Civil Rights

Ted Kennedy, to the Pope: Bless Me, Father, For I Have Legislated

|

I caught a half-hour or so of the Ted Kennedy funeral on TV this weekend, and there was a widely praised moment that struck me as just off: The reading of the dying senator's letter to the Pope.

Not the gesture itself (though it's always useful to be reminded that, even in near-death, it's good to be a Kennedy), but rather the letter's contents, particularly a section that sounded like Teddy was already campaigning for a Senate seat in heaven:

I want you to know, Your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I've worked to welcome the immigrant, fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and been the focus of my work as a United States Senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health care field and will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.

Maybe it was all just an expression of anxiety over his pro-choice record? I certainly hope so, since the idea of touting your legislative record in a deathbed letter to the leader of your faith strikes me as one of the most narcisstic moves I've seen since Mick Jagger married his doppleganger.

And the text is also a perfect exemplar of something we've been marinating in since the last Kennedy brother died: Legislative motivation exalted to the point of policy tautology. Because Teddy Kennedy intended to champion the poor and fight discrimination, then the results, it has gone without saying, were that the poor and the discriminated-against were better off. What matters is the purity of heart, and loudness of voice, rather than the real-world impact. It's almost as if the people who didn't agree with the efficacy of Kennedy's policies must therefore, by the transitive property of inequality, hate the poor and love discrimination. But as the New York Post's always-entertaining Kyle Smith pointed out this weekend, the real-world impacts were important, too. 

Read Nick Gillespie's great obit on Kennedy here.

NEXT: Law Passed After Mattel Toy Scare Makes Exception for Mattel

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Jesus died for Big Government.

  2. What the FUCK?

  3. Jesus died to give liberals political power.

  4. Is it too late for me to revisit an earlier argument and nominate Bill Moyers as the asshole singularity – the perfect storm of asshole-ness?

  5. forgive me father

    bleating funny hat mash note

    teddy covers bets

  6. I wonder if the pope read this and thought, “What a pontificating asshole.”

  7. Yo, posthumously fuck Ted Kennedy.

  8. Yo, posthumously fuck Ted Kennedy.

    Ewwwww….. I didn’t need to start my week with that mental image.

  9. TK just wanted the Pope to call God and give a personal endorsement.

  10. Did Ted fight for the rights of molested children, and if so, why not bring that to the attention of the Pope? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Did anybody happen to mention the amount of the check included with the letter? Papal Dispensations ain’t cheap, you know.

  12. scene at the pearly gates…
    St. Peter ” Mr Kennedy, I’d like to introduce you to your case worker. She’ll be deciding if you merit admittance into the kingdom of heaven. Ms Kopecne, let me introduce you to… oh that’s right, you’ve already met”

  13. Through working to end apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow, Ted Kennedy has the blood of millions on his hands.

  14. Dammit. And the thread had such potential.

  15. Benedict wisely, and predictably, rendered no judgment on Kennedy’s public record. But his charitable and heartfelt expressions of support and prayer are sure to to be a solace in liberal quarters.

    This is what the article says about the Pope’s (secretary’s) response. It’s funny how they spun it to make it sound like the Pope was just in agony over Kennedy’s impending death. To me it read more like: “Well, since you forced your President to give me your letter, I’ll have my secretary say that you’re in my prayers since you’ll probably turn this into a PR stunt.”

  16. DADIODADDY wins the thread.

  17. Richard Hoste,

    Apartheid was ended by South Africans.

    I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health care field…

    As an atheist I would note that the First Amendment already provides a conscience protection in all fields.

  18. What a jerk.

  19. Pope to Kennedy: Drop dead.

  20. Oh crap, @, are you saying the pope can kill with his mind?!?

    Shut the fuck up, Dick Hoste.

  21. are you saying the pope can kill with his mind?!?

    Don’t be ridiculous. He has an army of castrati ninjas for that.

  22. It’s almost as if the people who didn’t agree with the efficacy of Kennedy’s policies must therefore, by the transitive property of inequality, hate the poor and love discrimination.

    Almost? I’ve had that exact argument thrown at me by liberals more than once. It’s their basis for “knowing” that libertarians are “selfish pricks”.

  23. Kennedy was clearly lobbying for sainthood. He figured that since Gore already got the Nobel committee to give him a medal for no other purpose than to stroke his ego, he’d take it to the next level.

    The Pope would probably have given a similar response had the letter been from a convicted serial killer. It’s his job to pray for everyone.

  24. X – back in the fifties the Vatican constructed a mindkiller out of the Holy Grail and the Pope’s hat. Unfortunately John Paul I could not handle the power of the hat and it consumed him. John Paul II’s parkinson’s was actually a side effect of using the mindkiller too often.

  25. X – back in the fifties the Vatican constructed a mindkiller out of the Holy Grail and the Pope’s hat.

    Like the remote killer evil Kirk had in the mirror universe?

  26. It’s almost as if the people who didn’t agree with the efficacy of Kennedy’s policies must therefore, by the transitive property of inequality, hate the poor and love discrimination.

    That metality seems to be pretty popular nowadays. It’s as if there is only one solution (theirs) to every problem; therefore, if you are against THEIR solution, you must not want to solve the problem at all. You heartless bastard.

  27. It’s as if there is only one solution (theirs) to every problem; therefore, if you are against THEIR solution, you must not want to solve the problem at all. You heartless bastard.

    Well, if you had thought about the problem you would have come to the exact same conclusion. So a different answer means you’re either stupid or mendacious.

  28. Well, if you had thought about the problem you would have come to the exact same conclusion. So a different answer means you’re either stupid or mendacious.

    They are always right and everybody knows it. We only pretend otherwise to disguise our racism.

  29. “Because Teddy Kennedy intended to champion the poor and fight discrimination, then the results, it has gone without saying, were that the poor and the discriminated-against were better off. What matters is the purity of heart, and loudness of voice, rather than the real-world impact”

    What also matters is that it isn’t “compassion” when you’re volunteering other people’s money. It’s not yours to give.

    As Rush Limbaugh succintly put it on his show, Kennedy made a career out ot stealing money from people who earned to to give it to people who didn’t earn it.

  30. We only pretend otherwise to disguise our racism.

    I thought we were pretending to disguise our evil plan for enslaving everyone under giant multi-national corporations and then pillaging the earth for our alien reptilian overlords. Did I not get a memo or something?

  31. I thought we were pretending to disguise our evil plan for enslaving everyone under giant multi-national corporations and then pillaging the earth for our alien reptilian overlords.

    The alien reptilian overlords are a myth (T, are you really Marc Singer? ๐Ÿ™‚ ). The multinationals just use our racism to keep us in thrall to them.

  32. “Kennedy made a career out ot stealing money from people who earned to to give it to people who didn’t earn it.”

    Which suited him, since he didn’t earn any of his money.

  33. The multinationals just use our racism to keep us in thrall to them.

    I’m not a racist, though. I’m just a misanthrope.

  34. T, that plan is still in effect. But we’re going after minorities first.

  35. I’m the nameless taxpayer, I am
    The nameless taxpayer, I am, I am
    Oswald shot a Kennedy from the seventh floor
    They’ve been shot at many times before

    And if ev’ryone shot a Kennedy (Kennedy!)
    We wouldn’t have a worry or a sound (No sound!)
    ‘Cuz there’s one good kind of Kennedy
    And that’s a Kennedy we’re certain is dead!

    Second verse, same as the first!

    I’m the nameless taxpayer, I am
    The nameless taxpayer, I am, I am
    Oswald shot a Kennedy from the seventh floor
    They’ve been shot at many times before

    And if ev’ryone shot a Kennedy (Kennedy!)
    We wouldn’t have a worry or a sound (No sound!)
    ‘Cuz there’s one good kind of Kennedy
    And that’s a Kennedy we’re certain is dead!

  36. Which suited him, since he didn’t earn any of his money

    Not true. Kennedy was a gigolo.

  37. Thought experiment: what if Steve Smith and Richard Hoste had a baby?

  38. Thought experiment: what if Steve Smith and Richard Hoste had a baby?

    We could give it to Koko as a pet.

  39. Why did not Ted Kennedy write about the charitable foundations that he founded? Or his work in serving Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless in Boston? Or donating to free clinics for those who could not afford to even feed themselves? Surely a champion of the poor, who would starve to death on the streets without aid, would surely have done such things.

  40. The gentle giant of the Pacific Northwest would never fuck a racist shitbag like Hoste.

  41. More from the letter:

    Finally, I just want to remind you to put in a good word for me to You Know Who. I’m getting pretty nervous about You Know What, all because of That Other Thing From Before. It was a long time ago but some people? You kill only one chick but they never let you forget it and get on with your rich, successful and very dry life? Sheesh.

