Imagining Conversations with God About Political Necessity…
Commenter Rhody gets to the heart of liberal/Democrat Catholics’ rationalizations with respect to what their faith is supposed to encompass and what their politics are supposed to require:
When a Catholic is elected to public office, he or she is representing everyone in the district, not just Catholics (the crucial distinction JFK made). If a Catholic has trouble making that distinction, maybe he or she ought not to run for office.
I believe Harry Reid makes the distinction, realizing that he is representing people other than Mormons, as does Congressman Ellison(IIRC) in Minnesota who represents constituents who don’t share his Muslim faith. On the Republican side, Arlen Specter seems cognizant he represents gentiles.
Separation of church and state is a great advance the American government created by our founding fathers made over the British model. Does Carlin believe separation of church and state should go the way of dial-up? …
I get a laugh out of the contrast to 40 years ago. When JFK ran, Republicans were afraid he’d tear down the separation of church and state. It seems it’s conservatives who want to knock that separation down today, and enjoy seeing Bush and Rove use the Vatican as an ideological enforcement agent (the Catholic Church I grew up in was not obsessed with abortion and gays to the exclusion of other social justice issues).
Catholic Democratic candidates should not be intimidated by this argument. Neither should Rudy Guiliani.
I mean no slight to Rhody, with this, but his thoughts with respect to the separation of church and state resonate as evidence of liberals’ inability to make critical distinctions in the face of ideological necessity. As I understand the record, the core objection that Kennedy faced — sifted and iced with an unhealthy dose of anti-Catholicism, to be sure — was that the hierarchical nature of his Church would, in essence, give the Pope a permanent office in the White House. That favorite understanding of hostile Protestants leaves out precisely the realm of religiously informed individual conscience and personal accountability that liberals now wish to characterize as contrary to the principle of separation.
Especially within a Church that considers its ecclesiastical structure to have been instituted by God and to be indispensable to an understanding of His will, politicians who claim that dire matters of conscience such as abortion must be handled in accordance with their constituents’ wills, and not their own, are either:
- Misrepresenting their beliefs to their constituents
- Compromising their beliefs and perpetuating utter evil for their own personal gain.
If you do not believe that which your Church emphatically teaches, then your professed religion is a lie. If you believe that your position requires that you suppress your internal revulsion at evil acts that are popular with your constituents, then I humbly suggest that your soul would have better odds with a whore’s more honest labor.