GOP 2012 hopefuls on what they are giving up for Lent

With a biretta tip to Catholic Culture o{]:¬)   I saw this in the Daily Caller:

GOP 2012 hopefuls on what they are giving up for Lent

By Chris Moody – The Daily Caller

The 40-day period of sacrifice before Easter began Wednesday, and some Republican presidential hopefuls plan to whip their way around Iowa and New Hampshire without some of the things they love most.

Catholics, Southern Baptists, Mormons, Born-again Christians and a Lutheran have floated the possibility that they’ll run against President Obama this year. Although Lent is typically a tradition for observing Catholics, The Daily Caller asked if they’re planning to give anything up. Here’s what some of them said:

Fmr. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Non-denominational born-again Christian [but baptized Catholic]): “I do observe Lent, and my family and I have traditionally sacrificed something during these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. When I was growing up, my Irish Catholic grandfather would remind me that sacrifices offered up during Lent are to be like tithing — if you advertise your ’sacrifice’ and tithe then you negate any spiritual gains. (Or maybe he’d say that because he didn’t want us to know what he gave up!)”

Palin is a protestant, but she told TheDC that her “Catholic baptism and Catechism classes have stuck with me internally.”

Fmr. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (Southern Baptist): “I think as Baptists we find it hard to give up anything, I’m trying to be a little more health-conscious, I have been less so than I should have been. So that is my primary project right now. ”  [I think that means “No.   Not giving up anything for Lent.”]

Fmr. Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (Catholic): “I have a regular routine for Lent of attending mass at least 3 times a week plus stations of the cross on Fridays. I also refrain from eating the foods I enjoy the most – all types of breads and sweets.” [I recommend confession too.]

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Catholic): “Dessert,” Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler told TheDC. [I recommend confession too.]

Radio Host Herman Cain (Southern Baptist): “He believes this is a private matter between him and GOD,” spokesman Scott Toomey said in an email. [I think that may mean “Not doing much about Lent.”] (Fair enough, but TheDC heard from a source close the campaign that Cain does have a fondness for bacon.)

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (Raised Lutheran) : “Mr. Johnson will not be observing Lent,” a spokesman said. [There it is!]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Stephen Matthew says:

    I do prefer the honesty of the last response.

    I have also wondered about being open about what we do in Lent vs. doing it privately. I am still working that out, but I think it may be best to have a list of public penances/charitable acts we are willing to share, and private ones we keep to our selves.

  2. Maltese says:

    As an aside, Johnson is a great guy. When I was in Santa Fe trying to learn to roll my kayak at a pool one night, he personally came over to help me, sua sponte; he had zero pride for his position, unlike Richardson, who abused his. For a man his age, he is a physical beast:

    Btw: Lutherans, btw, do traditional observe lent.

  3. TheRani says:

    I think some people have an easier time giving something up if other people know they’re giving it up, partly so that they know not to tempt you with whatever you’re giving up, and partly because now you have someone holding you accountable and reminding you! If you told your friend you gave up pizza for Lent, then they’re less likely to drag you to your favorite pizza parlor, and they may even remind you in case you forget.

  4. Soonerscotty says:

    I do not understand why whether these politicians give anything up for Lent matters.

    Giving something up for Lent is a custom, but it is not a requirement. And it certainly cannot even be considered a custom in most Protestant traditions.

  5. wmeyer says:

    I am fasting — trying ot eat less at each meal, every day. Also, I am adding a second daily Rosary to my daily prayers.

    As to confession, I’d love to, but as a catechumen, I can’t, yet. However, my wife’s annulment has reached the point of a 1st court judgment, and there is a great deal of local supposition that the Tribunal will come through with the 2nd court decision in time for Easter. I am less convinced than are the RCIA team members. We’ll see.

  6. Jerry says:

    I think the article is inappropriate and some of the commentary more so. I can see publishing an article of this nature only if the responses are such that they might inspire others to benefit more spiritually from Lent. I don’t believe it is appropriate to criticize others for what they choose to sacrifice (or not).

  7. RichardT says:

    “I think as Baptists we find it hard to give up anything.”
    Oof – are Baptists that bad?

