I have been able to find)
    • Children: 3
    • Political Affiliation: Republican
    • Religious Affiliation: Baptist (attended Southwesten Baptist Theological Seminary after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University)
    • Spending and Taxes: received an “F” grade from the Cato Institute in 2006 on spending and taxes; supports the FairTax
    • Immigration: called bill that would deny benefits to illegal aliens “unchristian”
    • Abortion: pro-life
    • Gay Rights: anti-gay marriage; opposes civil unions
    • Death Penalty: supports; opposes “hate crimes” legislation
    • Education: while governor, supported higher taxes and greater involvement of government in education
    • Second Amendment: supports
    • Health Care: opposes government-run plan

    (Source: On the Issues, Wikipedia, and Huckabee’s record on taxes and spending, education, and immigration are scary. Very scary.

  • Ron Paul
    • Marriage: 1 wife, Carol, married in 1957
    • Children: 5 children and 17 grandchildren
    • Experience: served for nearly 2 decades in Congress
    • He has never voted to raise taxes.
    • He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
    • He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
    • He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
    • He has never taken a government-paid junket.
    • He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
    • He voted against the Patriot Act.
    • He voted against regulating the Internet.
    • He voted against the Iraq war.
    • He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
    • He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

    (Source: Wikipedia and Guess who I’m voting for? đŸ˜‰

The results of the Values Voter Poll are as follows:

1. Mitt Romney … 27.62 %
2. Mike Huckabee … 27.10 %
3. Ron Paul … 14.98%
4. Fred Thompson … 9.77 %
5. Sam Brownback … 5.14 %
6. Duncan Hunter … 2.42 %
7. Tom Tancredo … 2.30 %
8. Rudy Giuliani … 1.85 %
9. John McCain … 1.40 %