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  1. #1

    luna's Avatar

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    Bush/Kerry on Religion

    For those of you (like me) who hate having religion pushed upon us, I feel I need to point out Bush and Kerry's replies to questions on gay marriage and abortion rights.

    As Bob Schieffer asked the questions, I braced myself for a big old Christian revival reply from Bush, premptively cringing. To my complete surprise, Bush never so much as uttered "god" or the bible, nor did he bring up religion in any way shape or form. Bush's answers seemed (dare I say) logical, thoughtful, and without insult to those who disagree. To my surprise, it was Kerry who replied in the context of religion, going so far as to quote the bible, and dragged Cheney's lesbian daughter into the crossfire. Maybe he was trying to recruit a few right-wingers to his camp. Here, let me post that part of the transcript, bolding by me, for emphasis:

    On Gay Marriage:

    SCHIEFFER: Mr. President...(snip) Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?

    BUSH: You know, Bob, I don't know. I just don't know. I do know that we have a choice to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and dignity. It's important that we do that.

    And I also know in a free society people, consenting adults can live the way they want to live.

    And that's to be honored.


    But as we respect someone's rights, and as we profess tolerance, we shouldn't change or have to change our basic views on the sanctity of marriage. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think it's very important that we protect marriage as an institution, between a man and a woman.

    I proposed a constitutional amendment. The reason I did so was because I was worried that activist judges are actually defining the definition of marriage, and the surest way to protect marriage between a man and woman is to amend the Constitution.

    It has also the benefit of allowing citizens to participate in the process. After all, when you amend the Constitution, state legislatures must participate in the ratification of the Constitution.

    I'm deeply concerned that judges are making those decisions and not the citizenry of the United States. You know, Congress passed a law called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.


    My opponent was against it. It basically protected states from the action of one state to another. It also defined marriage as between a man and woman.

    But I'm concerned that that will get overturned. And if it gets overturned, then we'll end up with marriage being defined by courts, and I don't think that's in our nation's interests.

    SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry?

    KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as.

    I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice. I've met people who struggled with this for years, people who were in a marriage because they were living a sort of convention, and they struggled with it.

    And I've met wives who are supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally sort of broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them.

    I think we have to respect that.

    The president and I share the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

    But I also believe that because we are the United States of America, we're a country with a great, unbelievable Constitution, with rights that we afford people, that you can't discriminate in the workplace. You can't discriminate in the rights that you afford people.

    You can't disallow someone the right to visit their partner in a hospital. You have to allow people to transfer property, which is why I'm for partnership rights and so forth.

    Now, with respect to DOMA and the marriage laws, the states have always been able to manage those laws. And they're proving today, every state, that they can manage them adequately.

    ***

    On Abortion:

    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.

    Now, I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade.

    The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he's tried to appoint to the court he wants to.

    I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.

    Now, with respect to religion, you know, as I said, I grew up a Catholic. I was an altar boy. I know that throughout my life this has made a difference to me.

    And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, "I'm not running to be a Catholic president. I'm running to be a president who happens to be Catholic."

    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.

    SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?

    BUSH: I think it's important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters.

    I believe the ideal world is one in which every child is protected in law and welcomed to life. I understand there's great differences on this issue of abortion, but I believe reasonable people can come together and put good law in place that will help reduce the number of abortions.

    Take, for example, the ban on partial birth abortion. It's a brutal practice. People from both political parties came together in the halls of Congress and voted overwhelmingly to ban that practice. It made a lot of sense. My opponent, in that he's out of the mainstream, voted against that law.

    What I'm saying is is that as we promote life and promote a culture of life, surely there are ways we can work together to reduce the number of abortions: continue to promote adoption laws it's a great alternative to abortion continue to fund and promote maternity group homes; I will continue to promote abstinence programs.

    The last debate, my opponent said his wife was involved with those programs. That's great. I appreciate that very much. All of us ought to be involved with programs that provide a viable alternative to abortion.


    ***
    References to God:

    Kerry:9
    Bush:0

    Discuss.

    Note: I honestly thought Bush was some bible-thumping religious nut. It has always been one of my main issues with the guy. According to this last debate though, it looks the other way around.

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  3. #2

    CingularDuality's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    I think that Senator Kerry has come off to the American people as the politician that he is, while the President showed everyone his sincerity and why he is the most powerful leader in the world.

    It looks to me like Senator Kerry is simply trying to say whatever he can to attract more voters. He said so many things during the debate that I simply could not believe. At least the President was honest about the things that he knows are unpopular with the people.

    If I were liberal, I'd be voting for Nader or Cobb before I'd even think about voting for Senator Kerry...

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  5. #3

    CingularDuality's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    Just read this:

    A Man for Some Seasons
    John Kerry turns his back to God on the big issue.

    By Jonah Goldberg

    I can only imagine how much those who despise public displays of religion were groaning during the third and thank goodness final debate.

