The bulk of the Catholicism discussion in last night's debate revolved around how the candidates' faith inform their positions on abortion. While the conversation was bound to tack in this direction due to the Obama campaign's insistence on the War on Women meme, it might have caused us to miss something important about Vice President Biden's relationship with his faith. Here's what Biden said last night:
My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who - who can't take care of themselves, people who need help.
Seems like a perfectly reasonable statement. Furthermore, if by "social doctrine" Biden means the spending of "social money" to take care of those who can't take care of themselves, then the vice president makes Mother Theresa look like a crack dealer waiting outside of an elementary school.
But here's a question: how does the Vice President's faith influence his personal conduct? If his religion defines who he is, should it not compel him to give? Why then did he give only 1.5% of his income to charity in 2011, less than half the national average?
So, Catholic teachings apparently inform the vice president how to spend your money, but his own bank account seems quite above the influence of Church doctrine.