John Kerry charged with heresy

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Pyrrho
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Re: Now that's one step beyond.

Post by Pyrrho »

viscousmemories wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
viscousmemories wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:Apolitical? Then why does Kerry care about the Catholic vote?
'Cause there's a Gajillion of them running around?
The question is do they vote as a block? This isn't 1930.
Yeah, but most of the Catholics I've met (which of course isn't a huge number, but includes most of my family) are essentially single issue voters, and that issue is abortion. That's kind of voting as a block.
I don't think this heresy trial will change anybody's vote. That's the reason I posted it in the 'Religion' forum. There's plenty of discussion of Kerry over in 'Politics'.
I don't think it will either, actually. And I'm pretty shocked that there are still heresy trials too. I don't remember hearing about any other recent examples of such. Is excommunication the ultimate penalty, or is there a stake or gallows involved at some point?
Stake and gallows ain't the half of it. Excommunication is pretty much a one-way ticket to Hell, if you're Catholic, and church doctrine holds that Hell isn't much fun...roughly equivalent to a week or two in Cleveland.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Now that's one step beyond.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

viscousmemories wrote: Yeah, but most of the Catholics I've met (which of course isn't a huge number, but includes most of my family) are essentially single issue voters, and that issue is abortion. That's kind of voting as a block.
It is, but in old big cities of the USA, the Catholic vote is "traditionally Democrat". But it's really not so much a Catholic vote as a working class pro-union white ethnic vote.

But what was Al Smith's position on abortion? It didn't come up at all back then.

You and I must not know the same Catholics. I know both kinds, including some of my relatives.

No I am not an ex-Catholic atheist like you. That was my father.
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viscousmemories
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Re: Now that's one step beyond.

Post by viscousmemories »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
viscousmemories wrote: Yeah, but most of the Catholics I've met (which of course isn't a huge number, but includes most of my family) are essentially single issue voters, and that issue is abortion. That's kind of voting as a block.
It is, but in old big cities of the USA, the Catholic vote is "traditionally Democrat". But it's really not so much a Catholic vote as a working class pro-union white ethnic vote.

But what was Al Smith's position on abortion? It didn't come up at all back then.

You and I must not know the same Catholics. I know both kinds, including some of my relatives.

No I am not an ex-Catholic atheist like you. That was my father.
I confess I'm not really sure what you mean. I don't consider myself an ex-Catholic atheist because I have never really given much thought to being Catholic, even when I was forced by my Mother to abide by the rituals.

However, it is true that my experience with Catholics is almost completely "Catholics who are also part of the ecumenical, charismatic Christian community my family was a part of". Biblical literalists, YEC'ers, and quite devout. I doubt there was a Democrat among 'em, and I can say there was almost certainly not a pro-choicer among 'em.

Remember the parents that were arrested for allowing their young children to lie down in the street to block traffic in front of an abortion clinic in Kansas? Friends of my family.
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shecky
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Post by shecky »

Skeeve wrote:
shecky wrote:Fer chrissakes! If the Boston Archdiocese goes along with this, they'll be handing Kerry a good deal of credibility, considering the real blow it suffered under Cardinal Bernard Law. Charges of diversion will be declared and all Kerry will have to do is take the moral high ground (like many rank and file Catholics who have been demoralized by the Boston Archdiocese in the past few years), and come out smelling like a rose to a good deal of these Catholics, not to mention non-Catholics and skeptics alike.
[ignorance]What is a charge of diversion?[/ignorance]
Sorry. that does sound confusing. What I meant was the Boston Archdiocese will be accused of trying to divert attention away from the sex scandals if they get too actively involved with this.

I'd be hard pressed to say Catholics are single issue voters (abortion). The Catholics I know are all over the place politically, and I know of several pro-life Catholics who are definitely voting for Kerry.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Now that's one step beyond.

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

viscousmemories wrote: I confess I'm not really sure what you mean. I don't consider myself an ex-Catholic atheist because I have never really given much thought to being Catholic, even when I was forced by my Mother to abide by the rituals...
I guess I really meant Catholic upbringing and Catholic by imputation. Sorry for the sloppyness.

