News, Information on John Kerry: Religion, Atheism, Church & State
Kerry Popular With Vatican?
Catholicism is usually associated with cultural and political conservatism; while that is certainly true on a broad range of issues, it's also false on another broad range of issues. Liberals tend to focus on the former while conservatives focus on the latter and, hence, the Vatican often defies political expectations.
Right-Wingers for Kerry
When even self-described members of the far-right are fed up with George W. Bush, you know that things are getting difficult in the Republican Party. The problem is that Bush isn't really "conservative" in many important ways - he advocates a radical rather than a conservative agenda and this turns off traditionalist conservatives.
Vatican Denies the Kerry is Excommunicated
Yesterday I wrote about a report that Kerry was "automatically excommunicated" for supporting legal abortion. This was an "unofficial" statement from the Vatican, but I wrote that what counts is whether it reflects official policy or is merely someone's private opinion. Turns out the latter is the case.
Kerry Prayer Team?
Does John Kerry need your prayers? Some seem to think so. They also seem to be doing much the same thing that we see among conservative evangelicals: turning political elections into religious referenda.
Kerry Excommunication Moving Forward?
Will John Kerry be excommunicated from the Catholic Church? Some hope so and are working to make it happen. Marc Balestrier, head of the conservative Catholic group De Fide, has been pushing for it and has apparently received a document from the Vatican that he thinks will help his case.
Swift Boat Veterans Were Lying?
The Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" have alleged that John Kerry's Silver Star medal from Vietnam was not really earned. There wasn't really a lot of gunfire in the incident and the man he chased down to kill was just a kid. People who go to Vietnam to talk to the locals who were there hear a different story.
Is it possible to be anti-abortion, pro-life, and vote for Democrats? Sure. This might not be the most common combination, but it's also not impossible. Most people are ambiguous about abortion and see it as a huge grey area, not absolutes of black and white. Thus, one shouldn't assume that all liberal Democrats are big abortion supporters.
John Kerry & Mary Cheney
Conservatives who are more commonly seen disparaging gays and gay relationships are up in arms over the fact that during the 3rd presidential debate Kerry mentioned that Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter. Why they are so upset reveals far more about them and Republican bigotry than it does about Kerry.
Sinclair: Terrorist Attacks Support Kerry
By now you have probably read about the decision of the Sinclair Broadcasting group to order all its affiliates (62 TV stations) to air an anti-Kerry "documentary" without commercial interruption. This is the same station that refused to air a reading of U.S. deaths in Iraq that was done by Nightline they didn't believe in "political statements" disguised as "news content."
Eisenhower to Vote for Kerry
John Eisenhower, the son of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, has voted Republican for 50 years - but not this year. John Eisenhower no longer regards the current Republican leadership as representative of his values and intends to vote for John Kerry.
Kerry Position on Iraq: Consistent?
Republicans have spent a lot of time labeling presidential candidate John Kerry as a flip-flopper. Despite the fact that President George W. Bush has changed his positions on major issues at least as often as Kerry, Republicans have been very successful. The question is, has their attack been honest or fair?
John Kerry as Tokyo Rose?
Republican rhetoric against John Kerry has been increasing in intensity and viciousness. The most recent meme being spread has been that Kerry is basically a traitor and that voting for Kerry means voting for the terrorists to win. Is this really what passes for acceptable political discourse today?
South Carolina: Kerry Supporter Denied Communion
Conflict over whether people who in any way support legalized abortion should be allowed to receive communion in Catholic churches continues. In South Carolina, a man with a "John Kerry for President" button was denied communion by a eucharistic minister.
Republicans for Kerry
Although most presidential races are described in terms of liberals vs. conservatives with moderates/independents in the middle. This year there is an interesting twist: conservatives who have grown impatient and uncomfortable with the Bush administration's policies. They don't approve of his budgets or his invasion of Iraq.
Woman Loses Job For Kerry Sticker
Lynne Gobbell of Moulton, Alabama, worked at Enviromate, a company that makes housing insulation. She was fired by Phil Gaddis, owner and Bush supporter, because she had a pro-Kerry sticker on her car. Think about it: in Alabama, your boss can fire you because you support the "wrong" candidate for election.
Catholics for Kerry Won't Go To Hell
American Catholics contemplating voting for John Kerry in the presidential election have had to contend with claims that doing so would be a violation of Catholic doctrine. That, however, does not appear to be the case. So long as a Catholic doesn't vote for Kerry specifically because of his abortion stance, it's OK.
Media Continues to Fail America
Lately it seems that the one thing you can trust the American media to do is be untrustworthy when it comes to doing their job of real journalism. Recently NBC anchor Tom Brokaw acted as though the claims of Rear Admiral William L. Schachte Jr. about John Kerry could be treated as fact, even though others have disputed them.
