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Old 03-28-2004, 09:35 PM   #1
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Normal Religion & Politics Collide - Again

A Test of Kerry's Faith

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The last time a major political party put forward a Roman Catholic candidate for President, he had to confront bigotry and suspicion that he would be taking orders from Rome. Forty-four years later, the Democrats are poised to nominate another Catholic—another Senator from Massachusetts whose initials happen to be J.F.K.—and this time, the controversy over his religion may develop within the Catholic Church itself. Kerry's positions on some hot-button issues aren't sitting well with members of the church elite. Just listen to a Vatican official, who is an American: "People in Rome are becoming more and more aware that there's a problem with John Kerry, and a potential scandal with his apparent profession of his Catholic faith and some of his stances, particularly abortion."

But it's far from clear whether the greater political problem is Kerry's or the church's. "I don't think it complicates things at all," Kerry told TIME in an interview aboard his campaign plane on Saturday, the first in which he has discussed his faith extensively. "We have a separation of church and state in this country. As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic President." Still, when Kennedy ran for President in 1960, a candidate could go through an entire campaign without ever having to declare his position on abortion—much less stem cells, cloning or gay marriage. It was before Roe v. Wade, bioethics, school vouchers, gay rights and a host of other social issues became the ideological fault lines that divide the two political parties and also divide some Catholics from their church.

Kerry is a former altar boy who complains when his campaign staff does not leave time in his Sunday schedule for Mass, who takes Communion and describes himself as a "believing and practicing Catholic, married to another believing and practicing Catholic." But just last week he made a rare appearance on the Senate floor to vote against a bill that would make harming a fetus a separate offense during the commission of a crime. The vote put Kerry on the same side as abortion-rights advocates in opposing specific legal rights for the unborn—and against nearly two-thirds of his fellow Senators.
The entire article is in the latest issue of Time.
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:03 PM   #2
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Frankly, the Vatican pisses me off. They have become very conservative, especially over the last decade, and they have become incredibly arrogant, more than usual. They may believe that they are better than men and the only ones who represent "God's will," but, at least since Vatican II, Catholicism made a huge precedent to separate religion from politics. And now? They want to start influencing elections, being absolutely no different than the Christian Coalition.

The clash between Kerry and the Vatican is really the clash between American Catholicism and the Vatican, which perceives the former as being "too liberal," which, really, is a gift from America's Protestant heritage.

The Catholic Church, certainly, has every reason to tell their followers what they should believe; but, as a whole, when they start threatening Catholics who do not follow their line unquestioningly, such as threatening to deny Catholic politicians communion, if they don't listen to what they tell them to believe, then I'm sad to say that the Vatican has learned nothing from the last 200 years. There is a reason that there has only been one Catholic president (Kennedy), and that's because there was fear that the Pope would, indirectly, rule the nation. Because of JFK, that anti-Catholic fear has been allayed ever since, and I am thankful that Kerry understands the wisdom of JFK's actions, in this regard. But, as we can see, the Pope really would like to indirectly run this nation. The Vatican's actions, after all, speak louder than their words.

It would be a HUGE mistake, if the Church started to abuse its position and start mixing religion and politics together again.

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Old 03-28-2004, 10:04 PM   #3
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"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." -- John Kerry



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Old 03-28-2004, 10:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
"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." -- John Kerry



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I'll second the
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
"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." -- John Kerry



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I'll "third" the . I'm getting fed up with some other Catholics who are telling me I'm not a good Catholic because I'm going to vote for Kerry because of his position on abortion. What do these people want, an American Inquisition? I am an American voter who happens to be Catholic. These people who are on our case about this are doing a mighty fine job of keeping Catholics out of the White House and other public offices.
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:32 PM   #6
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The Vatican doesn't like what they call "cafeteria Catholics" in the USA (and Canada). IMO, they should be a little more concerned with cleaning up their own house (hello, scandal) and a little less about public officials in a secular state.
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Old 03-28-2004, 11:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
The Vatican doesn't like what they call "cafeteria Catholics" in the USA (and Canada). IMO, they should be a little more concerned with cleaning up their own house (hello, scandal) and a little less about public officials in a secular state.
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:07 PM   #8
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I like the quote about being a president who happens to Catholic and not a Catholic president...it seems the church is always looking for the opposite, they haven't quite grasped that separation issue.
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Old 03-29-2004, 01:18 PM   #9
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I read today that the Pope has issued a decree that Sundays should only be spent on reflection and worship. This is to include NO SPORTS, shopping, movie watching ect.

I can see this pushing a even bigger wedge between the Vatican and the US catholics.
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Old 03-29-2004, 01:28 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Scarletwine
I read today that the Pope has issued a decree that Sundays should only be spent on reflection and worship. This is to include NO SPORTS, shopping, movie watching ect.

I can see this pushing a even bigger wedge between the Vatican and the US catholics.
Yeah I see that happening.

Not only will it push a bigger wedge between the Vatican and US Catholics, but also between the Vatican and everyone else. Not everyone is Catholic, I know that's a big surprise to them. But what are good Catholics who are on professional sports teams do, or work in restaurants etc. It's crazy, they might as well ask for the whole free world to change the way it's commerce and structure work.
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
I read today that the Pope has issued a decree that Sundays should only be spent on reflection and worship. This is to include NO SPORTS, shopping, movie watching ect.

I can see this pushing a even bigger wedge between the Vatican and the US catholics.
Yes. If this includes artwork on Sundays, tough luck. There's no way anyone can tell me that picking up a paintbrush or a pencil on Sunday is a sin, as long as I have been to mass and taken the Eucharist.
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Yes. If this includes artwork on Sundays, tough luck. There's no way anyone can tell me that picking up a paintbrush or a pencil on Sunday is a sin, as long as I have been to mass and taken the Eucharist.
I guess Jesus violated the Sabbath day, if you read the gospels.

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Old 03-29-2004, 06:21 PM   #13
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I guess Jesus violated the Sabbath day, if you read the gospels.

Melon
Yep, in fact an example of it was in the Gospel reading at mass yesterday.
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:07 PM   #14
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Originally posted by verte76


Yep, in fact an example of it was in the Gospel reading at mass yesterday.
OOPS! I goofed! I was getting that mixed up with another Scripture reading!! I'm currently brain-dead due to the stress of what I was afraid was an elbow injury and the diagnostic visit to the orthopedic surgeon. The "injury" turned out to be bursitis, which is a relief. That's only treated with needles if it's septic, or infected, bursitis.
We can now return to our regularly scheduled controversy. And let me get in some practice:
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:06 PM   #15
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I don't see the world giving up it's Sunday amusements no matter what the Vatican says.
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