Saturday, January 17, 2009

Discovering The Religious Sense

Back in 2004 we here in St. Louis published a flier responding to John Kerry's statements on religion. It was crafted in light of Msgr. Albacete's statement in Traces that "the purpose of politics is to guide the use of power to satisfy the desires of the heart that make us most human." This view conflicts strongly with the separation of faith and politics presented by John Kerry. We believe that it is our religious sense that drives us to find the answers to the needs of the human heart and ultimately to find God.

In 2004, John Kerry had stated "I fully intend to practice my religion separately from what I do with respect to my public life." We responded:

"The practice of politics must involve the search for truth. It should ask the basic questions about the nature of human life and the needs of people through the pursuit of the common good...

Faith is not simply a belief in dogma, or a practice of ritual in the name of God, but involves asking the ultimate questions about human life. When we develop laws regarding the treatment of human persons, we must have some understanding and vision of what it means to be a human person... As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states "every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of man and his destiny, from which it derives the point of reference for its judgment." (p.2244)

If the Judgment of politicians are not being informed by their faith and its vision of human nature then by what ideology are they guided? Rarely does a politician acknowledge their implicit beliefs. Bob Casey Sr., Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are rare examples and have been strongly ridiculed for doing so.

Where does Obama fall in this criticism? It seems to me that he has either separated his faith from his political life or simply hides his beliefs from the public. He has gone so far as to avoid public appearance at a church after his election. As if Christianity is not a social reality. He gives the appearance of being truly concerned about truth and fairness but yet he also seems ruled by secularist ideology. President-elect Obama has not been up front on his view of human nature and his involvement with the liberation theologian Rev. Wright. What does he truly believe that transcends a socialist and secular philosophy?