Skip to comments.Should politicians toe their church line?
Posted on 11/30/2003 3:07:00 PM PST by madprof98
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NO if they disagree.
Should the church point this out? YES
And smack them down however they see fit.
Churches should expose and disavow any such shabby deluded liars.
I have just lately been discovering Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran Minister/Martyr who stood up to the German churches that failed to oppose Hitler. a timely quote..." A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes...and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. "
Although Clark has his own set of issues.
That's antimonianist belief, not Catholic doctrine at all.
There really isn't any chance at all for Kennedy to "truly repent" anyway. His soul is already fully in the grasp of Satan, and that's just the way Ted likes it!
In that world, the only vote that would be satisfactory would be the amoral vote, because casting a vote consistent with a moral view would be an attempt to 'impose their religion's specific teachings on non-believers.'
That strikes me as something of a false dichotomy.
In this world, someone who claims to be Catholic, but doesn't vote Catholic, ought to be exposed as not being Catholic....i.e., kicked out, so the world knows his claims of Catholicity are faked.
Calm yourself, there was no statement of doctrine. It should be clear that Ted Kennedy could still go to heaven.
Gee's, talk about mastering the ability to pass the buck!
"Could" is the oprerative word in your statement.
He could also give up drinking.
I believe they formed a task force so they would develop a consistent method of dealing with these . . . problem children. If each bish does his own thing it can get confusing real quick for the flock.
And "hell could freeze over" too!
Task force? Consistency?
If there is an issue of concern, isn't the Bible at hand to help resolve such issues?
Alas, the Churches way of resolving issues can be confusing at times.
A politician who works the church for votes on Sunday morning and puts his religious affiliation all over his brochures, then votes against the tenets of his religion, is not only a liar, he's a traitor. He's getting a benefit from the church and then betraying it.
That's what you'd say about a man who was hired to work for a company, but sneaks around undermining his supposed employer and working for its largest competitor. Why should it be any different for politicians?
ADDRESS TO SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS
I am grateful for your generous invitation to state my views.
While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 election: the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers only ninety miles off the coast of Florida -- the humiliating treatment of our President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power -- the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor's bills, the families forced to give up their farms -- an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space.
These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues -- for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barrier.
But because I am a Catholic and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured -- perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again -- not what kind of church I believe in for that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in.
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
For, while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew -- or a Quaker -- or a Unitarian -- or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim -- but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.
Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end -- where all men and all churches are treated as equal -- where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice -- where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind -- and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, both the lay and the pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe -- a great office that must be neither humbled by making it the instrument of any religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding it, its occupancy from the members of any religious group. I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.
I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty (nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so). And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test -- even by indirection -- for if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.
I want a chief executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none -- who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may appropriately require him to fulfill -- and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation.
This is the kind of America I believe in -- and this is the kind of America I fought for in the South Pacific and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we might have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened "the freedoms for which our forefathers died."
And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers did die when they fled here to escape religious test oaths, that denied office to members of less favored churches, when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- and when they fought at the shrine I visited today -- the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died Fuentes and McCafferty and Bailey and Bedillio and Carey -- but no one knows whether they were Catholics or not. For there was no religious test there.
I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition, to judge me on the basis of fourteen years in the Congress -- on my declared stands against an ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools (which I attended myself) -- and instead of doing this do not judge me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we have all seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic Church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and rarely relevant to any situation here -- and always omitting of course, that statement of the American bishops in 1948 which strongly endorsed church-state separation.
I do not consider these other quotations binding upon my public acts -- why should you? But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the state being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit or prosecute the free exercise of any other religion. And that goes for any persecution at any time, by anyone, in any country.
And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would also cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as France and Ireland -- and the independence of such statesmen as de Gaulle and Adenauer.
But let me stress again that these are my views -- for, contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President [but the candidate] 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.
Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected -- on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject -- I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.
But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience, or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office, and I hope any other conscientious public servant would do likewise.
But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith, nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election. If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate satisfied that I tried my best and was fairly judged.
But if this election is decided on the basis that 40,000,000 Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.
But if, on the other hand, I should win this election, I shall devote every effort of mind and spirit to fulfilling the oath of the Presidency -- practically identical, I might add with the oath I have taken for fourteen years in the Congress. For, without reservation, I can, and I quote "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution so help me God."
Source: New York Times, September 13, 1960.
The United Methodist Women gave money (raised through "undesignated giving" )to lobby Bill Clinton to veto the ban on partial birth abortion. Many churches, under pressure from vocal radicals within their membership sponsor "social justice" agendas that have nothing to do with following Christ.
