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The Reconciliation of Souls

The passing of Edward Kennedy yesterday has provoked a great many comments, most of them predictable in their spirit and intent. While Senator Kennedy was best known as a political man and his person is generally judged in the light of his political actions and behavior, there is also a strong moral judgment in the public appraisal of the man, and to that end we may consider the condition of his soul. That does not mean that we are fit to do so, but judging others is a very common practice, even a game, among humans. Pride being the chief of sins, we often imagine that we can speak as we will about others with no worry about the consequences we bring upon ourselves.

And there is the point for this article. There are many things we cannot know in this life, but one sure thing is that we all must die. We are finite, and we are imperfect at best, and frankly most of us have things in our lives which we would be very happy to keep private and hidden away, if they could not be erased from the record completely. That's not to say we are all guilty to the same degree, but all the same there's few enough of us who could honestly claim to deserve the reputation we show the public.

Those who wish to condemn a man for his life, should remember that we all fail to some degree, and for all that we may rightly curse another for his wrongs we never know completely his own pain and trials, what may have brought him to speak and act as he did. And those who wish to praise a man might consider that everything we do will falter and end just as our own bodies do. The greatest acts of men have all come to end, so that only the Divine touch makes anything endure.

And that is where God and human souls come into the matter. All that truly matters is of God, and all that we may hope for depends in the end on His perfect will and hope of His mercy. Through all of Man's history there have been attempts to make sense of the human identity and our place in the Cosmos, from ancient myths and legends to theology and reasoned thought, extending to every conceivable conclusion, including skepticism and antitheist hostility. In the end, however, one comes to one of three places - rejection of everything not proven beyond the possibility of doubt, belief in a greater purpose and Person than this universe proves, or essential doubt and abandonment of the question for fear of the question.

I believe we are made for better purpose, indeed we are each of us specially made for not only a purpose but a specific personage. We are each of us unique in our person, yet part of family, community and nation in many ways. This life ends precisely because it, and we, are imperfect, so that we may learn perfection and seek the greater person we are to become. I do not accept the notion that if someone murders someone else and is never arrested, if someone rapes another person and never serves a day in prison, if someone oppresses someone else through intimidation and never faces an accounting in this life, that there is no accounting for that injustice. I will not accept the claim that someone's good dies with him and has no value beyond the moment. I believe and affirm that while God remains invisible to human eyes, He is imminent to us in faith and truth and hope. All that we do is either perfected or consumed according to its nature, and every one of us will discover good and evil in our lives to a greater depth than we ever suspected before.

All souls are made by God, yet all people are given free will to choose our disposition. I cannot promise heaven to anyone, as heaven belongs to God Almighty and must serve Him perfectly and so I cannot speak to His judgment. I also will not condemn anyone to hell, knowing its eternal torment and again being unworthy to sit in judgment of another sinner. Paul wrote that we believers shall judge angels, but may the Lord save me from the pride of believing that I am fit to judge my neighbor.

How the world ends is written in Scripture, but the mystery of a specific person who can say? I cannot earn heaven but cannot bear hell, nor do I imagine any man could do so save our Savior. So I depend, as we all do, on our Advocate and Champion to resolve what is, as always has been, beyond our ken, and for my part I pray that Edward chose well and sincerely. For even among Christ's own hand-picked disciples, two betrayed Him and came to repent of it, yet one chose a way that ended in condemnation while the other was reconciled in penitence by the Lord's grace. In the end we are resolved by greater power and purpose than we know.


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Comments (66)

With all due respect: bulls... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

With all due respect: bullshit. The man killed a woman and evaded responsibility for it. When we treat such a man with honor and respect, we dishonor and disrespect his victim. When such a man is allowed to stay in high office in a democratic society, we are then accomplices in the corruption of our civic institutions. Yes, God gets ultimate judgment, but here on Earth, we must judge for practical, temporal reasons. We cannot condemn the man to hell, but we surely can condemn him to a landfill or sewage treatment plant.

