Friday, August 28, 2009

Senator Kennedy: Passion, Talent, and...

Listening to reports on Senator Ted Kennedy's life, I really had to admire the knack he had for working with others, and for implementing legislation. And some of this legislation has benefitted me, most notably the Direct Student Loan program. Over time, he built legislation that clearly expressed a set of values that he felt passionate about. I think the work that is yet to be done is dialogue regarding the roots of these ideas. Why do we care for others? Why do we have laws? For too long, Catholics in this country have accepted the findings of experts, journalists, and statisticians as facts: objective and neutral facts. Too often, the knowledge that is acceptable is only a knowledge that excludes faith. Only after the experts have pronounced 'what is' can the person of faith then judge what the Gospels would recommend for be done in the situation (and this judgment is either an opinion or a feeling about what is right). The end of this process is a passionate action empowered by one's religiousness.

In fact, there is no experience without judgment. It's only a matter of which criteria used. Senator Kennedy was a passionate and talented man; I look forward to the day when we see a senator with passion and talent who not only seeks the how of justice, but also the why, the truth of justice...
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