What Religion is Blake Masters?

Blake Masters is an American businessman, venture capitalist, and politician running as a Republican candidate for the 2022 United States Senate election in Arizona.

His religious affiliation has been a source of curiosity and discussion among voters. This article will examine what religion Blake Masters belongs to and how it has influenced his political views and campaign.

Blake Masters’ Religious Background

Early Life and Upbringing

Blake Masters was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1986. He grew up in a secular household and has stated that his family was not very religious. However, his grandparents were devout Catholics. As a child, Masters attended Mass with them and went through the Catholic sacraments of baptism, first communion and confirmation.

Though he was exposed to Catholicism as a youth, Masters has said that he did not fully embrace the faith until later in life. He attended Stanford University in California where he began exploring religious and spiritual beliefs more deeply.

Conversion to Catholicism

During his college years, Blake Masters went through a conversion experience and became a devout Catholic. He cites philosopher Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, as a major influence in his embrace of Catholicism. Thiel served as a mentor to Masters and is also a conservative Catholic.

Masters was involved with the Catholic fellowship on Stanford’s campus and went to Mass multiple times per week. He read extensively about Catholic theology and philosophy. According to Masters, he found that the Catholic intellectual tradition resonated with him more than secular ideologies.

How Catholicism Has Influenced Blake Masters’ Views

Abortion

One area where Blake Masters’ Catholic faith manifests strongly is in his staunch pro-life views. The Catholic Church unequivocally opposes abortion in all circumstances. Masters has echoed this opposition to abortion in his campaign.

He has called for overturning Roe v. Wade and banning all abortions nationwide after 15 weeks. He does not support exceptions in cases of rape, incest or dangers to the mother’s health. Masters’ uncompromising pro-life stance aligns with the Catholic teaching that life begins at conception.

LGBTQ Issues

The Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage and considers homosexuality sinful. Masters’ views on LGBTQ issues seem to be shaped by his Catholic beliefs.

During his campaign, Masters has avoided directly answering whether he supports same-sex marriage. He has said he believes marriage should be between a man and woman. Masters also stated that he does not support the Equality Act, a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Immigration

Catholic social teaching emphasizes care for migrants and refugees. However, Masters has taken a hardline stance on immigration reform in line with many conservative politicians.

He has called for finishing construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Masters also wants to make E-Verify mandatory to check the legal work status of employees.

His immigration positions reflect the anti-immigration outlook favored by much of the Republican party rather than the welcoming attitude promoted by Catholic leaders like Pope Francis.

Other Issues

Besides the hot button social issues discussed above, Masters’ Catholic faith seems to inform his views on other topics:

  • He is anti-death penalty based on the Catholic Church’s opposition to capital punishment in most cases.
  • Masters opposes euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, which go against Catholic principles on the sanctity of life.
  • He promotes private charity over government welfare programs, reflecting the Catholic subsidiarity concept.
  • Masters supports expanded school choice initiatives, in line with the Church’s emphasis on educational pluralism.

So while he does not adhere to all aspects of Catholic social teaching, Masters’ policy positions reflect his orthodox Catholic beliefs in many respects.

How Masters Talks About His Faith on the Campaign Trail

Unlike some politicians who shy away from discussing religion, Blake Masters has been open about his Catholicism on the campaign trail. Here are some ways he has addressed his faith:

  • On his campaign website, Masters includes a bio page highlighting his conversion to Catholicism and intellectual interest in the faith.
  • He frequently mentions God, Christianity and Catholic philosophers in his speeches and interviews.
  • Masters argues that separation of church and state should not mean excluding religious viewpoints from policy debates.
  • He contends that universal human dignity and natural rights are based in the Christian worldview.
  • Masters has accused Democrats of being anti-religious and hostile to people of faith.
  • He believes Catholics and other Christians should bring their values into politics.

By prominently discussing his religion, Masters aims to appeal to like-minded Catholic voters as well as evangelicals who share some policy goals. However, he risks alienating secular voters by so overtly injecting faith into his campaign messaging.

Comparing Masters to Other Catholic Politicians

Masters is not the only Catholic in high-level American politics today. How do his religious views stack up against other prominent Catholic officials?

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is arguably the most high-profile Catholic in the country. In some respects, his politics align with Catholic social teaching – for example, in his opposition to the death penalty and support for immigration reform.

However, Biden’s stance on abortion contradicts the Church’s pro-life doctrine. He affirmed his support for Roe v. Wade and federal funding for abortions. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently voted to draft a statement rebuking Biden’s positions on abortion.

Unlike Biden, Masters hews closely to Catholic orthodoxy on controversial issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Nancy Pelosi

Similar to Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi identifies as a practicing Catholic but diverges from the Church on key issues like abortion access. Pelosi has a 100% pro-choice voting record and has rejected efforts to restrict abortion. She also supports gay marriage.

Pelosi has faced criticism from bishops for her stances and has been denied communion over her abortion position. Masters aligns more closely with official Catholic teaching than Pelosi across the board.