  42. The local Boston (Channels 4, 5, and 7) broadcast coverage of Kennedy’s death was nauseating. As Howie Carr of WRKO (680 AM) put it, “fawning.”

    One radio talk host with a Saturday morning gig on 96.9 FM in Boston attempted to demonize and marginalize those callers who refused to join in the Kennedy worshiping by suggesting that they had psychological problems and deep seated anger problems.

  43. Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy on Saturday was, to say the very least, amusing. It’s always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we both were mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity – our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked. Oh, how I wish the camera would have cut to Bush’s face the moment he was confronted with the most famous line (and justly so) from the Gospel according to Matthew:

    “I tell you this: whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me.”

    Jesus of Nazareth

    One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

    “Blessed are the peace makers
    For they shall be called Sons of God.”

    I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy’s own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:

    “That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord.”

    Lord hear our prayer.

    After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy’s funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain’t nothin’ like it in the world, Baby!

    The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing’s backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  44. That was a great NY Post article, but I take issue with the characterization of JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country” as totalitarian. He did not say “government” he said “country”. It sounded like he was repudiating welfare.

  45. The ideals of the Progressive movement lead to the deaths of millions.

  46. “We have ideals, they have ideology”, thus sayeth Tom Degan.

    Tom, Satan offered Jesus political power during the 40 days of temptation. Was Jesus wrong to turn Satan down?

    Did you notice that nowhere in the New Testament did anyone bother denying Satan’s implied claim that political power was his to give?

  47. Check this reuters piece

    The first line kills me:

    Massachusetts’ Democratic governor planned an announcement on Monday on filling Edward Kennedy’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, which Democrats need to keep their critical 60th vote in the chamber.

    As if they are the noble do-gooders. Not to mention the outright hypocrisy of changing the rule on this back and forth to suit the party in power.

  48. The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing’s backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

    I’m glad you take comfort in words with no meaning. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, or anything, but SHUT THE FUCK UP, TOM.

  49. Kennedy is burning in hell right now.

  50. I suppose if being confronted with the words of God made Bush, or anyone else uneasy, they could just repent and as k forgiveness and all would be just peachy dandy. Uneasiness all gone.

    It is especially soothing, Mr. Degan, that you found the service to be such a politically heartwarming event.

  51. Ted had plenty of time to repent his sins and make a good confession, so there is a chance that he will be in heaven.

    But man, it’ll be an awkward moment when that Kopchne chick shows up.

  52. “the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity -”

    Really?

    I don’t recall Jesus marching around at the head of a Roman legion shaking other people down for “contributions” to his causes.

    Christiantiy isn’t about using government to force anybody else to do anything.

    As you leftists are so fond of stating – we are supposed to have a separation of church and state.

  53. As you leftists are so fond of stating – we are supposed to have a separation of church and state.

    Busted!

  54. Christianity (I am one) is more like libertarianism in my opinion. Personal responsibilty. Productiveness. Don’t covet. Don’t steal. Charity. Do unto others…
    If christians actually practiced their religion in their daily lives, we wouldn’t need or desire a massive government.

  55. Kennedy’s brain self-destructed after decades of trying to reconcile “Progressive ideals” with on-the-ground “Progressivism”.

  56. The kennedy’s were not perfect, indeed they were(are) far from it. There were things they did to themselves which caused their clan pain.

    But I also found in Jack, Bobby and Ted kennedy Boldness, love, compassion. While many Americans found it okay to belittle the poor, the sick and ethnic minorities, the Kennedy Brothers challenged this nation to be more than it could.

    I know that I may be in the minority on this, but I am glad for many of the programs Ted Kennedy advocated. I was bused to a better school, where I learned Spanish, music, and writing. I was able to go to a major east coast university and get a degree thanks to grants and student loans. I can stay in hotels in parts of America where minorities at one time were not welcomed.

    Most people don’t want a handout, what they do want is a chance to prove their worth and leave this world a better place without being hindered by unjust laws of discrimination and prejudice. I think Ted and his brothers understood that,seeking to lift people of needless burden.I thank God for Jack, Ted, Bobby, Eunice,etc. And My prayers will be with his great, loving, and compassionate family.