Spinning Kerry's Vietnam Service
There's a new theme being used by those trying to criticized John Kerry: spent "only" four months in Vietnam, therefore there is something inappropriate about him touting his war record. The fact that Bush spent no months in Vietnam is apparently irrelevant. Just how serious is this argument?
Bigotry of Anti-Kerry Author Revealed
By now you might have heard of the book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. But what do you know about Jerome Corsi, one of the authors? He has a very interesting background involving vicious attacks on Muslims, liberals, and more.
Christians Cannot Vote for Kerry?
It's always both a little amusing and a little sad to read conservative Christians assume that their Christianity is the only kind that can legitimately exist. You can see it very prominently in political writings whenever they insist that "real" Christians would never vote for John Kerry because Bush is the only "real" Christian candidate
Right-Wing Pressure Forces Kerry's Religion Advisor to Quit
News moves fast... two days ago I wrote that the new adviser for religious outreach to John Kerry's campaign was a supporter of Newdow's case against the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The outrage from the Radical Christian Right has now forced Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson to resign.
Kerry Religious Advisor Supported Newdow
The new adviser for religious outreach to John Kerry's campaign and the Democratic National Committee was one of the signers of an amicus brief supporting Newdow's case against the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. For the far right, this is a reason to be horrified. For everyone else, this is a very positive sign.
Stem-Cell Research: Democratic Wedge Issue?
The Republican Party has a number of "wedge issues" - a wedge issue is something that splits the opposition party. They use the wedges of abortion, homosexuality, and prayer to split off from the Democrats people who might vote for them but who support Republican positions on those wedges. Might stem-cell research be a wedge issue for the Democrats to split Republicans?
Andrew Sullivan Endorses Kerry
Andrew Sullivan is a popular and influential conservative writer. He's also gay, which is a curious fact because it's long been obvious that the Republican Party has no place for gays and gay rights. That's probably part of the reason why Sullivan has decided that Kerry not only should be president, but does in fact represent conservative values even more than Bush does.
Right-Wing Attacks on the Kerrys
Self-righteous conservatives have been up in arms about Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" statement to a reporter from Pittsburgh's notorious Tribune-Review. I say "self-righteous" because they were eager to excuse worse comments from President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. Why, though, is the rest of the media focusing only on Kerry and not the paper itself?
Beating the Moderate Democratic Donkey
One of the common themes we are hearing this year - and that we hear with every Democratic Convention - is that Democrats are too liberal, constantly needing to position themselves as more "moderate" in order to win. Is this a valid argument? Is this reasonable?
Atheists Endorse Kerry/Edwards
The Godless Americans Political Action Committee has endorsed John Kerry for president - not a surprise, since it's long been obvious that President Bush doesn't have much respect for religious liberty generally and atheists in particular. Unfortunately, some might use this endorsement against Kerry.
Secret Anti-Kerry Orders from Vatican
I have written before about a letter sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Inquisition) to the American bishops indicating that the denial of communion to pro-choice politicians wasn't necessarily the wisest course of action. A new, secret letter has been released that takes a much stronger stand.
Discussion: Kerry and Religion
A forum member writes: "It's no secret that the Bushites are attacking the religion flank of Kerry and the Democrats in general. The faith-based monies to black churches is one assault - albeit a non-SOCAS one. So is the attempted recruitment of RCC higher-ups to bash Kerry. The analysis of people's response to "How often do you go to church" is funny."
Kerry Cited in Heresy Charges
Conservative Catholic outrage at John Kerry seems to increase on an almost daily basis. Why? I would hazard to guess that his public presence as a liberal Catholic makes it more difficult for them to claim to be the only True Catholics in America and to argue that there is something unseemly about liberal Catholicism. Perhaps that's one heresy charges have been filed against Kerry.
Muslim Voters Favor Kerry
Republicans are looking forward to capturing a greater percentage of the Jewish vote in the upcoming election, but what about the Muslim vote? Muslims tend to be very conservative on social issues: they oppose abortion, oppose gay marriage, oppose the repeal of anti-sodomy laws, etc. They should be a great constituency for social conservatives... but they are leaning towards John Kerry. Why?
Kerry Might Review "Don't Ask, Donâ't Tell"
He hasn't taken a public and definitive position on the issue, but John Kerry has suggested that if he is elected president he would reevaluate the government's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? policy in the military which allows gays to stay only if they keep quiet and allows for them to be kicked out if their sexual orientation is discovered.
Jon Bon Jovi Harassed for Supporting Kerry
Jon Bon Jovi's career in music may not be what it once was, but it can still capture the spotlight when he really wants. Apparently he supports the campaign of John Kerry and has translated that support into a USD $1 million donation. Unfortunately, some disapprove of liberal candidates so much that Bon Jovi has received threats over this.
