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Kerry as self-proclaimed pro-choice Catholic

by MKC / October 29, 2004 3:36 PM PDT

Let's take a hypothetical example of an instance in which a presidential candidate could be called a hypocrite because of membership in a private organization independent of religion. Candidate X is a vocal advocate of Greenpeace, yet he also firmly states that he believes, on private property, private citizens should be free from the penalty of any laws established to protect the environment.

Wouldn't the leaders within Greenpeace be skeptical of X's commitment to their mission? Wouldn't they want the general public to know that they want environmental protection of public and private land? If candidate X had such a fundamental disagreement with Greenpeace's mission, why would he still claim his loyalty to them? Wouldn't leaders within Greenpeace have the right to proclaim that they agree somewhat with X, but that X's views on environmental protection are incommensurable with theirs, and therefore X is not loyal to their cause?

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While I agree with the underlying premise ...
by Bill Osler / October 29, 2004 9:32 PM PDT

I think the analogy is not quite "spot on". The environmental activism of Greenpeace is their core reason for existence. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church their core reason for existence is not directly related to the abortion issue.

Kerry has chosen to dissent from a doctrine that Roman Catholics officially regard as important, and they can legitimately condemn him for doing so while claiming allegiance to the church. Still, they should do so only if they are willing to take that same strong stand in the case of the many other Roman Catholics who also dissent on that teaching. I am not at all sure the Roman Catholic church is prepared to do so.

Large, long-enduring organizations like the Roman Catholic church inevitably have some diversity on various subjects both presently and through time. It is hardly possible to expect absolute unanimity.

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Bill
by dirtyrich / October 29, 2004 10:12 PM PDT

I'd say that by endorsing/legitimizing abortion, Kerry goes beyond the scope of the typical Catholic who may have doubts about some beliefs held by the Church. Instead of possibly commiting the sin, he's acting as the serpent and leading others down the same path.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe that if another self-proclaimed Catholic of Kerry's prominence and influence were to pose the same position, or another that goes against Church doctrine, that they would also be treated the same way by the Church.

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Perhaps you are right ...
by Bill Osler / October 29, 2004 10:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Bill

However, my understanding is that the church has not reliably challenged either politicians or its own priests and bishops when they have dissented from official teachings on birth control, abortion or similar topics.

IMO the church would have greater moral authority if it demonstrated greater consistency on these issues. That does not mean the dissent would disappear, just that the church's stand would have more credibility.

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Re: Kerry does NOT 'endorse or legitimize'
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / October 30, 2004 3:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Bill

KP, you (and the Church) don't get it. The First Amendment (and common sense in a pluralistic society) makes it clear that you should not impose your own moral views on those who don't agree with them, especially when the divide is as close as it is on abortion. Every time our nation makes that mistake, it has very bad consequences (Prohibition being the most universally accepted example). "Pro-choice" means exactly that, not "pro-abortion." it's that George Bush mindset at work again -- "either you're for us or you're against us." No -- maybe you think every person should decide for herself!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Kerry does NOT 'endorse or legitimize'
by dirtyrich / October 30, 2004 10:04 AM PDT

The concept of the Catholic religion is such that it takes precedence over government. A Catholic cannot separate himself in his duties to the government and to his God.
Catholicism dictates that abortion is a crime, murder, not merely a personal sin that affects only the sinner but an innocent as well. In this sense abortion is no different from murder/ manslaughter, and as such laws should be made to protect the lives of the unborn.
By passing a law that allows abortion, Kerry is acknowledging the right of the people to commit this crime; he is directly allowing and facilitating them in this crime. There is no difference between this and the government pulling murder off the books as a crime.

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Allow me a small exception here please
by Steven Haninger / October 30, 2004 10:43 AM PDT

The Catholic church does not say it's values supercede the rules of government as you imply. It does not say that abortion is a crime but that it is immoral. There is a difference. There has been a publication released by the Converence of Catholic Bishops and distributed by the churches recently. It is titled "The Challenge of Faithful Citizenship" /sub A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility. For any who wish to see what the official document contains, I will post a rather link and publication #. It's in PDF format. Any here are free read it, criticize it, tear it apart, or whatever your pleasure. The top entry should be correct. If not, search for publicaton No. 5-659.

http://www.usccb.org:8765/query.html?col=bible&col=catechis&col=movies&col=opps&col=usccb&ht=0&qp=&qt=publication+No.+5-659&qs=&qc=&pw=100%25&ws=0&la=en&qm=0&st=1&nh=10&lk=1&rf=0&rq=0&si=0

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A clarification
by dirtyrich / October 30, 2004 11:51 AM PDT

I was not addressing formal written Church doctrine, but the concept that one must be Catholic in all areas of one's life... this includes any civic duties.

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Re: A clarification
by Stikeout / November 1, 2004 4:24 AM PST
In reply to: A clarification

And just what does being a catholic in all areas mean? There are so many different views among catholics and the american catholic church including many of its priests are often perceived by 'Rome' to be a real headache, due to the often 'liberal' practices and beliefs of many American priests and American Catholics.

