My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


The Right Reverend John Kerry Speaks

John Kerry gave a speech at a Baptist Church (was it a sermon? the article is unclear) today. The White House, according to the article, is worked up that he quoted Scripture to attack the President.

I'm worked up on two different fronts. First, imagine the outcry if the President, who is well-known (and in some circles, hated) for his devout beliefs, gave a political speech in a church. It would be story number one in the cycle, with all sorts of punditry pontificating about propriety, appearances, and Constitutional provisions (not to mention alliteration!)! Al Gore seemed to be able to get away with this sort of thing four years ago, as well--but Bush got hammered for speaking at a college that had religious affiliations. Again, again, the double standard.

But, secondly, what right does John Kerry have quoting Scripture or claiming any teaching authority? As the article says:

Kerry is Roman Catholic, but his support for abortion rights is at odds with Vatican teachings.

"I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life," Kerry said in an interview with Time posted on the magazine's Web site Sunday.

In other words, that which he lays claim to as his religious foundation is, in fact, one which he has rejected. And I'm not one that usually adopts the conceit of criticizing another's religious practice--mine own is human enough. But I have some history with Catholicism, having a one-time seminarian for a father. And for those of you out there without the Catholic background: you're not simply allowed to pick and choose which parts of the Faith you, personally, are subject to. As I recall, two years ago Archbishop Chaput wrote eloquently about public persons obligations vis-a-vis their faith, and if I can find the link, I will re-post that letter as soon as I can.

At the same time, I hope somebody has video of this speech. I have a hard time picturing the pedantic, post-modern politician connecting with the congregation at this predominantly black church. Could be quite a spectacle.

I don't know what it is with the alliteration thing. Must be the cold medicine.

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