Guest / Limited Access /

Kerry's mother, Rosemary, grew up in the tradition of the patricians—the br /ahmins—or Protestant establishment of New England. Her maiden name was Forbes, and she grew up as a descendant of the Forbes and Winthrop families. A major element of the patricians' unwritten moral code is that one should participate in public affairs, and son John complied.

At Yale he served as president of the Yale Political Union and a leader of the debate team. During his senior year, Kerry signed up in late 1965 to join the U.S. Navy, with the expectation that he would serve in Vietnam. Kerry served in the U.S. Navy from August 1966 to January 1970.

By 1968 he was training to be a skipper on a swift boat in the rivers, canals, and waterways of Vietnam. It was during his four months as captain of two different swift boats that he performed heroic service. He earned three Purple Hearts, a br /onze Star, and a Silver Star. Kerry earned one of those Purple Hearts after saving the life of a U.S. Army Special Forces officer, Jim Rassmann.

Still, Kerry has given conflicting accounts of why he served in Vietnam. In the 1998 interview with American Windsurfer he imputed no religious meaning to it. Yet in an early July speech to the African Methodist Episcopal convention he did. Summarizing President Clinton's endorsement of Kerry's candidacy, in which Clinton invoked the Prophet Isaiah, Kerry said, "Whenever there was a call to service in war or in peace, I have always answered that call."

Related Elsewhere:

This article is a sidebar to John Kerry's Open Mind | The candidate has roots in liberal Catholicism, establishment Protestantism, and secular idealism.

Other Christianity Today articles on John Kerry and the Democratic party from our Election 2004 ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedAtheists Accuse Evangelical Researchers (US!) of Bias-- Let's Take a Look!
Atheists Accuse Evangelical Researchers (US!) of Bias-- Let's Take a Look!
Humanists say LifeWay Research was biased, but both polls are helpful
TrendingLecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
(UPDATED) Performance with The Roots was the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
Editor's PickWhy ISIS Must Be Stopped
Why ISIS Must Be Stopped
But no special pleading on behalf of Christians is required.
Comments
Christianity Today
Not Far from the Brahmin Tree
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.