Very literate in content. I... (Below threshold)
Terry S/Will Profit:

Very literate in content. I am still somewhat perplexed as to why I should give a damn that Ted is dead.

It expressed everything I t... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

It expressed everything I thought about death in general of anyone be they good or evil. I do try not to say anything that would hurt his family and friends who my heart goes out to.

But the man himself does not deserve my respect.

Nothing like living off the... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Nothing like living off the family name and money. Kinda explains his limo-liberal philosophy. You might say it was "guilt" driven.

TMK had forty years of time... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

TMK had forty years of time to redeem himself after the incident on Chappaquiddick.
He never did; he carried on with the same senseless behavior that lead to his distress in 1969.
Old age finally caught up with him. He only stopped the aberant behavior when he became too old to drink and party every night.
It was not a deep reflection on his part that changed his lifestyle.
Wish I could bring myself to say something nice about him. I can't. Hope his family does well. I can only imagine how Mary Jo's family felt at her funeral and then spending the rest of their life without a simple "I'm sorry."
I think some of the comments about him are well deserved.

See, Mr Drummond?Y... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

See, Mr Drummond?

You go and write a thoughtful, literate piece, filled with Christian humility and Christlike forgiveness, and what do these mouthbreathers respond with? More urine to pour over a grave.

These so-called upstanding morality types who spout vitriol on the death of a political enemy should be ashamed of themselves. As we say in the South, "Them fellers got no home-trainin'."

The fact that ghouls on the other side rejoiced at Reagan's or Novak's death, and posted ugly things at Kos or wherever, does not mean you should do the same.

Let me just ask some of the older haters on these pages something. Back in the 60s and 70s, did YOU ever drive drunk? No? Not even once? I did, several times. Hell, drunk driving was practically winked at back in the day.

It was only luck, or maybe God's grace, that I didn't kill anyone. And if YOU ever drove drunk, even once, even waaaayy back in the 60s or 70s, you COULD have killed someone, too.

So, if you old farts can't honestly say that you never ever drove a car after knocking back a few PBRs, you should hold your tongue.

This is actually not meant ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

This is actually not meant as any disrespect but Ted Kennedy's death is not an event that would cause me to examine my, his or mankind's place in the cosmos or relationship to God.

Well said DJD and that's wh... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Well said DJD and that's why I don't comment on an announcement of a person's death other than to say I hope he was right with the Lord.

Bruce Henry, I take up your... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Bruce Henry, I take up your challenge.

I have never, ever driven drunk. The worst that can be said of my driving is I have driven tired. Not even one drink - ever.

I have never been in a serious accident (Serious defined, in this case, as someone being injured more then a sore muscle or three).

The facts of Ted Kennedy driving drunk and running away have been debated ad nausem before, and I will not debate it again. The man was wrong, and he evaded responsibility for his actions. Anyone with lessor connections would have served time in jail.

In the Senate, he had many years to try and do some good for this country. He failed. We will spend many more years undoing what he did there.

That is his legacy.

I will let God judge his soul.

I'd wager, there are quite ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I'd wager, there are quite a few of us young farts, that are not shedding a tear for the demise of Senator Kennedy. Even though he was true to his party, and to his family, he was not in any fashion an honorable man.

So Bruce, please explain ho... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

So Bruce, please explain how being a "political rival" somehow provides a magical shield that prevents others from holding you accountable for the evil that you have done outside your political career.

Check my posts here: have I once expressed the slightest satisfaction over that thing's passing due to its political philosophy? It's legislative initiatives? It's earmarks? No. I condemn for none of those things. I condemn for the death of Mary Jo and the evasion of responsibility. I shall not give it a pass for that now that it is dead, having squandered every moment of its limited time on this Earth to confront what it did.

And no, I've never once driven while intoxicated. The closest I've ever come was having one beer three hours before I drove a block to change a parking space. So, I guess that means you have no problem with me urinating on its tombstone, right? Otherwise, why ask the question?

