Tribute to a RINO

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As readers of this blog know, I have little use for RINO’s, (Republicans in Name Only), politicians who call themselves Republicans but once in office vote like Democrats.  However, every rule has exceptions and an exception to my antipathy to RINOs is the late Mark Hatfield.  Hatfield died on August 7 of this year, at 89 years of age.  He served in the Navy as a landing craft officer in the Pacific during World War II at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  He was one of the first Americans to see the ruins of Hiroshima after the surrender of Japan.

Beginning in 1950, he embarked upon a 46 year career in politics as a Republican in Oregon.  He served in the Oregon legislature and was twice elected governor of the state.  He served 30 years in the Senate from 1967-1997.  In office his votes were often indistinguishable from a liberal Democrat.  He was a dove on Vietnam, supported the nuclear freeze, cast the deciding vote in the Senate that defeated a balanced budget amendment and was opposed to the death penalty.  In 1964 he denounced Goldwater conservatives as extremists.  Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Hatfield, once noted in his diary while he was President that with Republicans like Hatfield, who needed Democrats.  He was a RINO’s RINO.  Of course you know there is a but coming.

He was a Baptist and an ardent Christian.   Perhaps partially because of that he was also an ardent foe of abortion and always voted pro-life.  In a liberal state like Oregon that was a hard stance to take, but Hatfield never wavered from it.  He introduced the first proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortion and he was a key ally of the late, and great, Congressman Henry Hyde in passing legislation banning federal funds for abortion.  Hatfield was often the Republican Democrats loved.  His opposition to abortion alienated people who would otherwise have been key supporters, but that seemed to make no difference to him.

So rest in peace Mr. Hatfield.  You were my political opposite, except on the key issue of our day, abortion, and for me that makes all the difference.

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  1. Wonder how he would have stood on Oregon’s “right-to-die” law. Despite his pro-life stance, his other positions, Don, were more than enough to make him a DIP (Democrat in Practice), if I can coin a new acronym. He also was seriously considered as Tricky Dick’s running mate at one time.

    Lastly, as a “Baptist and ardent Christian,” not sure what “ardent” means, but accepting the word, can there be salvation for anyone outside the Catholic Church? Doesn’t the Church teach that this is impossible?

  2. He was a vigorous opponent of it Joe. He called Oregon’s assisted suicide law murder.

    Ardent is the opposite of lukewarm, those who Christ spews from his mouth according to the Book of Revelation.

    As for salavation for those not united with the Catholic Church, the Catechism addresses that issue:

    “”Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”338 “

  3. Hatfield was a Baptist, but his wife is Catholic. She always had hopes that he would join the Catholic Church.

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