SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry, a new question for you.
The New York Times reports that some Catholic archbishops are telling their church members that it would be a sin to vote for a candidate like you because you support a woman's right to choose an abortion and unlimited stem-cell research.
What is your reaction to that?
KERRY: I respect their views. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views. But I disagree with them, as do many.
I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith.
I believe that choice is a woman's choice. It's between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that.
Now, I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade.
The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he's tried to appoint to the court he wants to.
I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.
Now, with respect to religion, you know, as I said, I grew up a Catholic. I was an altar boy. I know that throughout my life this has made a difference to me.
And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, "I'm not running to be a Catholic president. I'm running to be a president who happens to be Catholic."
My faith affects everything that I do, in truth. There's a great passage of the Bible that says, "What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead."
And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people.
That's why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth.
That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.
But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to -- I think that's the test of public service.
New drinking game: Every time Kerry mentions that he was an altar boy, we all do a shot. Or better yet, throw one at the TV.
And then we eat some pretzels because, you see what Kerry has done in this answer is twist himself into a good imitation of one. He can't impose his faith on anyone, but then...his faith affects everything he does. It's why he fights for equality and justice, and for the poor, the environment. His faith.
So if an impoverished fetus lived in timberland threatened by forestry companies...he'd be moved to try to save it? By his faith?
Got it. What a...oh, I can't say that, can I, now?
Not that President Bush could pick up on this, of course. Not that he could do anything more than sputter his stock answer, fed to him a few years ago by those who convinced him that This Phrase is The Magic Key to the Catholic Vote: cultureoflifecultureoflife..
SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?
BUSH: I think it's important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters.
I believe the ideal world is one in which every child is protected in law and welcomed to life. I understand there's great differences on this issue of abortion, but I believe reasonable people can come together and put good law in place that will help reduce the number of abortions.
Take, for example, the ban on partial birth abortion. It's a brutal practice. People from both political parties came together in the halls of Congress and voted overwhelmingly to ban that practice. It made a lot of sense. My opponent, in that he's out of the mainstream, voted against that law.
What I'm saying is is that as we promote life and promote a culture of life, surely there are ways we can work together to reduce the number of abortions: continue to promote adoption laws -- it's a great alternative to abortion -- continue to fund and promote maternity group homes; I will continue to promote abstinence programs.
The last debate, my opponent said his wife was involved with those programs. That's great. I appreciate that very much. All of us ought to be involved with programs that provide a viable alternative to abortion.