    What I am afraid of is that one, the internet has become the new sewer of hate, where the poor, minorities and others are the objective of incredible anger. Two, the atmosphere of hate which preceded the assasination of JFK is surfacing again. To my friends in the right and far right: as long as you use the politics of hate, blame, racism in your language, blogs and internet you will only find less support for your ideals not more

    It is time to consider these elements which Christ advocated with truth: love , mercy, justice, and loving your neighbor as yourself

  57. Tom Degan,

    …yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity – our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked.

    Could be. I’m an atheist.

    I would note that self-identified religious conservatives do more volunteer work and give more money to charity than do self-identified religious liberals. Or so I have read.

    As for quotes from Jesus, well, he said a lot of rather creepy shit that no civilized society would condone.

    The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing’s backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston.

    The Progressive movement is all over the place; what its ideals are depend on what splinter faction of Progressives you are talking to. As for greed, well, the 20th century had a couple of societies that tried to do away with greed and love of self and they ended up murdering tens of millions of people.

  58. What I am afraid of is that one, the internet has become the new sewer of hate, where the poor, minorities and others are the objective of incredible anger. Two, the atmosphere of hate which preceded the assasination of JFK is surfacing again. To my friends in the right and far right: as long as you use the politics of hate, blame, racism in your language, blogs and internet you will only find less support for your ideals not more

    Is this a drink-worthy paragraph?

  59. Did you notice that nowhere in the New Testament did anyone bother denying Satan’s implied claim that political power was his to give?

    Yes, I have noticed.

    Satan yields much influence on earthly political system, even though he does not occupy any official position of power.

  60. Michael,

    Part of the reason why we have free speech is as a relief valve. As for the politics of hate, well the left and the right engage in it equally and it doesn’t bother me terribly.

    Two, the atmosphere of hate which preceded the assasination of JFK is surfacing again.

    How inconvenient for you that JFK was murdered by a leftist.

  61. I don’t recall Jesus marching around at the head of a Roman legion shaking other people down for “contributions” to his causes.

    It was in the Gospel of Tiberius, I think. One of those apocalycryphical books.

  62. Good riddance.

  63. Michael Ejercito,

    Is that the same one where Jesus comes back to Earth and condones the genocide of the Dacians?

  64. “How inconvenient for you that JFK was murdered by a leftist.”

    Yeah, everyone knows Lyndon Johnson arranged the whole thing.

  65. Satan yields much influence on earthly political system, even though he does not occupy any official position of power.

    Well, he does share the Prince of Darkness position with Mr. Novak.

  66. Here’s something Sen. Kennedy could have mentioned to the Pope:

    In a 1971 letter to a constituent, Senator Kennedy said:

    ‘While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. 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. . . .

    ‘I share in the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society’s problems – an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

    ‘When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.’

    (Kennedy also supported contraception as the way to prevent abortion, but he had an excuse: it was 1971, and the prediction that widespread availability of contraception would cut abortion rates had not yet been disproved by events.)

  67. Boy that cancer must have been getting bad. It’s pretty delusional to think the head of the Catholic Church is going to play any role in your afterlife prospects. Especially for someone in the Boston Diocese.

  68. How inconvenient for you that JFK was murdered by a leftist.

    The Comedian!

  69. At first I thought Tom Degan had posted a nice little satire about the near-worship that Kennedy has been receiving this last week.

    A quick look at his blog has disabused me of that thought.

  70. I only wish that Teddy had revealed in his letter what was promised to Satan, when they cut that deal back in the summer of 1969.

  71. The question of where the late Senator is going in the afterlife is unknowable to us mere mortals. But if you are a Christian, the answer can be pretty easily deduced by reviewing Matthew 25: 31-40.

