Sunday, October 17, 2004

Waiting For the Other Protests

OK I flip-flopped, I am going to discuss the debates after all, but let me nuance this by saying that this issue runs outside the debates as well.

Something has been gnawing at me and it's this: John Kerry has been making his Catholicism an issue and nobody is compaining--except Catholics. Much like my concern over his rough-and-tumble (dare I say cowboy-ish) rhetoric about hunting down and killing terrorists, Kerry keeps plugging religion without protest from the Left that so often decries Bush's merest mentions of God or some higher power.

Fact is Bush has de-emphasized his faith while Kerry says his faith guides his policy decisions. Kerry quotes the Epistle of James, one of the most legalistic books of the Bible, saying:
"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."

Yet the next minute when it comes time to discuss his faith vis-a-vis abortion and stem-cell research Kerry blasts Bush by saying, "this president is making the wrong choice to sacrifice science for extreme right-wing ideology." Which is it?

Does Kerry only allow religion to cross over where liberalism allows grants it leave to do so? This squishy moral foundation buttresses my complaint that Kerry will throw the War on Terror should the Left demand it of him. Perhaps the senator who is left of Ted Kennedy presumes that God is only relevant for uncontroversial issues such as helping the needy and keeping the drinking water clean but God should be ignored wherever contention might creep in. It makes me wonder if Kerry would have complained about abolitionists being meddlesome Christians out to impose their religious beliefs on everyone? After all, would it be worth an entire civil war with 300 times more casualties than Iraq? It is certainly hypocritical of the Senator to claim faith in public policy for himself while jeering the President for doing the same.

Kerry's ad hominem attack on the President's convictions about abortion and stem-cell research do nothing to bring a successful conclusion to the debate about when life should be protected by the law. Better he should say, "I don't believe these things are truly human because..." or he could say, "Maybe they are human life but the benefits outweigh..." Not that I expect much different from this crowd but saying anything else is intellectually dishonest and it betrays a lack of conviction and/or fear of realizing moral error; both of which are sad ironies concerning the underlying discussion of religion in politics.

Still my original point stands. Kerry will not be blasted by the Left for injecting God into politics. They know he's simply trying to lure moderates with religious sympathies away from the President and really has no intention of being a "religious" president. Certainly the above quote from James applies to feeding and clothing the poor but what about Kerry's bit about the environment? That comes from the Book of Genesis when God created man and woman and told them to tend the Garden and we all know how the Left feels about THAT particular book. The Left knows it's a crass, manipulative and disingenuous act but they're perfectly happy to vote for him anyway. Speaking of scripture, what's that bit about the blind leading the blind?


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