Monday, August 31, 2009

The Great Kennedy and why Teddy wasn't

Read Ross Douthat's excellent Op-ED in the NYTimes about the one difference which separated the Catholic liberalism of the famous siblings.
This one difference which made one into a Catholic hero meriting accolades from the Pope at her death, and the other who has elicted little than perfunctory remarks and prayers from the Vatican.
"What separated them was abortion.
Along with her husband, Sargent Shriver, Eunice belonged to America’s dwindling population of outspoken pro-life liberals. Like her church, she saw a continuity, rather than a contradiction, between championing the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed and protecting unborn human life.
Her brother took a different path. Not at first: In 1971, in a letter to a voter that abortion opponents would have many opportunities to quote, he declared that “wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.” But like many other Catholic liberals, from Joseph Biden to Dennis Kucinich, he moved leftward with his party, becoming a down-the-line supporter of abortion rights, with a voting record that brooked no compromise on the issue."

Why did Teddy break ranks with his Church? Possibly because of his presidential ambitions. Judie Brown was on Catholic Radio International saying that Teddy signed on to the Human Life Amendment in 1974. By 1980 when he ran for the Democratic nomination for president, he had changed his tune on abortion.
He lost on both accounts. May God have mercy on him.
Read the entire Op-Ed here.

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