Ann Rodgers has written a story on the Catholic faith of John Kerry for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I found the following excerpt especially revealing:
Kerry's first political speech was at St. Paul's on Kennedy's behalf. He knew that many Protestants feared that a Catholic president would allow the pope to control the White House. Kennedy's response became Kerry's model: "I believe in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair," Kennedy said.
On public issues, "I will make my decision in accordance ... with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate."
With these words, President Kennedy determined that the teachings of his faith would have no influence over his public policy, and established a questionable precedent for Catholic politicians in decades to come. Judging by Kerry's voting record, it is all too clear what he deems to be of "national interest":
His first Senate speech in 1985 defended legal abortion. He has voted to deny federal funds to hospitals -- including Catholic ones -- that refuse to perform abortions. He voted against a bill to establish penalties for harming a fetus during the commission of a federal crime. He has consistently opposed a ban on partial-birth abortions. When President Bush signed that ban, Kerry declared, "There is no such thing as a partial birth."
Less than a century ago, in Germany and other nations under the shadow of the Third Reich, Catholics found themselves governed by a state that sanctioned the gradual dehumanization, oppression and inevitable execution of innocent human beings whose very existence was judged to be against the "national interest" of the state. Rather than protest, many Christians to their great shame fell into step with the state, turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the plight of those the Nazis had deemed inhuman.
Christians today live in a time when our courts and our political leaders propose that it is in the "national interest" to ensure that every woman has the "right" to kill her child when she simply deems it personally expedient to do so, for whatever reason. Every Catholic, every Christian, today faces this choice: we can go along complacently, or we can resist the tide and work together to bring about a culture oriented towards life.
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.