I was also unaware that Reagan or Novak committed homicide. That is new. Please enlighten us and tell us who the victims were.

Bruce Henry: "So, if you... (Below threshold)

Bruce Henry: "So, if you old farts can't honestly say that you never ever drove a car after knocking back a few PBRs...."

...while with a woman who wasn't your wife...then drove your car off a bridge...saved yourself and abandoned the woman leaving her slowly drown...then IGNORED the house sitting just a few dozen yards away with its LIGHTS BLAZING but instead swam across a channel...and then waited over 12 hours to report the "incident"???

Can ANY of you "old farts" actually say you've never done that???

Bruce Henry...you're the lowest and dumbest troll here.

I am sorry, that does not e... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I am sorry, that does not equate: driving a car after having a few is not the same as having a accident, killing the passenger, fleeing the scene, not reporting the accident???????
Gotta do better than that.
"you COULD have killed someone, too."
I could have, but I did not. And besides, I probably would not have broken the law by leaving the scene of an accident, running like a coward down the road while someone died in my car. I guess he needed the time a place to sober up.

I have often wondered, that in some fleeting moment or in a dream, he saw himself fleeing like a coward and ignoring the screams.
Of course not, you need a conscience for that to happen.

More than anything else, he never apologized and the incident never changed his lifestyle.

Bruce Henry, Mary Jo can't ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Bruce Henry, Mary Jo can't even be a mouthbreather, can she. It was Ted's running away while she was drowning that is intolerable for me, not necessarily the accident itself.

Closely followed, of course, by Ted's public use of his dead brothers ("Kennedy Curse") to try to save his own lame ass. What a guy.

Bruce, I'll say it: I've ne... (Below threshold)
Hamish:

Bruce, I'll say it: I've never driven after drinking. Not once. Never. Not one inch, not one drop. Let alone done all the rest Ted did after turning the key.

Since I'm without that sin, can I cast the first stone?

Bruce:I have never... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Bruce:

I have never once driven while intoxicated or under the influence. However even excusing that part of it because perfectly sober people drive off perfectly good bridges all the time. HE DIDN'T GO FOR HELP OR REPORT THE INCIDENT!

That is the main reason people are angry at the man. Despite his political leanings and connections he through his action killed a woman and never once said "I'm Sorry" to the family or the American People. He acted like it never happened with "No Comment" being the most he ever spoke about it beyond his seeming reluctance to continue as senator for Massachusetts.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Even Bill Clinton apologized to America and for a lesser crime. He has pretty much been forgiven, at least by me for his tryst in the Oval Office.

I see that several have ans... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

I see that several have answered Bruce Henry more than adequately. But, I can't resist a word or two.

Aside from the damage that the Chappaquiddick cover up did to our justice system; Kennedy has tarnished the political scene for decades with his deviant life-style and his hard ball leftist politics.

This old fart simply resents the idea that anyone would lionize this guy. Let his family mourn. Let them do so in private. May he find his just reward, whatever it may be.

Don't berate me with the "Lion of the Senate" BS. Don't tell me to pretend that the nation has lost someone of value. Let me ignore him, as I have tried to do throughout his career.

Fair enough?

And yes I realize he apolog... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

And yes I realize he apologizes in that video. FOR LEAVING THE SCENE. Not for killing her, Not for driving while intoxicated.

iwogisdead,"..Ted's ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

iwogisdead,
"..Ted's public use of his dead brothers ("Kennedy Curse") to try to save his own lame ass. What a guy."
Yeah, I forgot about that one, what an asshat.

When the wreck at Chappaquiddick took place he was not some "punk' college kid out for a weekend of drinking and partying. He was a "punk" 37 year old, adult, US Senator out for a weekend of drinking and partying.


BruceThere's no se... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Bruce

There's no sense in trying to discuss Ted Kennedy with these folks because the truth is they hate and despise him for his politics more than anything.

