John Kerry told The New York Times in an interview on Monday, "The President and I have the same position, fundamentally, on gay marriage. We do. Same position."

Neglecting to mention that he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment while Bush supports it, Kerry then characterized the difference between him and the President as a matter of energizing religious voters. Bush and other Republicans are "out there misleading people and exploiting it," The Times quoted Kerry as saying.

"Careful not to question the sincerity of Mr. Bush's faith or to criticize the mobilization of conservative religious forces on his behalf, Mr. Kerry nonetheless suggested his opponent's campaign had gone over the line with the way it frames some issues." The Times wrote. "Despite frequent invocations of the term 'values,' he has not connected his agenda to a deeper moral conviction, though in the interview Monday he declared, 'Faith is central to my life.'"

Still, a Time magazine poll found only 7 percent of voters thought Kerry was a "man of strong religious faith."

So where's the disconnect? The Times says, "Aides attribute Mr. Kerry's visible discomfort in discussing religion to his Catholic upbringing in reserved New England, a contrast to Mr. Bush's spiritual rebirth into the more confessional tradition of evangelical Christianity."

But on the kinds of social issues many religious conservatives vote on, Kerry's actions speak louder than explanations. When President Bush weighed in on embryonic stem-research, he viewed it as an ethical problem. He invited clergy, ethicists, and scientists to counsel him. While Kerry has "surrounded himself with university researchers and doctors in white laboratory coats and disease sufferers," says The Times. Kerry ...

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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 executive editor. 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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