Attorney General Cuccinelli urges Christendom College students to be vocal about beliefs in science, media and politics
By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli II urged a mostly student audience of about 400 at Christendom College Monday to become vocal advocates for their religious beliefs in science, the media and politics.
Cuccinelli, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2013, brought a message of undiluted social and fiscal conservatism in a speech and question and answer session that lasted more than 80 minutes.
Catholics have too long been silent or even on the wrong side of issues involving their faith, Cuccinelli said.
"The Catholic community is not adequately involved in the political process," he said. "The world is changed by those who actually engage."
He didn't spare the church's hierarchy from his criticism, citing its frequent support for government social programs.
Cuccinelli, who has been a leader among those challenging President Obama's Affordable Care Act, said the church's bishops and cardinals are experiencing a change of heart as they denounce the law for a provision requiring employers, including some religious institutions, to carry insurance that pays for birth control. Church leaders have called the provision an assault on religious freedom.
"They never understood the cost was high until they realized the cost was higher than they were willing to pay," Cuccinelli said.
The church leadership's opposition to the most far-reaching social program in decades should extend to other efforts by the government to help low-income Americans, Cuccinelli said. Such intervention is part of a broader effort to destroy the limited role of government envisioned by those who founded the nation, he said.
Programs like health care reform threaten to give the government, specifically Congress, the ability to order citizens to do anything it wants, including what kinds of food to eat and what kinds of cars to buy, Cuccinelli said.
Cuccinelli also warned of scientific discoveries and groundbreaking technology that threaten to undermine society's ethical foundations.
He accused climate scientists, almost all of whom have asserted that human activity is the primary cause of a dangerous worldwide warming of temperatures, of contaminating their research with a political agenda.
"This kind of politicized science and world view drives their research," he said. He made no direct mention of a recent ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court that halted his investigation into the work of climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a former member of the University of Virginia faculty.
Cuccinelli ended his speech with an appeal to students in the audience to volunteer for his campaign which, he said, will swing into full gear next year after this fall's elections.