. . . Thursday October 14, 2004

Of Church and Statements

This is an election of stark differences. There is a profound gulf between the two candidates when it comes to role of religion in society.

From Kerry:

“I believe that I can’t legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn’t share that article of faith.

… And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, “I’m not running to be a Catholic president. I’m running to be a president who happens to be Catholic.”

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.”

From Bush:

“… I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself, as manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we’ve unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt.

I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That’s what I believe.

And that’s been part of my foreign policy. In Afghanistan, I believe that the freedom there is a gift from the Almighty. And I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to see freedom on the march.

And so my principles that I make decisions on are a part of me, and religion is a part of me.”

Listen closely to what the president is saying here, during his most heartfelt answer. He lists love thy neighbor right next to funding faith-based initiatives. The line between personal religion and public policy has evaporated. Don’t take it from me. Just listen to W’s own words on religion: “And that’s been part of my foreign policy.”

Think there’s much of a difference between those perspectives?

I’m really beginning to lose patience with the undecideds. What’s it take to make up your mind; divine intervention?

Concentration is important!