Interesting how these good Christians from the right - you know the ones who like to bray about their Christianity and condemn Islam - are so quick to condemn the moral failings of another. One wonders what Jesus would think of the comments on Wizbang today?

DJ - another thoughtful post from you. Too bad it's way above the heads of most of these slugs.

Unrepentant, you've entirel... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Unrepentant, you've entirely missed the point the others were making. It wasn't Kennedy's politics, but his character, that mitigates their sadness. Kennedy left Mary Jo in the lurch...to advance his career. He offered to work with Moscow to undermine Reagan's foreign policy...to advance his career.

We're not talking here about driving drunk, or philandering, per se. Common human failings, and if Kennedy had owned up and accepted his responsibility for his acts, I for one would respect him. But he didn't. Not ever. And he consistently posed sanctiminously about moral obligations. That's the part that sticks in many craws.

I hope and pray that TK ask... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I hope and pray that TK asked for and was given forgiveness. I hope that he is in heaven in eternal peace.
After all the harm he has caused and dishonor he has earned here on earth, why would I wish that?
Because if a sinner like him could be forgiven then a sinner like me can be forgiven too.

Heh. SAUD was getting jealo... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Heh. SAUD was getting jealous that Bruce was getting so much attention he had to come by to drop the same turd.

Still, you are a f*cked up ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Still, you are a f*cked up POS aren't you? Is there any crime a D and commit for which they not their critics can or should take responsiblity? Ted Kennedy was a crimial sexual predetor who was unrepentant. It has nothing to do with being christian along you choose to frame it that way. It has to do with breaking the law. Kennedy ran from the scene of an accident where someone died. He was probably driving under the influence. That would be felony drunk driving. I guess if you are Kennedy with a D after your name you are exempt from law. You Unrepentant Democrat are both dishonest and FUBAR.

OccamBelieve me, I... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Occam

Believe me, I'm not missing the point at all. These slugs can hide behind "moral Principles" all they want. Bit it's all about politics all the time.

By the way if you read the comments on all the posts here about Kennedy it's obvious that it's about politics.

Nothing like moralizing and judging another's human weaknesses from a bunch of right wing saints.

I'm surprised that SAUD and... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm surprised that SAUD and Bruce did not blame the whole event on Mary Jo. After all, Teddy was such a "wonderful" person. Cheated in school, cheated on his wife, a common drunk, but hey, HE WAS A KENNEDY. I guess that gives absolution.

"Interesting how these good Christians from the right - you know the ones who like to bray about their Christianity and condemn Islam - are so quick to condemn the moral failings of another."

Nice shot there SAUD. Makes absolutely no sense, but then you excel at that, don't you?

"But it's all about politic... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"But it's all about politics all the time."

Little 'projection' there SAUD?

Thank you Occam.You ... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

Thank you Occam.
You did not multiply entities beyond necessity.
It was solely about his personal behavior and him never apologizing, asking forgiveness, or changing his ways.

And all of this has been multiplied by some in the MSN who started canonizing him today as the next political saint.

I must admit, I have been to a lot of blog sites today and it is not; we will now hold hands, bow our heads, and give a shout prayer to TMK.

ZelsdorfI don't us... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Zelsdorf

I don't usually respond to your idiotic spittle filled posts but this time I must.

I have made many mistakes in my life, including a serious drug addiction which resulted in me going to prison. I harmed many people, particularly my family. I know about human weakness and harming others and I know about redemption on a first hand basis. I'm not looking for sympathy or kudos. I'm simply saying what my experience has been.

It's very easy to moralize and judge others, especially when you know nothing about that person except what you read in the papers.

I don't condone anyone's behavior because they have a D or an I or even an R after their name. I try to understand human weakness and believe that God forgives the sinner. If God can, why can't you?

Again, I can only wonder what Jesus would have to say about these comments or similar comments about Raegan or Tony Snow after they died.

