Cafeteria Catholic

Religion is a major factor in the political arena. Politicians claim to belong to a particular religious organization and try to muster up votes from people who share the same beliefs. But what if a candidate who claimed to be religious had a political platform that disobeyed his religion’s principles? John Kerry, the first Roman Catholic Presidential nominee since John F. Kennedy, is a prime example of such a person. Kerry claims he is, and always has been, very devoted to religion. However, now, Catholic officials are debating whether or not he should receive communion. Why, one might ask, would they care? The answer is simple. Currently, two of the most hotly debated religious/political issues are gay marriage and abortion: the Catholic Church strongly opposes both; John Kerry is pro-choice and supports gay marriage. Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley declared that all Catholic elected officials who are pro-abortion should refrain from receiving communion. Even the Vatican has expressed its frustration toward politicians who run for offices as Catholics but then ignore many of the religion’s teachings. Pope John Paul II has said that women need to enjoy equal dignity in a stable marriage that remained open to procreation, and that sexual “diversity” should not be recognized when it comes to marriage. Like John F. Kennedy stated in the 60’s, Kerry says he will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a “Catholic President.” However, if John Kerry were to win the Presidency, he would run a country that is much different than it was under J.F.K. Then, abortion was not a major issue. Now, it has a major impact on campaigns. Then, the term “gay marriage” was unheard of. Now, gay couples line up before altars in several cities. It appears as if Kerry is running as a Catholic. In several of his campaign speeches, he has used biblical references. For example, he recently quoted James 2:14 while in Missouri when he said,