It is one of the strange quirks of Christianity that the Church thrives most when its members are willing to stand up to opposition and share in the suffering of Christ through persecution. In fact, if Christians are not facing persecution in this world, then we are probably not doing our job.
Although I am not a big fan of "bumper sticker theology" it is still a good question: "If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
For men like Thomas More and Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the answer in their times, was "yes."
The guy who's the origin of the "leave my faith (if any) at the door" philosophy? Ew . . .
What's that supposed to mean?
It has been found that "finances before conviction" has been a promoted concern with religious "foundations" in the past.
We are getting into unknown territory. But the traditional belief is that Purgatory is the place where venial sins and the remaining effects of confessed mortal sins are purged away. If you die with mortal sins on your head, you are in trouble. And there are few worse sins than being responsible for the murder of thousands of innocents.
Even this could be confessed and repented. I have no idea what the state of Kennedy's soul is, but it's also a traditional belief that if you confess sins with no real contrition and no intention of amending your ways, the confession is valueless. Kennedy obviously intends to keep voting for abortion every chance he gets, so it probably would do little or no good for him to confess his past sins in this area until he resolves to change his ways.
And you consider him a role model for sacrificing his religion for power?
But if they want to call themselves Catholic they had better adhere to core Church doctrines. We're talking about a small handful of issues - not supplemental MOhair funding. Or even the war in Iraq.
Otherwise they probably need to consider another denomination more amenable to their views.
I know that I'd have to think seriously about voting for any politician who states that he will follow the dictates of his religion's prelate in matters of public policy. That means I'd have to study that religion's teachings on all the issues that might be involved in government as well as the specific prelate's views. It'd be easier just to vote for the prelate directly.
If politicians are going to toe the line of their religion, then their religion must become a part of the political campaign.
Oh give it a rest on the "Kennedys guy their annulments' garbage! If you are familiar at all with the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church, you'll understand that with every one of the Kennedy men, there was never a true marriage because NONE of them ever intended to be faithful to their spouses! They philandered continually, but the public never knew about it because the press kept their secrets.
If either party can be shown to have entered into the Sacrament not intending to abide by the promises made, there is no Sacrament, thus no marriage, thus, grounds to begin the nullification process. Their Civil marriage is handled by the divorce, the pronouncement that there was never a religious marriage is handled by the annulment.
As for the Bishops kissing up to politicians, well they are politicians too, as well as shepherds for their flocks. I just wish they'd start being LESS political and more pastoral!
Hey, maybe I oughta start using that nifty spell checker! Guy = BUY!
No one has suggested anything of the kind.
If politicians are going to toe the line of their religion, then their religion must become a part of the political campaign.
You're weird. Many, even most, politicians feature their religious faith in their campaigns. But I think you're suggesting that anyone who actually believes the teachings of their religion should be regarded with extreme skepticism. That's anti-religious bigotry. Nice that you're honest about it. But it's scary.
No one is suggesting that. Premarital sex, for example. Sinful, not illegal. And no one is suggesting otherwise. Why don't you try addressing the issue at hand?
No, I'm not weird. I try to be an informed voter. If Candidate A says "I'm a good Catholic and will follow the precepts of my religion," then even if he does not run on a platform of anti-contraception I'd have to assume that he'd be anti-contraception anyway. It is not anti-religious bigotry to make that connection and vote one way or another depending on what the candidate's beliefs, whether specifically enunciated or implicit in his faith.
If you are in favor of a strong national defense and one candidate is a devout Quaker, isn't that going to affect your voting even if that candidate never directly refers to war in his campaign, based on the fact that Quakers are pacifists?
"I know that I'd have to think seriously about voting for any politician who states that he will follow the dictates of his religion's prelate in matters of public policy"
The implication is that you wouldn't think seriously about voting for someone who follows an unknown or changing philosophy that can't be researched? That would be fine? But someone who is religious, you gotta check them out real close? That's anti-religious. If you care about the Catholic candidate's opposition to handing out contraceptives to kids, for example, you should also care where his opponent stands on the issue. Otherwise you're just scared of, biased against (etc.) religious people.
Obviously a candidate's philosophy is a major thing to vote on. But you're saying you'd need to closely scrutinize religious people in particular.
No, the topic just happens to be religious candidates. If a candidate said "I follow the precepts of Ayn Rand [or Karl Marx or fill in the blank]," then I'd equally want to find out what those precepts are.
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