So just as many american catholics use birth control,when the 'church' was against it, Kerry advocated 'pro-choice' when the church is 'anti-abortion.

Some people take the black and white 'you are either with us or against us' road, while some choose to think for themselves.

The issue of abortion really should not be part of a political agenda, any way. It is a moral agenda. Besides, this was tried once, back in the 70's, when abortion was against the law in many states. Those with money went to other states, while those with less went to 'butcher boys'. The laws did not stop it from happening, just more young women died at the hands of the 'butcher boys'

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And you trivialize that?
by TONI H / November 1, 2004 4:46 AM PST
In reply to: Re: A clarification

>>>>The laws did not stop it from happening, just more young women died at the hands of the 'butcher boys'>>>>>

TONI

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What does it mean?
by dirtyrich / November 1, 2004 8:29 AM PST
In reply to: Re: A clarification

Simple, take the concepts taught by the Catholic Church and apply them to your entire life. Many say that Kerry can separate his public persona from his private, allowing him on one hand to say he's personally against abortion yet on another to turn a blind eye, even encourage it.
Other examples would be giving to charity, doing good works, helping that old woman down the street shovel her driveway, not lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Not that hard of a concept if you're willing to accept it.

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Legal abortions
by Steven Haninger / November 1, 2004 10:30 AM PST
In reply to: Re: A clarification

were performed prior to Roe v Wade and by competent physicians but, perhaps, not everywhere. A life threatening condition to the mother was adequate justification. A patient considered to have become suicidal because of an unwanted pregnancy was a potential life threatening situation. Whether the suicidal tendancy was real or not, it was possible to "buy" a diagnosis from an unscrupulous psychiatrist and have the procedure performed by a qualified OBGYN. I doubt this was an inexpensive arrangement, however.

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This from such an advocate of...
by Edward ODaniel / November 1, 2004 1:38 AM PST

"hate crime" laws and from one who has stated that a Doctor should be forced to subvert his/her own moral values for your personal edification.

The Catholic Church is not bound by the First Amendment as it is not a government making laws--it is a Church stating the tenets it expects and demands its membership to adhere to.

It is YOU who don't "get it" Dave. The Catholic Church does not demand that you be a Catholic, it damands that you uphold the church's teachings and beliefs--if you do not like them you are free to look elsewhere.

You might try here http://www.ulc.org/ or here http://www.beerchurch.com/ordination.htm

Start one that you can be happy with and you really should call it the Round Church of the Hypocrite or Moral Bankrupt when you do. You can freely excommunicate anyone who doesn't see a foetus as a parasite or any other of your probable "teachings".

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Re: This from such an advocate of...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 1, 2004 4:05 AM PST

Hi, Ed.

While the Catholic Church may not be bound by the First Amednment, Catholics who swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution are so bound -- and that's most office-holders. The Church is so busy picking at motes' in some individual Catholics' eyes that it ignores the log sticking out of its own, whether it be the recent sexual abuse scandals or the violations of human rights that it either tolerated or perpetrated over the Centuries. The Church never recognizes that the right of free will, which it preaches, makes immoral its own attempts to limit non-Catholics' exercise of that free will.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: This from such an advocate of...
by dirtyrich / November 1, 2004 8:49 AM PST

So it is unfair that individuals should be subject to laws they don't agree with? That its immoral to establish laws that others might not appreciate? Gees, I guess I can stop playing taxes and all.
Our representatives are elected by the majority, so there is no conflict if that representative enacts laws that reflect his/her Catholic belief, assuming that representative did not mislead the people about his/her beliefs.
This is not unconstitutional, nor does it unreasonably limit anyone's freedom, as the official was elected fairly by the majority.
And your little attempts to draw attention away from the subject are laughable.

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Re: Bill
by Dan McC / November 1, 2004 12:45 AM PST
In reply to: Bill

A person should not be treated differently by the church just because of their prominence. They should be judged by their behavior and beliefs, not by their position.

Dan

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Re: While I agree with the underlying premise ...
by Evie / October 29, 2004 10:19 PM PDT
Still, they should do so only if they are willing to take that same strong stand in the case of the many other Roman Catholics who also dissent on that teaching

Small difference is that the many other Roman Catholics are not in positions to legislate and/or take campaign funds from the likes of NARAL. I doubt the church would ignore if Kate Michelman claimed to be a Catholic.

Evie Happy
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Kerry to create progressive Catholic church
by Dragon / November 1, 2004 3:38 AM PST

"It's about time that forward thinking Catholics in this country had a church that is aligned with their progressive political views," Kerry said in a recent press conference. "And that is exactly what I will create when I'm elected president of the United States in November."

http://www.holyobserver.com/detail.php?isu=v02i01&art=kerry

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Kerry as Henry the VIII or Martin Luther?
by Ziks511 / November 1, 2004 4:22 AM PST

Improbable. He'll have enough trouble with Health Care. Happy

Rob Boyter

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I suspect a number of politicians arent religious
by Dragon / November 1, 2004 9:51 AM PST

They just go to church because thats the only way to get elected.

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