This little piece about "De... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

This little piece about "Dear Teddy" caught my eye earlier today:

"....their (Kennedy supporters) biggest regret over Chappaquiddick is that it stopped Ted Kennedy from becoming President, and therefore saving the nation."

Priorities. Or as SAUD like to say:

"But it's all about politics all the time."

By the way if you read t... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

By the way if you read the comments on all the posts here about Kennedy it's obvious that it's about politics.

Absolute bullshit, but typical of the sort of obfuscation practiced regularly by the left. Besides for some sarcastic remarks in response to the liberal trolls and some comments about abortion, which is fundamentally a moral issue, the posts on this site about Kennedy have addressed his personal moral ugliness, particularly the Chappaquiddick incident.

As far as anyone knows, eve... (Below threshold)
Drew:

As far as anyone knows, even Teddy himself would not have claimed Christ's works alone as sufficient for his salvation. So I don't know what the point is in reveling in this idea of God's mercy. The Bible does not support universalism. The Bible states that you either put your trust in God's mercy alone (i.e., the atoning death of Christ) for salvation, or you do not receive God's mercy.

And if Teddy relied on his own goodness for salvation as opposed to the work of Christ, then we can all see that his own works fell woefully short of God's glory.

It's hard for me to envision him in heaven under any theological system other than universalism.

On another post I explained... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

On another post I explained the moral failings of Kennedy. But what really is he being canonized for? Being John Kennedy's brother and killing Mary Jo are the only two things related to him. I do not hate him. I certainly do not exalt him. I pity him as I would any reprobate who does not see the results of his actions. Bruce Henry gave a good try and lead us to the "it's only drunken driving" when we all know it is much more then that. It is privilidge and favortism. I guarantee you had any one of us done to Mary Jo what Teddy did, we would do some serious time. The girl drowned in a locked car while Teddy ran off to get his story straight.

If Teddy asked forgiveness for his many sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive him his sins. Who knows, but don't expect me to celebrate this man's life or "accomplishments". ww

I have made man... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

I have made many mistakes in my life, including a serious drug addiction which resulted in me going to prison. I harmed many people, particularly my family. I know about human weakness and harming others and I know about redemption on a first hand basis. I'm not looking for sympathy or kudos. I'm simply saying what my experience has been.

Unrepentant, I respect that. I really do. But consider what you're doing and have done: taking responsibility for your actions. That's what Kennedy never did. He denied he'd been drinking (no one laughed, maybe because it could have been true; there's a first time for everything).

From Wikipedia:According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across the 500-foot channel, back to Edgartown and returned to his hotel room, where he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed. Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30 a.m., the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, "I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room ... I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car."

By some miracle, indeed. He hadn't told the authorities what had happened. He changed clothes, got dry and comfy, collected some sack time, and hoped that she had escaped, but ...didn't actually do anything besides "hope." Instead, he spent the rest of the night discussing with his aides how to mitigate the effect on his political career. That's reprehensible. Imagine if that had been your sister in that car.

Anyone can make a mistake, but you have a moral obligation to do your best to mitigate its impact on others first, then on yourself - not the other way around. True?

Kennedy later publicly expressed regret that he would never become President because of Mary Jo's death. (I'll Google this, if you like.) It was all about him. What about her? She would never get married. Never have kids. Never see her grandkids. (She would be 62 now, had she lived.) Never see the sunrise on July 19, 1969. And he had the nerve to bleat about what he'd lost? Wow. That's some weapons grade self-absorption. She's dead, he's a Senator, but now he won't be President. Boy, did she inconvenience him. That's why many think poorly of him, me included. His actions spoke loudly to his character, or lack thereof.

Ted Kennedy was a deeply fl... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Ted Kennedy was a deeply flawed human being. So am I. So are all of you. So are we all.

Now, I believe all you folks who say you never ever drove drunk. I don't recognize most of your names, so I don't know if you are my "target audience", as it were. I was thinking of the older commenters here, some of the John Wayne types who name themselves after handguns, etc.

