The Catholic Factor

Today’s Boston Globe has an interesting piece on how Catholic politicians
(mainly the Kennedys) have handled thorny issues (mostly abortion) and
how that might apply to the Kerry candidacy.

The Dowbrigade takes an anthropological point of view on this one. In
our survey of the cultures currently present and functioning on the planet,
we have found a range of moral norms ranging from the view that a human
absolutely and inviolably at the moment of conception to groups that
believe that it is permissible and in fact morally imperative for parents
lives of
their children up to the age of puberty, if the situation warrants.

It seems rather radical to adopt as public policy one of the extreme
points in the spectrum of  cultural solutions to the age-old problem
of what to do with unwanted children. We rather tend to agree with the
Supreme Court that the first trimester is a reasonable weighted median.  Weighted
rather far to the conservative, even fundamentalist side of the scale,
to be sure, but after all, for all of its exuberant hedonism, the United
States is still a deeply conservative bastion, at least on a global scale.

Several months later, Kennedy gave his famous speech at Rice University
to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. "I believe in an
America where the separation of church and state is absolute," Kennedy
declared. "I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am
the Democratic Party’s candidate for president who happens also to
be a Catholic.
I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does
not speak for me."

But Kerry’s struggle is quite different from Kennedy’s. To begin with,
Catholic voters as a group are no longer reliably Democratic. In 1963,
Kennedy received an estimated 80 percent of the Catholic vote, but today’s
polls show Catholic voters evenly divided between Kerry and George W.
Bush. What’s more, whereas Kennedy was attacked by Protestants who worried
that his religion would inappropriately affect his politics, John Kerry
is being attacked by Catholics who feel that his politics have inappropriately
affected his religion.

from the Boston Globe

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One Response to The Catholic Factor

  1. Mom says:

    “up to the age of puberty”? Why, middle age seems far more sensible.
    I suppose it depends on the poll you read, but tonight’s news 5/30/04)says that between 75% ande 80 % of American say they plan to vote for Kerry.

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