And I suppose "liberal" Catholics are not real Catholics to some?

In Massachusetts the Catholic thing is pretty important politically. For example, the Kennedys. Or Kerry for that matter.

Historically the same was true in New York and Chicago. A bit less so now.
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viscousmemories
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Re: Now that's one step beyond.

Post by viscousmemories »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:And I suppose "liberal" Catholics are not real Catholics to some?
Indeed one of the "elders" (for lack of a better word) in the group my family is affiliated with went to visit the Pope about 15 years ago, and got the official sanction to start a "Catholic Fellowship" in my hometown. It's basically a Catholic church but they eschew the liberal excesses of "mainstream" Catholicism. Or something like that.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Post by Abdul Alhazred »

shecky wrote: Sorry. that does sound confusing. What I meant was the Boston Archdiocese will be accused of trying to divert attention away from the sex scandals if they get too actively involved with this.
Interesting theory. I hadn't thought of that, but I'm inclining to think there may be something to it.

There needs to be a Church political reason for this heresy business. After all, why didn't they go after Senators Kennedy and Kerry years ago? It's not like they have just come out in favor of allowing abortion.

Influencing the US presidential election doesn't seem like a reasonable explanation, considering that the Pope opposed the war.
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ceo_esq
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Post by ceo_esq »

Sundog wrote:BURN HIM! BUUUUUUURN HIM!

If this story doesn't at least make you consider voting for Kerry, you're no skeptic...
This conditional statement makes no apparent sense.
Skeeve wrote:Will someone please explain to me how the church can keep its status as an apolitical organization and still persue this?
This doesn't fit the classical definition of electioneering. Moreover, although a tax exemption is a conditional privilege, of course, I think there would be a potential First Amendment issue if the privilege were withdrawn as a result of the application of internal disciplinary measures against the organization's own adherents by reference to its own religious code.

By the way, although this is a somewhat different issue, I think your idea of 501(c)(3) entities as "apolitical" is not exactly correct. Nothing prevents such entities from engaging in political advocacy or lobbying, for example. Would you consider the National Abortion Rights Action League or the Sierra Club to be "apolitical"?
shanek wrote:(Interesting that Kerry's "murders" of unborn babies is heresy, but Bush's "murders" of innocent Iraqis and Afgans is not...)
Granting arguendo the dubious proposition that Bush murders innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, what exactly do you find so interesting? That only Catholics can be guilty of Catholic heresy seems rather a banal point.
Abdul Alhazred wrote:But on the other hand, isn't there something a bit slimy about Kerry trying to gain political juice by being Catholic?
Both Kerry and his wife have tried to get some political mileage with Catholic voters by emphasizing, in various settings, their Catholic faith. A Catholic candidate from either party would probably do the same. The only thing that arguably makes this "slimy" is that Kerry doesn't seem particularly sincere about it, based on apparent weaknesses in his "Catholic credentials". I don't really care about that, though, and prefer to leave such considerations to the Catholics.
viscousmemories wrote:Yep. Tax 'em. I've heard the numbers but I can't remember: Is Mc Donald's or the Vatican the landlord with the most properties in the United States? I swear it's one or the other.
I'd be very surprised to learn that the Vatican held much property in the United States. The Catholic Church appears to be highly decentralized when it comes to the holding and disposition of property, with respect to which the dioceses have relative autonomy (and, of course, legal independence).

On a side note, I'd have to imagine that the federal government is technically the biggest landlord in the United States.
viscousmemories wrote:And I'm pretty shocked that there are still heresy trials too. I don't remember hearing about any other recent examples of such. Is excommunication the ultimate penalty, or is there a stake or gallows involved at some point?
Bear in mind that this is not radically different from any private organization conducting disciplinary proceedings regarding its membership. Obviously, in such cases, it would be more shocking for there not to be a "trial" or some equivalent procedure, because it seems fundamentally unfair for disciplinary measures (even private ones) to be imposed arbitrarily.

