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The Sophist Candidate Separates Faith and Life

7/5/2004 - 9:12 AM PST

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By Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC

“I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception…."I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist," he continued in the interview. "We have separation of church and state in the United States of America." - John Kerry

“Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”- John Paul

Amidst the photo-ops of baseball, families, and hot dogs- well-scripted Americana- the Democratic Presidential candidate from Massachusetts has shown his true colors, and they are not red, white and blue.

On the Fourth of July, the day when we all reflect on the very meaning of freedom, he engaged in sophistry of the lowest order. He intentionally tried to confuse Catholics and trade off of his identification with the Catholic Church while absolutely renouncing the core of that faith.

Yes, intentionally. I said it and I mean it.

In Dubuque, Iowa, in an interview with the newspaper, the Telegraph Herald, Kerry said the words that begin this article. I know, some newspaper reports say it was somehow “unintentional”; after all he is trying to keep out of the controversy, right? Wrong! He knows exactly what he is doing. He is trying to delude Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and people of good will by his sophistry in order to be President.

John F Kerry knows that the truth concerning the right to life of all men and women, at every age and stage, is not a “religious” position. It is revealed by the Natural Law and therefore can be known and must be followed by all men and women. This nonsense he sputtered to the newspaper in Iowa was intentional sophistry and it must not be allowed to stand. Only Catholics can tear the mask off of this façade and I for one intend to do so.

Sophistry is defined as a “a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone”. That is precisely what this Presidential candidate tried to do on the Fourth of July when he gave this interview.

The Catholic faith that the Senator wants to trade upon does not just speak to our "personal" lives. It is not "private". It speaks to the whole of life and is meant to inform and transform the entire way we both view and live our lives as Catholics and as human beings. Our Catholic Christian faith must be lived as an integrated whole. It is not like a hat that we take off when we enter public life. In fact, it is precisely there where we need to inform our participation in order to truly serve the common good of all men and women.

Our baptismal vocation compels us to live a unity of life. If our faith does not inform our participation in every sphere of life, it is not real, it is feigned. Those who claim adherence to the Catholic faith and then publicly renounce it in word and deed are engaged in an egregious error that puts their soul in grave risk. They also engage in public scandal.

The "separation between faith and life" that is being foisted by this man as a cover for his perfidy on this fundamental human rights issue has been called "one of the greatest errors of our age." That expression was a vital part of the "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World" (Gaudium et Spes), the profound document of the Second Vatican Council that specifically dealt with our relationship with the modern world:

"43. This council exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come,[13] think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation.[14] Nor, on the contrary, are they any less wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone and in the discharge of certain moral obligations, and who imagine they can plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life. This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age."

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