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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 09:49 AM
Original message
Menino fires back at critics over issues of faith, politics

At Catholic Charities event, he delivers personal address

By Ralph Ranalli and Michael Levenson, Globe Correspondent | December 10, 2005

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, responding to critics who have questioned his Catholicism, last night offered an unusually pointed and personal address, saying that Jesus didn't showcase his piety or ''tell us to go around talking up God."

As a dozen pickets protested against him in front of the Catholic Charities Greater Boston Christmas dinner, Menino distanced himself from Christian politicians who seek to put God ''on courtroom walls." He said that ''a lot of political God talk makes me a little uneasy."

But the mayor, as the dinner's keynote speaker, put forward his own notion of what it means to be a Catholic in public life, saying that he draws on the values of humility and mercy in his daily work as an elected leader.

''Tonight is a rare public event outside of my parish church in which it is appropriate for me to say quite simply -- I believe in Jesus Christ," Menino said in a prepared text of his comments, which was released by aides.

''And what moves me most about being a Christian is what Jesus taught us about being religious," Menino said. ''He did not give priority to piety. He didn't make holiness the big thing. And he did not tell us to go around talking up God, either."

The speech was a relatively rare discussion of faith for Menino. It also underscored the intensifying debate nationally and in Boston about the role of faith in politics and recent efforts by more liberal and moderate Catholics to counter conservatives' success in defining Catholic values.

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TaleWgnDg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-05 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. I quote John F. Kennedy, John F. Kerry, Thomas Jefferson, and Barney Frank
Edited on Sat Dec-10-05 04:52 PM by TaleWgnDg

    "I believe in an America . . . where no public
    official either requests or accepts instructions
    on public policy from the pope, the National
    Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical
    source." -- Senator John F. Kennedy on the
    presidential campaign trail, 1960.

    "I want a chief executive whose public acts are
    responsible to all and obligated to none -- who
    can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his
    office may appropriately require him to fulfill --
    and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office
    is not limited or conditioned by any religious
    oath, ritual or obligation." -- Senator John F. Kennedy
    in his address to SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS, while
    campaigning for the presidency, September 1960.
    Source: NYTimes, September 13, 1960

    "As a Catholic, I have enormous respect for
    the words and teachings of the Vatican, but
    as a public servant I've never forgotten the
    lasting legacy of President Kennedy, who
    made clear that in accordance with the
    Separation of Church and State no elected
    official should be 'limited or conditioned
    by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation.'
    I represent all the people of Massachusetts,
    and they expect me to speak with respect
    for all of their views and values.''
    -- Senator John F. Kerry (2003)

    "We may safely affirm that Christianity
    neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law."
    -- Thomas Jefferson, February 10, 1814

    "(R)eligion is a matter which lies solely
    between Man & his God, that he owes account
    to none other for his faith or his worship,
    that the legitimate powers of government reach
    actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate
    with sovereign reverence that act of the whole
    American people which declared that their
    legislature should "make no law respecting
    an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
    the free exercise thereof," thus building a
    Wall of Separation between Church & State
    Adhering to this expression of the supreme will
    of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience,
    I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress
    of those sentiments which tend to restore to man
    all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural
    right in opposition to his social duties."
    -- Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the Danbury
    Baptists: Messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins,
    & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury
    Baptist association in the State of Connecticut,
    dated January 1, 1802
    (bold-faced type emphasis added by TaleWgnDg)

    "President (George W.) Bush is doing a disservice
    to both the theory and practice of religious
    tolerance at a time when the world needs examples
    of people reaching out across religious lines
    rather than using them as grounds for excluding
    each other. Under the presidents order, churches,
    synagogues and mosques will receive federal money
    to build or rehabilitate housing, shelter the
    homeless, and provide other important public
    services with the proviso that they may exclude
    people who do not share their own religious views
    from employment with these funds
    . There are two
    grave problems with this presidential endorsement
    of religious discrimination. First, it is simply
    wrong for American citizens who pay taxes to be
    told that they are ineligible for employment
    generated by those very taxes because they are
    of the wrong religion, or of no religion at all.
    Secondly, the rationale for this endorsement of
    discrimination encourages religious divisiveness."
    -- U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D, MA),
    December 12, 2002, commenting upon GWBush's
    go-around Executive Order obviating congressional
    refusal to act.
    (bold-faced type emphasis added by TaleWgnDg)
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pilgrimm Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. The best part
"Despite the protest campaign and O'Malley's withdrawal, Catholic Charities officials said that last night's dinner was sold out, and the $200,000 raised was a slight increase over previous years."
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-05 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yup, the large majority are not evil - thankfully...
It's good to see that most here in the NE still understand what the founding fathers set up for us all those years ago. The others want to go back to a time when live & let die was the rule and people were mostly savages. I think Obama called it social Darwinism today.
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