Clearly, excommunication is the heaviest penalty that the Church imposes. Stakes and gallows were always implements of the state rather than the church anyway.
Pyrrho wrote:No candidate for President is worth his salt if he hasn't committed heresy of some variety. I won't vote for any candidate the church likes.
Echoes of Groucho Marx and his policies on club membership? On a more serious note, though, I can't discern any reasoned political content in this statement.
shecky wrote:What I meant was the Boston Archdiocese will be accused of trying to divert attention away from the sex scandals if they get too actively involved with this.
Well, it seems as though the Archdiocese was not at the origin of this Kerry complaint. That said, the Church has its own judicial system that is probably obligated to adjudicate cases brought before it according to the ordinary rules of procedure. Now that the Archdiocese has reached a settlement with the sex abuse plaintiffs and reorganized itself, the Boston scandal has slipped from "current" to "recent" status. It should be obvious to everyone that the opportune moment for the Archdiocese to engage in a little "Wag the Dog" maneuvering is long gone, so I can't imagine that charges of diversionary tactics would carry much force.
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Abdul Alhazred
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Post by Abdul Alhazred »

ceo_esq wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:But on the other hand, isn't there something a bit slimy about Kerry trying to gain political juice by being Catholic?
Both Kerry and his wife have tried to get some political mileage with Catholic voters by emphasizing, in various settings, their Catholic faith. A Catholic candidate from either party would probably do the same. The only thing that arguably makes this "slimy" is that Kerry doesn't seem particularly sincere about it, based on apparent weaknesses in his "Catholic credentials". I don't really care about that, though, and prefer to leave such considerations to the Catholics.
Nor do I, when it comes to "Catholic" issues as such. It's more a question of him trying to steal the prestige of an organization that he doesn't agree with. That is hypocrisy.

But in Massachusetts, it is political suicide for a born and raised Catholic to reject the Church, regardless of the general "liberalism". And Kerry's Jewish ancestry is not an issue, he was born and raised Catholic, period.

However, Kerry's latest on abortion is more "nuanced". Look at this (Seattle Times):

<a href="http://tinyurl.com/28l4c">Kerry says he believes that life starts at conception </a>

What would the wretch be at?

It's not an unconditional reason to vote aganist him, but it's troubling.
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Loon
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Post by Loon »

ceo_esq wrote:
Sundog wrote:BURN HIM! BUUUUUUURN HIM!

If this story doesn't at least make you consider voting for Kerry, you're no skeptic...
This conditional statement makes no apparent sense.
It's not a deep and incisive commentary, but I think (and correct me, Sundog, if I'm wrong) he's saying that skeptics have an opposite view of things to the church, so that someone rejecting or rebuffing the church should automatically arouse the interest of skeptics. I don't agree with him. I suspect that on closer questioning (GRILL HIM!) Sundog would also admit that this is not an entirely true statement.

Pyrrho wrote:No candidate for President is worth his salt if he hasn't committed heresy of some variety. I won't vote for any candidate the church likes.
Echoes of Groucho Marx and his policies on club membership? On a more serious note, though, I can't discern any reasoned political content in this statement.[/quote]

I think this is somewhat similar to, though much more specific that, what Sundog said (and Pyrrho, correct me if I am wrong here). Pyrrho is saying that his view of things and the church's view of things are mutually exclusive. Ergo, if the church likes a candidate, then Pyrrho can be fairly sure that he himself will not. I agree with this on two levels. First is that I trust Pyrrho to be aware of and honest about his political leanings. Second is that I'm no fan of the church, so I'm often at odds with their view of things.
Abdul Alhazared wrote:What would the wretch [Kerry] be at?

It's not an unconditional reason to vote aganist him, but it's troubling.
I do agree with this to an extent. It is something of a contradiction. It sounds like he is saying "Murder is should be safe, legal and rare." I find it hard to reconcile a "pro-choice" stance with "life begins at conception." Sounds like weaseling to me.

That said, Kerry's effective view of abortion (safe, legal and rare) matches my own pretty closely, and even then it's not one of my primary issues. Plus I really dislike almost everybody in the current administration, so I can't help but give this little waffle (the stand, not the candidate) a pass.
I guess there he chose to err on the side of more votes. -[size=75]Grammatron[/size]