    But interesting that Palin has noticed that her baptism left an indelible mark.

  8. RichardT says:

    Jerry – a lot of the readers may soon have to decide which of these people to vote for. How they react on religious issues is an important part of that process.

  9. acroat says:

    Or maybe Mr Cain is making big sacrafices. Maybe he takes Matthew 6:6 literally like my dad did. God only knows….which is what that passage is teaching us.

  10. Jenny bag of donuts says:

    Gee, I think it’s A-okay to talk about what one is giving up for Lent. It might encourage someone to observe Lent and also, one can obtain different ideas of what to give up. Our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount is concerned primarily with our “intentions.” So applying it to this topic – Are we observing Lent to show off or are we observing Lent for love of God and to grow closer to Him? If we take Christ’s words too literally then we might think He’s saying that we shouldn’t pray in Church for fear that someone might see us, for example. Naturally He doesn’t mean that.

    I’m glad Palin hasn’t lost some of her Catholic roots. It makes me like her a little. Still wouldn’t vote for her though.

  11. michelelyl says:

    You know, I had been thinking about what to ‘give up’ and what to ‘do’ for Lent…and I was inspired by some friends posting on Facebook what they were doing or giving up for Lent. I don’t think it’s always a bad thing to advertise, or to ask for prayer to stay the course and to open the door to grace for others. I didn’t see it as ‘advertising’…..but as a reminder that Lent is a period of contemplation and sacrifice.

  12. Brooklyn says:

    I find this article very enlightening. The responses of these politicians tells me a lot about what they really believe, and and if sacrifice is an important part of their lives. No one can be a true leader who isn’t willing to sacrifice and take the hard road.

    Now if we could only hear what our President would give up for Lent.

  13. wmeyer says:

    I think what our president would–and did–give up for Lent was support of the DoMA.

  14. Jenny says:

    I can assure you that the Southern Baptists are most likely not doing anything for Lent and are probably only vaguely aware that the season exists. I would highly doubt it is ever mentioned in their Sunday services. In my experiences with Southern Baptists (I live in Nashville and am related to and know many), their attitudes about Lent range from complete ignorance to vague knowledge (like ANZAC Day or Chinese New Year) to rage against conforming to “man-made rules and rituals.”

    So there you go.

  15. Katherine says:

    Palin is a protestant, but she told TheDC that her “Catholic baptism and Catechism classes have stuck with me internally.”

    But interesting that Palin has noticed that her baptism left an indelible mark.

    So, when Palin requested and received baptism a second time in her Protestant Church, was that just for “good luck”?

    I don’t understand how you can accept that you are a baptized Chrisitian and then asked to be baptized again.

  16. Jenny says:


    A lot of Protestants (especially low church ones) use Baptism as a catch-all Sacrament. They are yearning for the full Sacramental life, but do not have it at their disposal, so they use Baptism.

    Commit a mortal sin and repent — get re-baptized
    About to undergo major surgery — get re-baptized
    Going on a mission trip — get re-baptized

    It is a completely different understanding of what Baptism is and what it is for.

  17. Jenny bag of donuts says:

    Jenny, thanks for your comments. It is difficult for me to respect Baptists partially for the same reasons you mention. It is very hard to not look down upon their beliefs. I don’t imagine I would help convert any of my Baptist neighbors however if I let on to how I really think about their beliefs. It has been a challenge but worthwhile trying to find similarities and good aspects of their faith that we can touch on in conversation.

  18. Jenny bag of donuts says:

    wmeyer, tee hee isn’t that the truth? But I guess that wasn’t much of a sacrifice for him. . .the. . .um it’s hard not to call him names. But as I tell my babies “No name calling.”

  19. Jenny bag of donuts says:

    Jenny, let me clarify. Baptists’ beliefs should indeed be looked down upon. But the challenge for me is not therefore looking down upon the Baptists themselves.

  20. Brad says:

    Huckabee’s comments sound like a tin drum of egotism. The vain palace of the fleshly shell!

    Reminds me for some reason about when Obama was asked a year ago how he was getting on with kicking cigarettes and he said: “I think I’ve been doing a terrific job of cutting back” (but never did quit).

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