The National Catholic Reporter has a very good editorial on the “controversy” of John Kerry’s Catholicism and what it means about his fitness to be President.
Assume for the moment that John Kerry’s Catholic critics are correct. That a Catholic legislator, or would-be president, cannot embrace abortion rights (or embryonic stem cell research, or gay rights or you name it) and be a “good Catholic.”
It’s an interesting debate, one in which even some “good Catholics” — those who would pass these narrow litmus tests — might disagree.
But that discussion has nothing — zero — to do with whether John Kerry should be president of the United States.
Kerry might be a “bad Catholic” (or a “good” one for that matter) and still be an exemplary president; or a failed one. Personal piety and religious observance are not prerequisites of national leadership.
Were Jefferson and Lincoln good Deists? Hoover and Nixon exemplary Quakers? Kennedy a committed Catholic? George H.W. Bush a first-rate Episcopalian? Clinton a quality Baptist? George W. Bush a pious Methodist?
History judges these men not on their religious zeal, but on their performance in office. How God judges them is for God to decide.
Read the whole thing. Via Body and Soul.