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Inhofe to Democratic Francis Supporters: What About Abortion?

Inhofe says he sees hypocrisy in Democrats' excitement over Pope Francis' expected message. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Inhofe says he sees hypocrisy in Democrats' excitement over Pope Francis' expected message. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. James M. Inhofe smells something fishy.  

Pope Francis is expected to advocate for issues such as immigration  and climate change in his address to Congress Thursday, much to the delight of most Democrats. But for all the excitement over issues they agree with, Inhofe said he hasn’t noticed a Democratic rush to adopt some of the Catholic Church’s other, more long-held, policies. Senate Democrats blocked a bill Tuesday banning abortions beyond 20 weeks and are likely to oppose a continuing resolution that diverts money from Planned Parenthood over an abortion-related controversy . And that has the Oklahoma Republican calling out hypocrisy.  

“A lot of the people who are just rejoicing in the pope taking political positions, most of them are liberal,” Inhofe told CQ Roll Call Tuesday. “And most liberals are going to be advocates of global warming. And yet, when you say to them are you pro-life? No? Are you being selective then?”  

Inhofe, a Presbyterian, opposes abortion and is an outspoken critic of climate science — famously  throwing a snowball on the Senate floor in February to illustrate it was still seasonably cold outside — and is often derided  for it. Inhofe suggests a little tolerance to opposing views is in order.  

“Why are you chastising people who disagree with the position he takes, when he has a much stronger, more authentic position on pro life,” Inhofe said. “So it’s kind of pick and choose. That’s one of the strongest positions [Catholics] have.”  

One House Republican has announced he’ll skip Francis’ address  because the pope is choosing to “talk and act like a leftist politician .” While Inhofe plans to attend, he doesn’t believe Francis is likely to change many minds.  

“Most of my conversations have been with my real good friends in Oklahoma who happen to be Catholic, and they have not changed in their positions,” Inhofe said. “And they’re a little bit offended that the pope is taking political positions that don’t have any foundation in the scriptures or in the Catholic church.”


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