Catholic Dinner’s Guests

John McCain and Barack Obama took the high road at the 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner Oct. 16 in New York, swapping humor for opprobrium.

The two men spoke at the charity event, which is organized by the Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. An estimated $4 million was raised for Catholic hospitals, which ironically would be a victim of the health-care policies espoused by one of the benefit’s attendees, namely Obama.

McCain, who is anti-abortion but in favor of embryonic stem-cell research, and Obama, who is staunchly pro-abortion and in favor of embryonic stem-cell research (see related story on page 3), continued the long tradition of presidential candidates appearing as headliners every four years. And both men brought their sense of humor.

According to Fox News, Obama said, “Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth,” a reference to Superman.

McCain joked that Democrats had already begun attacking Joe the Plumber, the Ohio man whom he referred to during the final presidential debate on Oct. 15, and claimed that “this honest, hardworking small businessman could not possibly have enough income to face a tax increase under the Obama plan.

“What they don’t know is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses,” McCain said, drawing laughter with the reference to his property holdings.

Register correspondent Father Raymond J. de Souza, writing in the Oct. 16 National Post, said Obama is favored to win the election this November, but he “is just flirting with 50% of the popular vote.” Why? Because religious voters don’t like his strongly pro-abortion stance.

Father de Souza helpfully counts the ways Obama is pro-abortion:

• against the ban on partial-birth abortion,

• against parental notification for minors seeking abortion,

• against “conscience clauses” for pro-life doctors who refuse to do abortions,

• for federal funding of abortions,

• would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, eliminating a federal statute on any abortion regulations in all of the 50 states,

• voted in Illinois against the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously.

Wrote Father de Souza: “Given the number of factors in his favor, and his explicit desire to make room for Catholic voters, religious voters and pro-life voters in his campaign, the substance of his abortion policy is extreme and counter-productive … So why does he adopt it?”

He answered, “Voters can only conclude that Mr. Obama believes in his policy sincerely.”