    Both candidates talked at length several times about the role of religion in their lives. Unsurprisingly, George W. Bush seemed comfortable with the subject. "Prayer and religion sustain me," he said without sounding an insincere note. "I receive calmness in the storms of the presidency."

    I think most people thought Bush was sincere. But it's hard to see how anyone thought Kerry was.

    "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," Kerry explained repeatedly, usually prompted by the abortion issue. "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."

    Of course, this is the standard answer from liberal Democrats who profess to be good Catholics but who are also pro-choice. From what I understand, it's a fairly weak argument, but that's between Kerry and his church.

    What I do object to is this: While Kerry says he's opposed to "legislating" his faith on abortion, he insists that he's in favor of legislating his faith elsewhere. He said more than once Wednesday night, and plenty of times on the stump, that faith must be backed up by deeds. His religious faith, he says, is "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."

    So, let me get this straight. Fighting for the environment, equality, and education in the name of God is righteously doing the Lord's work, but abortion must be kept legal because otherwise we'd be legislating religion?

    I suppose liberals would say, "Yes, because banning abortion would be coercive."

    Public schools get built by taking away money from the people who earned it. The environment gets cleaned up by imposing regulations, seizing land, and taxing people. Equality, in John Kerry's formulation, means denying some whites, men, Asians, Jews, and others opportunities they're more qualified for in order to help some state-favored minorities. And "justice," however defined, usually involves guys with guns, courts, judges, prosecutors, and the like all of whom are empowered by the state to use violence, even to kill you if necessary.

    Personally, I'm ambivalent about the role of religion in politics. I think zealots who want to purge all religion from the public square are ignorant about, among other things, American history and culture. For example, without religion the anti-slavery and civil-rights movements would have been impossible. To me, in politics morality is more important than theology, but it's foolish to dispute that much of our best morality derives from theology.

    But what does offend me is the selective invocation of God. George Bush is basically consistent. He says God guides him in everything he does. John Kerry says that, too, but it's hard to see how he's not lying. His faith is clear on abortion. It's pretty darn murky on, say, affirmative action.

    It seems to me that you shouldn't pick and choose at all. You shouldn't infringe on, say, the property rights of citizens out of religious convictions about a clean environment and then conveniently fall back on the argument that it would be outrageous to invoke religion when it comes to abortion. Either your faith informs your views or it doesn't.

    I say you shouldn't pick and choose, but I understand that sometimes you have to but in completely the opposite way John Kerry picks and chooses. Kerry invokes God's guidance on the little stuff, the easy stuff, the boilerplate. He turns his back to God on the big issue, abortion (and, with a wink, gay marriage).

    It seems to me this is exactly backwards. God doesn't have a position on the minimum wage or Superfund, so politicians shouldn't feel the need to consult Him about that stuff. It's only on the grave fundamental questions in politics that God should speak to one's conscience. Thomas More didn't put his life on the line about how Henry VIII handled crop rotation.

    And that's what I find a little galling about all of Kerry's God talk. Beyond the naked pandering of it, it's morally and religiously empty. He may talk about deeds backing up faith, but where his faith is unambiguous he wants no part of it. When it comes to the tough issues, what he really seems to want is grace on the cheap. It's as More said: "If honor were profitable, everybody would be honorable."

    (c) 2004 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
    Original Article

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  7. #4

    Turbinator's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    did not expect that from Bush, wow. My view is changing positevly to wards him.

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    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.
    Catholic = tolerant of different views? Not in my experience...

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    luna's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFeniX
    Catholic = tolerant of different views? Not in my experience...
    Isn't that the truth? *hi-five to Fenix*

    -Luna, the recovering Catholic.

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    GhostintheShell's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    "Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and a primary architect of the American tradition of separation of church and state. Like many of the founders, Jefferson was a prolific writer and frequently commented on both religion and Constitutional Law. Jefferson authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, one of the most important separationist documents of the eighteenth century. "

    http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/qjeffson.htm

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  15. #8

    luna's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    You lost me. What exactly does this have to do with the public impression that Bush is a religious zealot, and Kerry a vaguely religious moderate?

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  17. #9

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostintheShell
    "Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and a primary architect of the American tradition of separation of church and state. Like many of the founders, Jefferson was a prolific writer and frequently commented on both religion and Constitutional Law. Jefferson authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, one of the most important separationist documents of the eighteenth century. "

    http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/qjeffson.htm
    Although the "seperation of church and state" is a much needed legal tradition, it is actually not part of the US Constitution. However, case law carries the same authority as statute, and the US Supreme Court has continually upheld this legal tradition in the spirit of the Constitution.

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  19. #10

    GhostintheShell's Avatar

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    Re: Bush/Kerry on Religion

    I thought some background information on the seperation of church and state might be relevant to discussions regarding 'Bush/Kerry on religion'.

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