Kery the Catholic
John Kerry's best moment tonight was when he beat Bush to the Bible by paraphrasing James 2:14. When John Kennedy was running for President, he was asked if his allegiance would be first to his Pope or to the American people. The very question reflects the ingrained anti-Catholic sentiment in the country, and little has changed in the intervening 40 years. Kerry has wisely avoided the issue of his religion and the odd dance he, like millions of other Catholics, has had to do to remain in its good graces.
Tonight, he deftly managed not only to assert his Catholicism but to distance himself from it enough that he echoed Kennedy's answer to the question of his allegiance with considerably more grace. Kennedy simply said that he would never allow the Church to dictate his actions as President; whereas, Kerry managed to reach out to people of all faiths and assert that we all have work to do to "love our neighbours more".
Meanwhile, Bush, who is used to being the first to invoke his faith, stood silent, having to be prompted to discuss his faith by the moderator.