I'll bet that back in the day, many of you knocked back a few and then drove. Some of you may have even been pulled over, only to be let go with a warning. After all, if you didn't actually crash, most cops would let you slide back then, am I right?

The fact is that I, and you if you engaged in this behavior, could easily have killed someone in the blink of an eye. And if it had happened, I don't know whether or not I would have acted in the same cowardly fashion as Kennedy did that night. And if it happened to you, YOU don't know that you wouldn't have. You might say you wouldn't; you might even believe you wouldn't. But you don't know what you would do under that kind of stress, drunk, ashamed, confused and scared.

I don't mean to make excuses for Kennedy's behavior that night. I too think he should have been more forthright in owning up and taking responsibilty. But he did what he did, and didn't do what he didn't do. He accomplished much in the Senate, as Sens Hatch, McCain, and other Republicans will attest, despite what you haters are saying here.

Mr Drummond gave all you so-called morally upright paragons an example of What Jesus Would Say About Teddy, based on scripture and very thoughtfully put. You guys are hopeless. Enjoy your hatred.

Judgment means establishing... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

Judgment means establishing punishment, which is beyond my power, so I won't be judging Ted Kennedy. Discernment is using my sense of justice and morality to discriminate between good and evil, right and wrong, sin and blessing. Theodore Kennedy was a bad man and a worse senator. Forty-five years in the U.S. Senate subverting The Republic with socialism, collaborator with the KGB against Reagan, co-conspirator with traitor and 3-bandaid coward John Kerry sabotaging the war in Viet Nam, legacy political parasite, murderer, accused rapist/molester,.... Nope, no tears here. He might have been a hail and hearty fellow at the bar, the club, the compound gatherings funded by the family's ill-gotten millions, but for my dollar, he wasn't worth a plug nickel to the nation. He might have been untouchable by the law and public opinion, but The Hands he is in now have Total Control over his eternal life or death. May God have mercy on his soul.

Bruce Henry: "The fact i... (Below threshold)

Bruce Henry: "The fact is that I, and you if you engaged in this behavior, could easily have killed someone in the blink of an eye. And if it had happened, I don't know whether or not I would have acted in the same cowardly fashion as Kennedy did that night. And if it happened to you, YOU don't know that you wouldn't have."

But I know ONE thing, Bruce...and it's a FACT:
IF I was responsible for the death of someone in that fashion (drunk, leaving the scene, failure to report a crime, lying to Police officers)...then I would NOT have subsequently spent the rest of my life in U.S. Senate!

BEST case: I would have done at least SOME time in jail. This was Felony Drunk Driving (it resulted in a fatality, and he WAS drunk!). But by waiting 12 hours+ before reporting it he was able to dodge the drunk part...although the police essentially did not investiage this.

you keep tarring everyone on this site with Ted Kennedy's brush...and it STINKS!

Was he "evil"? No. Is he deserving of the cannonization now going on by every media outlet except FoxNews? Absolutely NOT!

He's gone...I do not miss him. For those within his family who are grieved I actually AM sorry. But he is now before God...and God knows what happened that night...and several other nights as well.

If I were to drive while dr... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

If I were to drive while drunk and my passenger died while I made no effort to help or get help, but rather covered it up, then I would deserve all the shame and harassment that came my way. I would have demonstrated that I am a creature not fit to be called a man. It matters not what my accusers would have done in such a situation, it matters only what I did do.

That is not to say that I could not be redeemed. Yes, if you want to go the Christian route, redemption is readily had to heartfelt penitent. But, for redemption in the eyes of society, a different standard must be required. To be absolved by society, one must stand before the law, and accept the judgment given. That did not happen in this case, so no social forgiveness should be forthcoming. Let God attend to Teddy's spirt, let man attend to Teddy's memory.

To say that we haters are wrong (and yes, I do hate, for the great haters are also the great lovers), you must believe that honoring a man who kills a fellow citizen and flouts the law through political privilege does nothing to harm our country.

