I quote from the federal Opposition leader, the Hon. Tony Abbott’s recent address to the Australian Christian Lobby at the Old Parliament House, Canberra, on June 21.
He said: “Faith has influenced my life, but it does not, and I believe should not, shape my politics.
“Christian faith, properly understood, is genial and inclusive; more given to forgiveness than judgement and conscious always of Jesus’ hope that we should have life and have it unto the full.”
The affront to conscience and Catholic doctrine by the first Catholic to be United States President, John F. Kennedy, set the stage for the wave of dissent by Catholic politicians in the US, and this in 1960 in his bid for the presidency!
As Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University aptly put it: “Kennedy effectively declared his Catholic faith to be irrelevant to his public life.”
Kennedy declared: “Whatever issue may come before me as President – on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling, or any other subject – I will make my decision in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to do otherwise.”
Note the toadying to the popular misconception of “dictate” rather than reason, and the licence of his conscience apparently free to dissent from doctrine.
It is an ominous sign that Tony Abbott, foolishly, has chosen a not dissimilar path. How “genial and inclusive” are Christ’s teaching on homosexual “marriage” for instance, and His command, and that of the Scriptures, to judge all actions, speech and writing against truth?
Peter D. Howard,