  72. Steve Smith> How would Mr. Kennedy respond to Luke 18:18-23?

  73. Matthew 25: 31-40

    31 “Wen teh Jebus comez in hiz awesumness, n al teh angels wit ‘im, he wil sit on ‘is couch of teh ceilings awesumness.32 All teh nashuns will be gatherd before him, an he will separate teh peeps wan frum anothr as sheferd separatez teh sheep frum teh goats.33 he will put teh sheep on his rite an teh goats on his left.34 “den teh king will say to dose on his rite, coem, yu hoo haz cheezburgrz from ceiling cat; taek ur kitteh toyz, teh kingdom prepard for yu since teh creashun ov teh urfs.35 4 i wuz hungry an u openz canz and not drai fuds, i wuz thirsty an u gaev me some bowlz, i wuz strangr an yu were liek, “o hai,”36 i had dirty furz an yu gaev me licks, i wuz sick an u rap pillz in ham, i scratch bathrum door an yu openz.37 “den teh riteshus will say, Jebus, when did we c u hungry an gaev yu gushy fud, or thirsty an gaev yu milks?38 when did we see yu strangr an says “o hai,” or durty furz and lick yu?”39 when did we know yu sick or stuck in bathroom and help yu?40 “teh king will says, srsly, whatevr yu did teh other kittehs, evn lame kittehs, yu liek did to me.41 “den he will say to dose on his left, leav, you NO CAN HAS CHEEZBURGRZ, into teh Sink of Alwayz Be Wet yu go, an say hai to basement kat and stinky birdcatz.42 fer I has hunger an yu gave me dry fuds, i wuz thirsty an yu says “only got dry bowls,””43 i wuz strangr an yu did not say hai, i has durty furz and you wer liek “go lick selfs,” i wuz sick an stuck in bathrum and you wer liek, “whatever.” Lamerz.44 “they also will say, lord, when did we see yu hunger or thirsts or strangr or durty furz or sicks, an says, “NO CAN HAS help yu?”45 “he will says, srsly, whatevr yu did not do for even lamer kittehs, yu did not do fur me.46 “den they will go be wet with basement cat, but teh riteshus will be dry wif ceiling cat.”

  74. Through working to end apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow, Ted Kennedy has the blood of millions on his hands.

    You’re back. I thought your concern is about the dying out of genes like blond and red hair. Just because apartheid ended, what makes you think there’s significantly more interbreeding than there was while apartheid was in effect?

  75. Mike Laursen,

    I thought your concern is about the dying out of genes like blond and red hair.

    Ha. Wanna lay odds that Hoste’s girlfriend/wife left him for a black guy?

  76. Ha. Wanna lay odds that Hoste’s girlfriend/wife left him for a black guy?

    I’m not sure. I took a look at his website, trying to figure out what his deal is.

    He has one essay on his website about sitting in a cafe with a bunch of his friends, and being disappointed that his friends express only a desire to bang the most attractive of the white women passing by. And a few essays that kinda indicate he has unclean thoughts about Asian women.

  77. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we both were mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity – our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked.

    Yup, and do it all with someone else’s money. The only thing Liberals are ever liberal with is someone else’s wealth.

  78. How would Mr. Kennedy respond to Luke 18:18-23?

    I don’t know the chapter and verse, but maybe Kennedy’s letter to the Pope was in response to what Jesus is supposed to have said about a rich man’s chances of entering Heaven – something to the effect that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.

  79. “Christianity (I am one) is more like libertarianism in my opinion. Personal responsibilty. Productiveness. Don’t covet. Don’t steal. Charity. Do unto others…
    If christians actually practiced their religion in their daily lives, we wouldn’t need or desire a massive government.”

    I couldn’t agree more botherben.

    I’m not a christian, but if I was I wouldn’t vote. Being a christian is suppose to be about acting like Christ & following his example. I really don’t think Jesus would vote. His concern was for man’s eternal soul, not earthly politics. He could have gotten involved in the politics of Roman occupied Isreal, but he choose not to.

  80. Thought experiment: what if Steve Smith and Richard Hoste had a baby?

    Heh. One parent would tell the kid, “Those libertarians are t3h racist. You won’t be able to tell because none of their ideals are actually racist, but they’re racist, I just know it.” The other parent would say, “I can’t believe you actually would want to live in the same neighborhood as coloreds. You’re just too afraid to speak up about how terrible the coloreds are ’cause you’re too PC.”

    That kid would be messed up.

  81. His concern was for man’s eternal soul, not earthly politics. He could have gotten involved in the politics of Roman occupied Isreal, but he choose not to.

    Yeah, he probably didn’t want to chance being crucified.

  82. I don’t know the chapter and verse, but maybe Kennedy’s letter to the Pope was in response to what Jesus is supposed to have said about a rich man’s chances of entering Heaven – something to the effect that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.

    In other words, its the rich man’s loss if he doesn’t give and not your responsibility to make him give.

    Bonus points, find the verse where a third party demands that Jesus make someone divide an inheritance fairly, and he refuses to make moral demands of someone based on the request of a third party.

