Monday, March 06, 2006

When it suits them

There is a column floating around out there by E.J. Dionne, Jr. on the topic of the House Democrats and their open letter on abortion. It can be found here at

It starts out with the John F. Kennedy quote.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act," Kennedy told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September 1960. "I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me.

I hate how people quote John F. Kennedy when it suits them. That quote is over forty years old and was said in another time and another place. That America is long gone. The problem with Democrats today is they keep quoting Kennedy when it suits them, but when they protest the war in Iraq or anywhere else, they are forgetting what I consider to be the single greatest statement of the US agenda in the second half of the 20th century, Kennedy's Inaugural Address.

(Teddy, how earnestly you revere and invoke your brother, except when his eloquence doesn't suit you...)

Of course, Dionne says something along the same lines right after the quote, but it's too late. The name of Kennedy has already been said and has thus framed the entire column.

After quoting the House Democrats' letter and mentioning that a lot of the Catholics who signed the letter are pretty hardcore pro-life types, the column gets into the other 'life' issues and how they're being drowned out by abortion.

For Catholics with moderate or liberal leanings, the argument from some bishops that they could only vote for staunch foes of abortion posed a wretched dilemma. It seemed to demand that such voters cast their ballots for conservative or right-wing candidates with whom they might disagree on every other question — social justice, war and peace or the death penalty. All are areas where liberals are often closer to the church's view.

"Our faith does and should affect how we deal with issues," says DeLauro. "But we're rebelling against the idea of a one-issue church."

The Democratic Party really is pitiful. It could have turned out to be the party of Catholics in the United States... Except for the fact that it became a one-issue party. That issue is sex, in all its myriad manifestations and consequences.

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