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Kennedy and Romney on the Separation of Faith and Politics

Here’s a long, interesting, and informative article by a Catholic writer critical of the ease with which President Kennedy separated his faith from his political life. He was, in truth, a poor Catholic and maybe a true believer in generic American Deism. Kennedy readily reassured many Americans that rigorous separationism was no big deal at all for him, and that didn’t bother Catholics much because the "faith-based" issues of his time were pretty boring--such as federal aid to parochial schools and recognizing the Vatican as a country. But today’s issues--many of which center around judicial activism--are far more fundamental, complex and insistent, and Cuomo’s and Kerry’s poor or indifferent Catholicism alienated them, with good reason, from orthodox adherents to their faith.

Romney can’t and won’t lie by saying he’s a bad Mormon or that his faith can be reduced to generic American Deism. He can’t and shouldn’t follow Kennedy’s less-than-exemplary lead by taking refuge in personal strict separationism. He will have to say that his public-policy positions that have a basis in belief are also defensible through reason, and so he’ll have to move in the direction of a sort of Mormon Thomism.

Discussions - 4 Comments

God does not require a Catholic to govern in strict accordance with Catholicism. Rather, he expects him to govern accordance to Natural Law. For Natural Law applies semper, et pro semper. Whether one is Hindu or Jew, Natural Law obtains. And God has enabled man to perceive Natural Law. Republican governance is possible PRECISELY BECAUASE of the existence of Natural Law. Absent that standard, absent that pole to which all citizens are tethered, politics becomes nothing more than the naked pursuit of power, so as to ram your agenda down the throats of your political opponents.

Loss of awareness of Natural Law, truths, truths not simply existent, BUT SELF-EVIDENT, so clear that no rational mind can harbour doubt about them, as the awareness of the Natural Law slips, politics inexorably becomes more vicious, because the stakes are limitless.

Before, parties in the West were limited, they had to be a nexus between what they were working towards and the Natural Law.


Now we have creatures out there saying that there aren’t two sexes, rather there are five, count ’em FIVE genders. Now, instead of a government advancing American national interest, we get parties trying to dissolve American sovereignty, remove American borders, erase America’s distinct cultural salience, and in short, eradicate American Exceptionalism.

And that’s just a brief overview.

God did not leave us without the intellectual abilities to perceive right from wrong, he did not leave us intellectually bankrupt before a political creed masquerading as a religion, that’s been on a millennium long bender of blood and violence.

Recall the movie A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, recall how St. Thomas More reminded his daughter that God desired man to serve him by working out in his mind, through the veils of falsehood, what is true, what is truth, what is proper for government.

The modern barbarian doesn’t know what to do about muslims in their midst, doesn’t know what to do about islam, doesn’t know what to do about a NAKEDLY genocidal and supremacist Iran.

And don’t worry about Romney. He’s dodging and weaving on his past support, OR NON-SUPPORT for crucial issues that reveal what kind of character a man has.

I think it was within the last year or so that Romney decided to up and join the National Rifle Association. Not for him Charlton Heston hoisting a Kentucky Rifle, and saying loud and clear: "From my cold, dead hands...." That’s not Romeny’s style.

And you’re not going to hear him describe IN DETAIL what goes on during curettage. Not his style.

George Bush has revealed for us the kinds of pressures a President is subject to.

Romney can’t even handle abortion. We thus know all we need to learn about his ability to handle pressures that are ungodly.

Romney is exploding himself.

Partially because he wasn’t much of a Catholic Kennedy blew his Augustinian moment; he could have affirmed the compatibility between his religious obligations and his civic duties as well as the rational defensibility of his religious convictions. Romney’s current concern is not so much his religiousness per se but his Mormonism--his program will be to assimilate Mormonism into other more mainstream religious traditions. While this might be more than a bit disingenuous, I think he’ll try to bridge the gap between Mormonism and general American Christianity, which is not quite the same thing as American Deism. I have my doubts Romney going the much bolder route of arguing for a kind of Mormon Thomism, although I’d love to see that.

Yeah, Romney sucks on his own; his religion isn’t even an issue as wobbly as he is. You’d think he just grew up or something, but he’s about 60 years old! And given his liberal record, one could certainly argue (Romney won’t but another Mormon could) that Mitt is a bad Mormon...if that’s possible.

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