    That’s just before “consider the lilies of the fields…”

  83. Re: the subject, maybe Kennedy’s letter just sounds so bad because of the nature of his work? It would be much funnier if he were a baseball player: “I want you to know, Your Holiness, that I had a career .320 batting average and 5 All-Star Appearances. I won 1 World Series MVP and was voted into Cooperstown on my first ballot appearance. Is this enough to get me into heaven, yo?”

  84. Adios, schmuck.

  85. Art-P.O.G.
    Sorry, those are purgatory numbers at best, you couldn’t play second string up here, besides there was that little incident in St Louis. Do we eally need to bring that up?

  86. If there’s one thing libertarians hate more than the Bible it’s tax collectors, but this passage from the Gospel of Luke struck me as apt:

    18:9
    He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:

    18:10
    “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

    18:11
    The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

    18:12
    I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’

    18:13
    But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

    18:14
    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  87. In other words, its the rich man’s loss if he doesn’t give and not your responsibility to make him give.

    That’s not the meaning I take from that verse, nor is it the one that seems intended when I hear some reverend invoke it. To me it says that a rich man is damned as evil. It implies that to have more than your poor unfortunate brothers is sinful – unless, of course, your willing to give it all away, with a healthy cut going to the church. If communism had a belief in a deity, Christ’s teachings would be a perfect moral foundation for it.

  88. your you’re (sigh)

  89. Ted had plenty of time to repent his sins and make a good confession, so there is a chance that he will be in heaven.

    But man, it’ll be an awkward moment when that Kopchne chick shows up.

    Kopechne was almost assuredly fornicating with a pregnant woman’s husband the night she died. What makes you think she’s in heaven? It takes more than simply being killed or allowed to die by a drunk-out-of-his-mind senator to get to heaven.

  90. Kopechne was almost assuredly fornicating with a pregnant woman’s husband the night she died.

    But…but…blowjobs aren’t fornication – they aren’t even sex!

  91. Was that before or after they pushed Ted’s 10-year-old grandson out in front of the world to pray for universal health care?

  92. smartass sob,

    In Jesus’ time, the “eye of the needle” was a gate leading into Jerusalem that was too small for camels to go through standing up. So they had to be unloaded of all the stuff they were carrying and go through on their knees.

    But there were several other verses where Jesus talked about wealth being an impediment to following God’s law — not because of an arbitrary divine judgement, but because it both insulates you from the suffering of others, and requires you to violate God’s law to keep it.

  93. You’re back. I thought your concern is about the dying out of genes like blond and red hair. Just because apartheid ended, what makes you think there’s significantly more interbreeding than there was while apartheid was in effect?

    That’s not the only thing I’m concerned about.

    What I’m talking about here is South Africa having the highest number of rapes and numbers in the world, (it’s still white enough to keep stats, but black enough to be uninhabitable). The victims to black crime since the 60s has likewise been in the millions. Kennedy killed more people than the Bushite war mongers.

  94. I really don’t think Jesus would vote. His concern was for man’s eternal soul, not earthly politics. He could have gotten involved in the politics of Roman occupied Isreal, but he choose not to.

    Needless to say, “getting involved” in Romano-Judean politics was quite a bit messier than voting. It’s quite sickening to hear people assume that because Jesus wasn’t willing to start a violent revolution to have himself crowned king, that means Christians shouldn’t walk into a polling place and pull a lever. The people who trumpet the “my kingdom is not of this world” line to discourage Christians from being politically active are generally either (a) Christians who don’t want the responsibility that comes from living in a democracy, or (b) atheist ideologues who want to run our polity without any interference from troublesome Christians.

    If Jesus was so damned unconcerned about this world, why did he heal all those people? Why did he urge his followers to take care of the poor?

  95. But there were several other verses where Jesus talked about wealth being an impediment to following God’s law — not because of an arbitrary divine judgement, but because it both insulates you from the suffering of others, and requires you to violate God’s law to keep it.

    I accept neither your god nor his laws, but when the preachers give up their thousand dollar suits and their Cadilacs, and the Church in Rome divests itself of its art treasures, you come on back and tell me some more good stuff about your god’s laws. Okay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  96. SF, your bible passage is killing me. Hilarious.

  97. Because Teddy Kennedy intended to champion the poor and fight discrimination, then the results, it has gone without saying, were that the poor and the discriminated-against were better off. What matters is the purity of heart, and loudness of voice, rather than the real-world impact.

    In Catholic moral theology, it *is* the intention, rather than results, that matters. The greed of investors and CEOs in Big Pharma certainly has resulted in the prevention of more human suffering than the humble sacrifice of Mother Theresa did, but it won’t help BigPharma backers into heaven.