And yes, that is the choice, between hate and honor. It is not enough to say nothing. In today's world, if you cannot say anything nice, hundreds of thousands of others will scream niceties from the rooftops, such that every criminal will be buried in accolades if the righteous do not speak and call the bastard what he is when he is lowered into the ground.

The fact that someone is a Senator gives no social absolution. That position lost its honor long ago, and is now possessed by the corrupt and power hungry.

So, this just hate shall be on display for as long as the sickening display of laudatory eulogizing is. Let every moment of silence be broken by angry roars, every solemn memorial drowned in laughter. As long as a building bears the murderer's name, we shall remind the tenants of its shameful deed. If you wish to put an end to it, put an end to his memory. When he has been consigned to memory's oblivion, then he will do no more harm, and society can forgive.

Human selfishness is what t... (Below threshold)
914:

Human selfishness is what teddy suffered from SAUDI nothing less.

Bruce, You would have cut and run as well on that hypothetical night that was all to real for mary jo.

The Kennedys ill gotten millions twolaneflash? No, they earned it thru hard legitimate bootlegging work just like Lurch and the rest of the golddigging leftists who feed like parasites at the public trough.

That's a good point, Justra... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

That's a good point, Justrand. It's sad and outrageous how rich, connected people get away with things. I have no clever retort for that.

Now I direct your attention to a relatively minor matter. In 2005, I think it was, Dick Cheney, after drinking, accidentally shot a friend in the face. Investigators from the local police were turned away, not allowed to interview the VP until many hours later.

Now, suppose Ol' Dick had had a little more than birdshot in his 12 gauge? Suppose Whittington had died? Do you think Cheney would have volunteered to be interviewed right away, found to be under the influence, and accepted the consequences? I don't think so. He still hasn't admitted drinking the drinks that witnesses say he drank. So a rich, connected individual gets away with a crime once again. Hardly a comparable offense, I know, but you on the Right seemed to have no problem with police turning a blind eye to Cheney's transgression.

How telling, JSchuler, that you regard yourself as one of "the righteous."

And I wonder how tolerant you were of insulting the recently departed when the Left was discussing Jesse Helms' death.

Not to sound uncaring about... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Not to sound uncaring about the grand old lecher, but can we just drive a stake through his heart, burn the remains and spread his ashes at a cross road and be done with it?

And if it had h... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

And if it had happened, I don't know whether or not I would have acted in the same cowardly fashion as Kennedy did that night.

Bruce, thank you for your reasoned and reasonable statement. I would like to clarify a bit. My problem is not so much with what Kennedy did that night, but what he did subsequently. You're absolutely right: no one, none of us, knows what he'd do in such a situation at the time. With the best will in the world, any of us could flinch and save ourselves. This I freely grant. The instinct to self-preservation is strong.

My problem comes with the subsequent events. Flinching at the crucial moment is a forgivable human failing. Shrinking from accepting responsibility, in the cold light of day, and after reflection, is not. Kennedy, if he were a man, should have manned up, and accepted both responsibility and punishment for his actions. He did not, and never did. That's the problem.

I dont think Cheney would h... (Below threshold)
914:

I dont think Cheney would have run thru the jungle when its a 103 in the shade just to sober up in a cabin and contemplate His descension to senator status.

If the guy that actually had been shot has no problem with it, why should we?

Why dont we ask mary jo if she would like to press charges? Or is She hiding from the press?

Bruce, AGAIN you find a sca... (Below threshold)

Bruce, AGAIN you find a scapegoat for Kennedy, this time hypothesizing about Cheney.

OK, I'll admit it, when I was helping my wife with the cooking once I accidentally cut her hand with the knife I was using (I didn't notice her grab for something). She DID bleed a bit, but luckily no stiches were needed.

that does NOT put me on a par with OJ SIMPSON!!!

you're pathetic attempts to paint Kennedy's abandonment of that woman, and subsequent cover up of the crime as just a SHADE OF GRAY of what everyone else has done, is past pathetic.