Amy Coney Barrett

Recently appointed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is seen as a conservative Catholic role model for her ability to integrate faith and public service. She previously served on the board of a Christian school with anti-LGBTQ policies, but asserted during her confirmation process that she would not let her religious views interfere with her rulings as a Justice.

Like Barrett, Masters aims to bring his orthodox Catholic worldview into politics and policy. But he has been more overt than Barrett about directly merging his religious outlook with his positions on contentious issues.

How Masters’ Faith Might Appeal to Voters

In a close election, winning over certain voter blocs could be key for Masters’ chances. His openness about his Catholicism could potentially appeal to the following demographics:

  • Practicing Catholics who agree with Church teaching across the board
  • Evangelical Christians with shared socially conservative views
  • Hispanic Catholics who deeply value faith and family
  • Suburban moms concerned about abortion and religious freedom issues
  • Libertarians who appreciate Masters’ anti-death penalty stance

Emphasizing his religion shows that Masters will stand by his principles rather than compromising for political expediency. On the other hand, he risks alienating more moderate Catholics and secular unaffiliated voters who support things like marriage equality.

Only time will tell whether his staunch religious outlook will help or hurt his election bid in an increasingly pluralistic America. But it gives voters a clear picture of where Masters stands.

Table Comparing Masters’ Positions with Catholic Teaching

Issue/TopicCatholic TeachingMasters’ Position
AbortionStrongly opposed to abortionCompletely anti-abortion
Death PenaltyOpposed in most casesAnti-death penalty
LGBTQ RightsOpposes same-sex marriage <br>Considers homosexuality sinfulAgainst same-sex marriage <br> Avoids fully endorsing LGBTQ policies
ImmigrationCare for migrants is a dutySupports restrictive policies
WelfarePrefers private charity over government programsFavors private charity
HealthcareAccess to care is a rightAnti-Obamacare, prefers free market solutions
Religious FreedomIndividual and institutional rights should be robustly protectedStrongly supports religious exemptions

Table of Masters’ Positions Across Key Issues

IssueMasters’ Position
AbortionCompletely illegal nationally after 15 weeks
ImmigrationFinish border wall, mandatory E-verify
LGBTQ RightsDoes not support Equality Act or same-sex marriage
Racial JusticeOpposed concept of systemic racism
Election IntegrityClaims 2020 election was not secure
Gun RightsStrongly opposed to gun restrictions
Criminal JusticeSome liberal reforms but tough on crime
Health CareRepeal Obamacare, no government run insurance
EducationSchool choice advocate
Foreign PolicyAgainst military interventions abroad
EconomyFree market capitalist, anti-socialist

Conclusion

In summary, Blake Masters converted to Catholicism in college and is now running for Senate as an outspoken conservative Catholic. His policy positions on issues like abortion, LGBTQ rights and immigration largely align with the orthodox teachings of the Catholic Church.

Masters has been open about his faith on the campaign trail in the hopes of appealing to like-minded religious voters. However, his views diverge from other prominent Catholic politicians who take a more progressive stance than the Church on some hot button social issues.

Masters’ unwavering religious convictions could help or harm his chances of victory in November. His faith provides insight into the moral vision that would guide his actions if elected to represent Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Frequently Asked Questions about Blake Masters and Religion

What specific Catholic philosophers and thinkers inspire Masters’ views?

Masters has mentioned philosophers like St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and G.K. Chesterton as major influences. He is inspired by their intellectual defenses of Christianity and natural law.

Does Masters support the separation of church and state?

He believes religion should not be excluded from politics and policy debates. However, Masters says he will uphold the Constitution and does not think church and state should be fully merged.

How does Masters’ faith compare to past Catholic presidential candidates like John F. Kennedy?

Unlike Kennedy, Masters is not downplaying his Catholicism but openly discussing it. Kennedy emphasized separation of church and state more strongly to ease Protestant concerns about a Catholic president.

Has the Catholic Church or any bishops criticized Masters for his views?

So far, Masters has not faced any official rebukes from the Catholic hierarchy. His positions seem to be in line with most Church teachings.

Could Masters’ faith pose challenges if he is elected to the U.S. Senate?

Some argue that his staunch Catholic views could potentially create conflicts if elected to office. But Masters says his religious outlook will help guide good policy rather than be a hindrance.

How did Masters’ faith shape his views on the January 6th Capitol riot?

Masters has declined to condemn the rioters and said the treatment of jailed protesters was a “moral atrocity” – views seemingly informed by his anti-government and pro-life principles.

Does Masters support religious liberty and conscience protections for people of faith?

Yes, he believes Christians should not be forced to comply with policies or laws that violate their religious beliefs, such as participating in abortions or same-sex weddings.

What Bible verses or passages from Catholic texts influence Masters most?

He often cites verses about human dignity from Genesis, social doctrine writings of John Paul II, and passages from Aquinas on natural law and reason.

Does Masters support science-based policies when they conflict with Catholic principles?

Masters opposes human embryonic stem cell research and says policies must uphold the sanctity of life. But he supports science and technology innovation that align with ethical values.

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