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 all—so 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 ground—so 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 ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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