Yesterday, Senator John Kerry gave a speech in Florida on “the values that will guide me as president.”  According to the Los Angeles Times, Kerry “invoked biblical teachings as an inspiration for his agenda on taxes, healthcare, the environment and other matters.”  Those other matters, however, did not include abortion and stem cell research: “I know there are some bishops who have suggested that as a public official I must cast votes or take positions on issues like a woman’s right to choose or stem cell research that carry out the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church,” he said.

“I love my church.  I respect the bishops.  But I respectfully disagree,” with those who want to “write every doctrine into law.”  After Kerry said those lines, the mostly Protestant crowd erupted in a standing ovation.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented on Kerry’s speech today:

“Because of anti-Catholicism, John F. Kennedy found it prudent to distance himself from his religion, thus did he choose to run from it.  But John Kerry, for reasons having nothing to do with anti-Catholicism, has decided to run against his religion.  This is no small difference.

“No bishop has ever asked Kerry ‘to write every doctrine into law,’ and he knows it.  By suggesting that the bishops have pressed his back to the wall, Kerry is playing off the fears of anti-Catholics, setting himself up as the brave Christian soldier who won’t buckle before those tyrannical bishops.  And what are we to make of Kerry’s admission that when it comes to issues like taxes, it’s okay to reach for biblical support, but when it comes to the more fundamental life issues, the only choice he has is to check his religion at the government door?

“It says a lot about John Kerry that he finds it necessary to curry favor with those who do not share his religion by openly running against it.”

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