    In the case of Ted Kennedy, though, it’s extremely hard to believe he had good intentions with regard to helping the poor. It’s been clear that the liberal tactics for fighting poverty have utterly failed for decades. Unless he was a moron, he knew that his so-called “fighting for the poor” on the floor of the Senate was pointless. Add that to the fact that he relished the lifestyle of the idle rich, and was perfectly willing to advance policies that hurt the poor when they benefited him and his friends, and I don’t think we have to debate the relative merits of intention vs. results in this case: he was a monster and a failure in both categories.

  98. I accept neither your god nor his laws, but when the preachers give up their thousand dollar suits and their Cadilacs, and the Church in Rome divests itself of its art treasures, you come on back and tell me some more good stuff about your god’s laws. Okay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Somebody’s worshiping at the Church of Ad Hominem today… FWIW, I suspect most Catholic priests and popes historically have gone straight to hell when they died.

  99. Teddy was not paying attention in religion class when they got to the part about Jesus’s issues with the Pharisees, was he?

  100. “Ted had plenty of time to repent his sins and make a good confession, so there is a chance that he will be in heaven.”

    Possibly, but given the Catholic belief in Purgatory it won’t be by the direct route.

  101. Somebody’s worshiping at the Church of Ad Hominem today…

    No. I merely pointed out the obscene hypocrisy of the loudest-mouthed proponents and spokesmen for your “God’s Law.” If I wished to discuss the merits, or lack of them, of “God’s Law,” I’d take some other tack than mentioning that hypocrisy.

    I just think those who advocate the redistribution of wealth should begin with their own. I find that especially relevant when it comes to a Kennedy or an Obama…or a Pope etc.

  102. What did Ted Kennedy ever do to lessen the burdens of government that weigh so heavily upon the backs of the “poor” and the “little guy?”

    For example, did Teddy ever:

    1. Fight for the eliminatin of the payroll tax on the wages of hourly workers?

    2. Fight to eliminate the income tax on the wages of hourly workers?

    3. Fight to eliminate the drug war?

    4. Fight to eliminate the assessmnet of penalties and interest by the IRS upon the outstanding income tax liabilities of folks who earned less than the median familiy income?

    5. FIght for the elimination of the FBI, DEA?

    Nuff said.

  103. “Render unto Caesar” does not mean Christians should obey the laws of Caesar. Jesus did not respect Rome nor its legions. He did not respect those who voluntarily chose to be in service to Caesar, including tax collectors. He certainly did not respect those who tried to curry favor with Caesar.

    I just laugh at those Christians who hae been duped into thinking that good Christians must submit to “civil” authority.

    DELUDED LOSER SLAVES OF SATAN!

  104. In the case of Ted Kennedy, though, it’s extremely hard to believe he had good intentions with regard to helping the poor. It’s been clear that the liberal tactics for fighting poverty have utterly failed for decades. Unless he was a moron, he knew that his so-called “fighting for the poor” on the floor of the Senate was pointless. Add that to the fact that he relished the lifestyle of the idle rich, and was perfectly willing to advance policies that hurt the poor when they benefited him and his friends, and I don’t think we have to debate the relative merits of intention vs. results in this case: he was a monster and a failure in both categories.

    There is very little mention of Kennedy’s charitable work. (I know the Kennedy family has at least one charity in their name.)

    I find that especially relevant when it comes to a Kennedy or an Obama…or a Pope etc.

    Does Pope Benedict XVI truly own any property.

  105. libertymike, St. Paul laughs back at you.

    From Romans 13:

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay your taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Pretty explicit, don’t you think?

  106. The same Greek word is translated as “image” in the following passages:

    Mark 12:14-17

    Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.

    Genesis 1:27

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    The point being, money is created in the image of Caesar, so there is no sin in giving him money. But Jesus’ larger point is that, as we are created in God’s image, we must give our whole selves to him.

  107. Does Pope Benedict XVI truly own any property.

    Do you or I, when that ownership is subject to the whims of Congress?

    But to answer your question, Benedict may or may not own some personal property – I do not know. I think though, that the vast holdings of the Roman Catholic Church are under the control of the Cardinals and various Archdioceses. However, the pronouncements of the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ and infallible utterer of the Word of God, would surely exercise some influence on the financial dealings of the Church – or so one would think. Perhaps there’s a Catholic about who could inform us.

