|Man Without Qualities|
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry recently and infamously told one of her audiences "We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics." She did not grace us with what she regards those "un-American traits" to be - but a speech she gave in 1994 and rediscovered by the Los Angeles Times suggests that she may regard the "traits" of conservative Christians to be un-American. From her 1994 comments, Pope Teresa also regards such "traits" as "un-Christian":
Americans have a newfound suspicion of those who are not like us. We see it in the political rise of the so-called Christian right.
The term "un-American" is hardly well defined, I have no idea if Mrs. Kerry's comments are "un-American." But her asserting sweepingly of another Christian sect that its appeal is to dark corners of the human soul - fear, loathing, the desire for uniformity, the need for conformity is revolting.
Teresa Heinz Kerry says she is a Catholic. Not so long ago in this country Catholics could not realistically aspire to the Presidency because - that sect was long reviled as un-American by those in the "Know-Nothing" tradition. Times have changed for the better. But Mrs. Kerry's statement itself points backwards into those dark corners of the human soul ? fear, loathing, the desire for uniformity, the need for conformity that America left behind with the Know Nothings.
I will not presume to preach to a bishop. But in my opinion the Catholic bishops of this country may wish to point out in public and in the spirit of Vatican II that the American Catholic church does not regard politically active conservative Christians the way Mrs. Kerry regards them - including politically active conservative Christians in the highly non-Catholic evangelical tradition. The bishops might also point out that the Catholic church disapproves of homosexual activity (including gay marriage), abortion, female priests and many other things favored or tolerated by liberals - but the Church does not regard its teachings as broadcasting its hatred for homosexuals and liberals and minorities and feminists. The bishops might also ask Mrs. Heinz-Kerry whether she agrees. As noted above, Teresa Heinz Kerry says she is a Catholic. So does John Kerry.
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