Sen. John Kerry's advisers are telling the presidential candidate to steer clear of talking about religion after running afoul of several Catholic bishops and after the campaign's new director of religious outreach was criticized this week for espousing left-wing causes. The Rev. Robert Drinan, a Jesuit priest who served in Congress during the 1970s, says he has advised the campaign to clamp down on religious rhetoric and "keep cool on the Communion thing" after four Catholic bishops either barred Mr. Kerry by name from taking Communion in their dioceses or said pro-choice Catholics should be denied the sacrament. "The mood now is to shut up about it," said Father Drinan, who teaches at Georgetown University Law Center. He said the Communion debate "is a nonissue" in the Kerry campaign and simply a tool of the Republican Party. (emphasis added)The real problem here is that the Kerry campaign (and liberals in general?) are under the notion that the issue of religion is a campaign tool.
"Every time something with religious language got sent up the flagpole, it got sent back down, stripped of religious language," a Kerry campaign source said of Miss Vanderslice's ideas on overcoming Mr. Kerry's secular image. The campaign source also said former Clinton aides Paul Begala, John Podesta and Mike McCurry have tutored campaign operatives on more aggressively using religion to appeal to voters. "Why the campaign is not listening to any of them, I don't know," the source said. "Conservatives are about 20 years ahead of us on this stuff."They really don't get it do they? In their quest to achieve freedom from religion they are at a loss to understand why people actually take them at their word. Kerry privatizes his religion by stating his comfort in holding to views that are in direct opposition to church teachings. Fine. But why doesn't his campaign understand that he's made his bed? Now, when it's time to sleep in it, his campaign is surprised that people actually see an inconsistency in claiming to hold to one worldview while sitting on a pew, and to another for the rest of the time. Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt