Religion gets prominent attention in convention speech
"Kerry found his faith voice," Beliefnet's Steven Waldman blogged last night. "Not surprisingly, the key that unlocked his spiritual closet was Vietnam." Indeed, as Max Cleland introduced the Democratic nominee, he said. "The Bible tells me that no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends." Then came a biographical film, where Kerry declared, "I am alive today because of the grace of a higher being."
Kerry's nomination acceptance speech also began with few references to faith and religion:
Home where my parents showed me the values of family, faith, and country. [My mother] taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature.
We believe in the family value expressed in one of the oldest Commandments: "Honor thy father and thy mother." As President, I will not privatize Social Security.
We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America. Not narrow appeals that divide us, but shared values that unite us. Family and faith. Hard work and responsibility. Opportunity for allso that every child, every parent, every worker has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential.
But it was in the final moments of speech that Kerry went from vague references to faith to explicitly talking about religion.
When I am President, the government I lead will enlist people of talent, Republicans as well as Democrats, to find the common groundso that no one who has something to contribute will be left on the sidelines. And let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think ...1
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