Monday, October 25, 2004

Convenient Christianity

The man amazes me. That's all there is to it. John F. Kerry amazes me. If nothing else, he sure has been entertaining through this election cycle. This article on the "Faith of Kerry" is reason enough to kick this man in the head and throw him back to the slime hole from which he emerged (I don't necessarily mean Massachusetts, but if you want to consider a state which is home to the two most liberal senators in the country a slime hole, feel free...)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry said a broad vision of social justice, including care for the poor and those without health insurance, is at the root of his religion and would guide his presidency. The Massachusetts senator sought to win over remaining undecided voters with a speech that advisers said would explore "his sense of faith" and how it would affect his decision-making process as president. He cited Matthew 25:40 "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me" and said Jesus' admonition should determine the moral obligation everyone in society has to each other.

"The ethical test of a good society is how it treats its most vulnerable members," he said, arguing that the government has an obligation to protect the environment, fight AIDS, reduce poverty and defeat terrorism. He did not give a moral defense of his pro-choice stance on abortion and his support for embryonic stem-cell research, but he acknowledged the contentious debate within the Catholic Church about his public role in these matters. "I love my church, I respect the bishops, but I respectfully disagree," Mr. Kerry said, to one of the wildest ovations of the speech. "My task, as I see it ... is not to write every doctrine into law. That is not possible or right in a pluralistic society," he said. "But my faith does give me values to live by and apply to the decisions I make." Afterward, audience member Jeff Schuster said the applause reflected the audience's belief that Republicans don't have a lock on Christianity. "The church isn't right on every decision, and a lot of people respectfully disagree," said Mr. Schuster, 43.

President Bush has been clear on the role of his Protestant Christian faith in guiding him, saying in the third presidential debate that "prayer and religion sustain me." Mr. Kerry has been more reluctant to talk about his religious practice, yesterday talking about prayer as something he learned as a child and practiced as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. If elected, Mr. Kerry would be only the second Catholic president in the history of this nation of 60 million to 65 million Catholics. The only Catholic president of the United States to date was John F. Kennedy.

Despite the candidate's solemn approach to his speech yesterday, the audience of about 2,000 people treated it as more of a rally, at one point interrupting Mr. Kerry's call for prayers for whoever wins the election with chants of "No more Bush." It was partly a reiteration of his Democratic National Convention speech about how he learned his values while fighting in Vietnam, and partly the themes from his standard campaign speech, with Biblical verses added.

At less than 30 minutes, the speech was far shorter than most of his major speeches or even his standard remarks at rallies, and several Republicans said it didn't live up to its billing.

"Senator Kerry managed to give 'a major speech on faith and values' today without mentioning either one in any detail," said Republicans Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Jim Ryun of Kansas. "John Kerry himself has quoted Scripture and pointed out that 'faith without works is dead.' The same can be said about empty political speeches about faith and values that ignore a 20-year record of voting against both in the United States Senate," said the three congressmen, who are Jewish (Mr. Cantor), Catholic (Mr. Diaz-Balart) and Protestant (Mr. Ryun). And Massachusetts state Rep. Brian Golden, a Democrat and a Catholic, said in a statement that Mr. Kerry's record of opposing a ban on partial-birth abortion matters most.

During yesterday's speech, Mr. Kerry was interrupted by a man who shouted, "End the war, end the war, John." "It's a very legitimate concern, and it's a part of faith," Mr. Kerry responded. "What that cry about the war means to me , what all the complaints we hear from people mean to me, is that you have to hold and have a vision of society that is concerned about the common good, where individual rights and freedoms are connected to our responsibility to others."

Campaign adviser Mike McCurry said Mr. Kerry's decision to talk about his religion so late in the campaign was aimed at voters just tuning in now. "The question that many of those who are still undecided are asking is, 'Can I put my faith in John Kerry the person?' and I think helping make that decision by giving them a sense of who he is personally is very important at this stage of the campaign," Mr. McCurry said.

Before the speech, Mr. Kerry attended Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where Pastor John F. White said God's work will be done through voters' selecting Mr. Kerry, as it was through Moses' leading the Israelites out of Egypt. "There's one who can divide the Red Sea for us and we can cross over to dry ground," Mr. White said. Mr. Kerry pointed to a list of 10 "Christian principles in an election year" created by the National Council of Churches USA (NCC), printed on the back of Mount Hermon's worship program, which the council said Christian voters are to keep in mind.

The first principle was that "war is contrary to the will of God," and it went on to call on politicians to "reject policies that abandon large segments of our inner city and rural populations to hopelessness." The NCC list did not mention abortion or marriage, and a statement on the group's Web site said that was deliberate because there wasn't agreement on those issues.

Mr. Kerry attended Mass on Saturday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Anthony, N.M., taking Holy Communion, though he may have violated the fasting period that Catholic teaching requires before receiving it. Reporters traveling with Mr. Kerry said he appeared to be munching chips and salsa and drinking iced tea throughout his stop at the Red Rooster Cafe, which he left five minutes before the beginning of the 6 p.m. Mass. He took Communion 50 minutes later, at about 6:45 p.m.

Catholic canon law says that those who are to receive Communion must "abstain from any food or drink, with the exception only of water and medicine, for at least the period of one hour before Holy Communion." This rule actually relaxed the requirements from when Mr. Kerry was an altar boy. Overnight fasting was required then.

Why is is that liberal Christians think they can pick and choose the rules that they think ought to be followed while throwing away the rest? Do they honestly believe that they can get away with 'turning a blind eye' and just forgetting the evils of abortion? Gay marriage? How do they arrive at the conclussions they arrive at?

"War is contrary to the will of God!" According to what part of the Bible? Ecclesiastes 3:8 says "a time for war a time for peace." In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass." Again in Mark, "And when ye hear of wars be not troubled, for these things need to be." War is a biblical necessity. I am not saying that frivolous war is a need, but then again, we aren't talking about frivolous war, are we?

How does one focus on religion and not address abortion? In the book of Jeremiah, God says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart" (1:5). Psalms 139:13 says that we are knit together with God while we are still in the womb. John Kerry says he believes abortion is wrong, yet he should not 'force his views on you.' Yet he then says "Faith without deeds is dead faith." You can't have it both ways, John. If you are a believer, your deeds must reflect this faith in the Lord. Allowing the further murder of unborn children goes against all the bible says. Genesis 9:1 says "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Verse 7 continues, "multiply on the earth and increase in numbers upon it." Abortion disallows the multiplication of human life on this earth. It is wrong. It is immoral. It is against God's will. It is unchristian. Allowing it to continue is unchristian. Take a stand, John. If you can force your socialistic views on health care down my throat, you can surely stand up and speak out to stop the murder of innocent unborn children.

John Kerry "supports traditional marriage" yet he will not allow the government to define traditional marriage as such and protect it as an institution. This, again, is unchristian. "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders...will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The Bible refers to homosexuality as unnatural, "Women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion...Although they know God's righteous decree...They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:26-32). Homosexuality is wrong. God says that approving of homosexuality is wrong. Faith without deeds is dead faith, John...Wake up and take a stand.

This sort of perversion of Christianity cannot be tolerated. I am not trying to be a preacher, but this needs to be said. If John Kerry is a Christian, then it is his duty above and beyond all other things to stand up and make your voice heard! If we can't trust him to stand up against things which go against his religion, something I consider to be instrumental in how I view/handle all things, how can we trust him to take a strong stand against terrorism? We need a President with firm resolve who will not be afraid of speaking out for what is right. Ending abortion is right. Protecting the institution of marriage is right. Being firm in resolve against terrorism is right. George W. Bush is right.


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