Marco Rubio, Dinesh D’Souza and the end of the Reformation?
Florida’s Republican Senator-elect and Tea Party heartthrob Marco Rubio is the youngest member of the senate, the GOP’s only Latino senator (he is Cuban-American), and a straight-talking Catholic who brings the same sense of conviction to his faith as he does to his politics. A flattering profile of him at Catholic Advocate last February was called, “Marco Rubio, A Catholic Candidate Who Will Not Compromise.”
But now it turns out (I have a piece on it all at PoliticsDaily) that Rubio has been attending a Southern Baptist-affiliated megachurch near Miami for much of the past decade, a revelation that has surprised many folks and dismayed a few supporters. After many requests, a Rubio spokesman said that the senator-elect “regularly attends Catholic Mass, and he was baptized, confirmed and married in the Roman Catholic Church. On the final Sunday of the campaign, for example, he attended Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa. . . . He also attends services at a Christian church with his wife and children.”
The “Christian church” is apparently Christ Fellowship. Asked why Rubio attended a non-Catholic church regularly, Burgos said: “He attends both regularly.” His donations, some $66,000 since 2000, go to Christ Fellowship, however.
Dinesh D’Souza, another Catholic paladin on the right, also surprised and unsettled more than a few of his allies last August when he was appointed to lead The King’s College, a small evangelical college located in the Empire State Building. How’s that? D’Souza D’Souza told Christianity Today at the time that he himself is “non-denominational” and has been attending an evangelical megachurch in San Diego for several years.
“My apologetic is very nondenominational; it’s very much inspired by the C. S. Lewis idea of mere Christianity. I’m quite happy to acknowledge my Catholic background; at the same time, I’m very comfortable with Reformation theology.”
“Being a Protestant is a term defined in opposition to Catholicism and refers to a set of historical battles over denominational issues. As far as I can tell, those denominational issues are not the center of what’s being argued today.”
Earlier this month, Marvin Olasky, the provost at The King’s College, resigned, and it’s not clear there will be any further fallout for D’Souza. And Rubio, whose positions on gay marriage and abortion are in line with his conservative faith-based supporters, will likely be protected behind the “ecumenism of the barricades.”
But if Rubio were a Democrat, I don’t see thing playing out so irenically. And what of his religious double-dipping? Or D’Souza’s take on post-Reformation theology? It all seems rather wobbly men of such strong convictions.