O'Reilly Lies About Soros?
Conservatives have been driven crazy by the face that George Soros has been providing financial support to the Democratic Party. Some hope to discredit John Kerry through attacks on Soros, especially Soros' atheism. Unfortunately, some of those attacks have been very dishonest.
Is Kerry Safe from American Bishops?
John Kerry has been experiencing some problems with American bishops who argue that politicians who support abortion rights, and perhaps even the citizens who vote for them, should be denied communion by the Roman Catholic Church. Polls suggest, however, that the average Catholic isn't very supportive of this.
Will Jenna Bush vote for John Kerry?
Usually a politician can count on family members to support the cause and aid in one's reelection - but can George W. Bush count on the support of his family for his own reelection as president of the United States of America? There is some indication that at least one of his daughters, Jenna, doesn't 'but into the conservative movement.'
Outing Barbara Bradley Hagerty
I've commented more than once on the religion reporting of Barbara Bradley Hagerty - her intense and less-then-honest reports on John Kerry's Catholicism, for example, and her connections to the evangelical World Journalism Institute. Now there is a new blog dedicated to unmasking her partisan reporting - and some interesting things have been revealed already.
Wafer Watch: Double Standard in Religion Reporting
There is a lot of attention paid to John Kerry's religious habits: where he goes to church, when he goes to church, and whether he receives communion or not. Is it interesting that similar attention is paid to the religious habits of George W. Bush? What about Republican Catholics who are pro-choice?
Evaluating Kerry's Catholicism
There is a lot of debate about John Kerry's Catholicism. Whereas John F. Kennedy needed to reassure voters that he wouldn't govern based upon Vatican policy, conservatives today are trying to argue that Kerry isn't a "good Catholic" unless he does exactly that. Is such criticism legitimate?
John Kerry: Communist Apologist?
Communism used to be the boogey-man of the right in America. Any time you wanted to tar someone and smear their reputation, all you had to do was accuse them of being a communist. One would think that that doesn't work any more, but some still try when it comes to John Kerry.
Anti-Abortion Voters Should Support Kerry
People who oppose abortion want to see the numbers of abortion drop and, preferably, reach zero. This means voting for candidates who are anti-abortion, right? Maybe not. Evidence indicates that the number of abortions is lower in places where abortion is legal and higher in places where it is illegal. Thus, anti-abortion Americans should perhaps vote for John Kerry rather than George W. Bush.
Communion Watch for Kerry
One of the issues facing John Kerry this election season is the status of his religion. Many, especially conservatives, are trying to pin him down on just whether he can describe himself as a "real" Catholic or not. Does this strike anyone else as pretty irrelevant on the issue of whether he would be a good president or not? Conservatives seem to be using religion for political gain.
Church Employee Supports Kerry, Is Fired
Ono Ekeh was an employee of the U.S. Bishop's Conference. Ekeh was also founder and moderator of the Catholics for Kerry e-mail discussion list. Unfortunately, his participation in the latter ended his employment. The Conference has the right to fire anyone who is involved in any sort of political or social activity they don't approve of - even supporting the "wrong" candidate for president.
Kerry Exploited Bible, Scripture?
In a recent speech John Kerry made allusions to religious scripture in a criticism of President Bush's administration. According to a spokesman for President Bush's reelection campaign, it was "was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse and a sad exploitation of Scripture for a political attack."
John Kerry, Gay Marriage, and Annulments
Likely Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has refused to support legalizing gay marriage, preferring instead to back non-marriage "civil unions" for gays. Kerry's own marital background is rather interesting, however - after 18 years and three children, he managed to get an annulment from the Catholic Church. How is that possible?
John Kerry on Religion & Atheism
I've reported before on what various Democratic candidates for president have had to say about the separation of church and state, but we don't see them saying much about religion generally and atheism in particular. At least, not until recently with John Kerry.
John Kerry on Church/State Separation
Although once the presumed front-runner in the race to see who would be the Democratic candidate for president, John Kerry's campaign has faltered and his position relative to the other candidates has slipped quite a bit. Nevertheless, it's important to take note of his position on issues like the separation of church and state.
John Kerry: Keep the Separation of Church and State
Senator John Kerry, one of the Democratic candidates for president, has left no doubt about where he stands on the separation of church and state. Although himself a Catholic, he emphatically rejected attempts by the Vatican to pressure Catholic politicians to limit their actions as representatives of the people by what the Catholic Church teaches.
Bishops Campaign Against Kerry
Catholic leaders have begun a more explicit campaign against John Kerry and in favor of George W. Bush by telling American Catholics that if they vote for Kerry, they should go to confession to admit complicity with evil before taking communion. Yes, labeling a vote for a particular candidate as "cooperating in evil" qualifies as partisan campaigning.