  108. The stark contrasts between the ideals of the Progressive movement and the right wing’s backwards and greedy ideology were out in public Saturday for all to compare and contrast at Our Lady of Perpetual Comfort Church in Boston. The differences were so obvious, you could not have missed them had you tried.

    Animus meet Shadow. Shadow meet Animus. I have a feeling you two are going to get along famously, so long as you work to drown out that humming noise in the background. That is just your conscience trying to bring forth a little self awareness.

  109. the vast holdings of the Roman Catholic Church are under the control of the Cardinals and various Archdioceses.

    yeah, whatever. First, don’t pretend to know about the structure of the Church you attack, because you obviously don’t. Second, those “vast holdings” are mostly real estate, with churches, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, etc sitting on top of them. When you’re providing all sorts of services for north of a billion people, you’re going to need a shitload of real estate. You Catholic-baters always make it sound like Church assets are just Benedict’s personal slush fund that he can cash in willy-nilly for a weekend at Monte Carlo.

  110. What I’m talking about here is South Africa having the highest number of rapes and numbers in the world, (it’s still white enough to keep stats, but black enough to be uninhabitable). The victims to black crime since the 60s has likewise been in the millions. Kennedy killed more people than the Bushite war mongers.

    And I’m sure the South African government kept careful track of all the black people who were murdered, imprisoned, tortured, etc. under apartheid. After all keeping good records is the white thing to do.

    And it’s a huge stretch to say Kennedy is responsible for someone else’s crimes.

  111. And I’m sure the South African government kept careful track of all the black people who were murdered, imprisoned, tortured, etc. under apartheid. After all keeping good records is the white thing to do.

    South Africa had a paper bag test for rape.

    If the victim is darker than a paper bag, it was not considered rape.

  112. South Africa had a paper bag test for rape.

    If the victim is darker than a paper bag, it was not considered rape.

    Pretty tasteless.

    In America over 37,000 black male on white female rapes a year. 0 to 10 white male on black female. I don’t know what it is in SA but considering the ugliness of black females and the criminality of black males it’s probably similar.

  113. Hey, Dick Hostage, you must just be trying to get a reaction.

  114. Tulpa | September 1, 2009, 12:34am | #

    “the vast holdings of the Roman Catholic Church are under the control of the Cardinals and various Archdioceses.”

    yeah, whatever. First, don’t pretend to know about the structure of the Church you attack, because you obviously don’t. Second, those “vast holdings” are mostly real estate, with churches, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, etc sitting on top of them. When you’re providing all sorts of services for north of a billion people, you’re going to need a shitload of real estate. You Catholic-baters always make it sound like Church assets are just Benedict’s personal slush fund that he can cash in willy-nilly for a weekend at Monte Carlo.

    Pretend? What, the Catholic Church isn’t organized into archdioceses and dioceses composed of parishes? I don’t have to be particularly knowledgeable about the Church to know that basic information – hell, I don’t even have to be Catholic. Maybe you don’t read too well – I wrote that I think the holdings are managed that way, implying that I don’t really know for certain but was giving my best guess. But regardless, it’s a pretty reasonable guess that the Pope doesn’t personally own any of it, or even directly control it. And if you think it so terribly obvious that I don’t know “anything about the structure of the Church,” why bother to point it out? What do you know about it?

    I know that the Church’s holdings are mostly real estate – I never wrote that they weren’t. But since you seem to be such an expert on the subject, perhaps you’d like to inform the rest of us how the properties and other wealth are managed or administered. Perhaps you’d like to tell us, too, while you’re at it, how much tax gets paid on it, hotshot.

    As for attacking poor Holy Mother Church – why in hell shouldn’t it be? It’s one of the bloodiest, most corrupt institutions in the histoy of western civilization; it deserves every bit of flak that it catches. But in case you think I was singling out the Roman Catholic Church let me disillusion you: I don’t think any more highly of the Protestant denominations either. It’s only that the former is much more monolithic etc. For that matter I don’t have any much use for any of the organized religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism – any of them. I don’t believe in original sin or human bondage, spiritual or temporal. Why would a decent, educated person even want to be associated with such? But then someone said the churches are full of sinners, so perhaps that explains it.

    BTW, if you’re going to accuse someone of something, at least use the proper term or get the spelling right: It’s baiter, not bater – no one’s wanking-off the Catholics. Well I’m not anyway.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.