Kerry's Chilling Rhetoric Continues -- Adding a Substantial Dose of Hypocrisy
In an earlier blog, I discussed Kerry's refusal to allow his belief that human life begins at conception to inform his public policy because to do so would be to impose an "article of faith" on others. I focused not so much on his personal hypocrisy, but on his apparent endorsement of the idea that a person's religion cannot affect their views on public policy. I find that idea chilling. The issue came up again in the third debate and Kerry's answers leaves me with little choice but to comment on his hypocrisy. Apparently Kerry does believe that religious faith should direct public policy--but only if the policy is a liberal one.
SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry, a new question for you.
The New York Times reports that some Catholic archbishops are telling their church members that it would be a sin to vote for a candidate like you because you support a woman's right to choose an abortion and unlimited stem-cell research.
What is your reaction to that?
KERRY: I respect their views. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views. But I disagree with them, as do many.
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.
I believe that choice is a woman's choice. It's between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that.
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.
But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to — I think that's the test of public service.
I have bolded the statements I think relate to whether Kerry believes his faith should guide his politics. It is painfully obvious that Kerry's statements are in direct opposition to each other. When it comes to abortion, he cannot impose his faith on others. But when it comes to the environment, poverty, and other perceived liberal causes, he can impose his faith on others. Skeptical that he could be so overtly hypocritical? I remind you of his own words: "My faith affects everything that I do, in truth" and "I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith." He goes on to list causes he has voted for based on his religious faith: poverty, environmentalism, equality, and justice. He even concludes by saying that as president he would do "God's work"! (Pause for a moment and imagine if President Bush declared he would do "God's work" in a nationally televised presidential debate).
Apparently, Kerry feels compelled to impose his religious beliefs on others when it comes to perceived liberal causes, but he will not impose his religious beliefs on others when it comes to a perceived conservative cause. If Kerry's Catholic faith tells him that we must be good stewards of the environment he is quite willing to impose that belief through legislation. But if Kerry's Catholic faith tells him that the unborn are human beings and are being unjustly killed by abortion, Kerry claims that it would be inappropriate to impose his faith on others.
Does God care more for the environment than for innocent human beings who have not yet been born? Does God care more for the poor than he does for defenseless unborn human beings who are faced with destruction? God does care about how we treat the environment. God does care for the poor and expects us to as well. But God cares all the more for the most innocent and defenseless members of our society because they have no ability to speak for themselves. They must rely completely on those who understand that God values their lives to plead on their behalf. Kerry claims to be such a person. He also claims he will do God's work as President. But as President he will not lift a finger to help them. On the contrary, he will spend federal money to pay for their destruction.
Perhaps Kerry would say that the difference with abortion has to do with what he called "without transferring it in any official way to other people." This will not stand. Environmental regulations, government expenditures to assist the poor, anti-discrimination legislation is all about transferring his religious beliefse in an official way to others. There is no saving distinction here.
Kerry wraps himself in his faith and claims to be doing God's work by legislating on behalf of various perceived liberal causes, but refuses to act on that same faith when it comes to helping those who are the least able to speak for themselves and most in need of his supposed faith-driven public service. The hypocrisy is chilling. But perhaps more chilling is his continuing attempt to deny to conservative Christians, Jews, and Muslims what he claims the right to do himself--vote his conscience.
Update: Once again NRO is on the same issue. In an article by Mark Brumley. After quoting the same section I did above, Brumley remarks:
So it's okay for Senator Kerry's Catholicism to influence his efforts against poverty, or to clean up the environment, or to fight for justice and equality. As he said, "All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith." But for some reason his Catholicism mustn't influence him to support the right to life for unborn children.
That "some reason" appears to be either great moral confusion or political expediency.