BH Post 35:Thank y... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

BH Post 35:

Thank you, I think that is all we ask, that you recognize that even if he asked forgiveness from God he never made amends to the living. Most priests I have talked to would have placed that condition on forgiveness.

Atone for your sins not only to God, but to those you have sinned against.

Again, I really do not mean to politicize and I hope nobody else on here does (though I have seen the hateful posts and they make me sick). It is not right to be thankful that he died or to wish him ill. That is sinking to the level of the one who wronged you.

Going to war against those who have declared war upon us is different, if it were simply for revenge it would be wrong, but there are examples in the bible where War is condoned when the other side is truly in the wrong.

In an argument on Ted Kennedy I will state that I hope he made right with the family others as well as gaining absolution from God. I pray for his soul and for his family and I hope other Christians do as well.

However having any remark against his action in life thrown back at us as purely political is what pisses us off and makes us react.

Our reactions have indeed been wrong at times even if our message is not. I hope you see that some of your (collective, not just you BH) reactions have also been wrong and politicizing, trying to paint republicans as hypocrites simply because we don't think the man took responsibility and made ammends for his actions.

As for post 40 I never heard anything about him drinking, and he did get help did he not? He didn't leave the guy to die in the woods, go home and clean himself up then take a nap before bothering to report the incident. If he was drinking when it happened it is a bad thing but there is not really a law about drinking and holding a shot gun. Accidental Discharge of a weapon is, and I believe he owned up to that. But if the only witness does not press charges there really isn't anything the law can do.

I am no Cheney fan so if he did wrong and got away with it, then he deserves all the derogitory comments that go along with it. However his crime was nothing like Teddy's.

No, not saying it was. Just... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, not saying it was. Just pointing out that rich, connected individuals get away with shit, some relatively minor, like Cheney's thing, others serious and tragic, like Kennedy's.

In 2005, I thin... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

In 2005, I think it was, Dick Cheney, after drinking, accidentally shot a friend in the face. Investigators from the local police were turned away, not allowed to interview the VP until many hours later.

The NY Times - no friend to Cheney, I think you'll agree - makes no mention mention of drinking or Cheney's refusal to talk to investigators.

The victim characterized the incident as an accident and said no alcohol was involved. The Kenedy County sheriff has cleared Cheney of any criminal wrongdoing in the matter. The shooting occurred at approximately 1730 hours, with the Secret Service notifying the local authorities at about 1740 hours, i.e., within minutes. According to Wikipedia , in a Fox News interview, Cheney accepted full responsibility for the accident.

But let's let the factual discrepancies pass. Suppose Cheney had been drinking, and had refused to talk to investigators for hours. (Some reports that the Secret Service prevented local authorities from interviewing Cheney.)

So let's assume the worst case. Cheney's actions in that case - which is hypothetical - would fall under the heading of what I described as human failings, flinching at the operative moment. That's not my problem with Kennedy. It's not admirable, but it's understandable. If Cheney had let Whittington bleed out while Cheney discussed how to minimize political fallout, that would be more analogous to Kennedy's actions.

The big difference: Cheney accepted responsibility for the accident. Kennedy sought to weasel off the hook. We all know he didn't "dive repeatedly" to save Mary Jo. The water was only six feet deep. He split, saved himself, and then tried to save his political career, while Mary Jo drowned, and later tried to cast himself as a victim. And that's reprehensible.

Accidents happen. Neither Cheney nor Kennedy had any malice. The difference is that one accepted responsibility for an accident for which he was at most minimally culpable, and one tried to evade responsibility for an accident in which he was extremely culpable. Character - that's the point.

One final point:DJ... (Below threshold)
Hamish:

One final point:

DJ, I've been around this blog from when it was a one-man operation. I've seen a lot -- a LOT -- of writers come and go.

You come across as the best man to ever blog here. Bar none.

The character you demonstrate in articles like this put you head and shoulders above the rest.

That is NOT condemnation of the others, merely recognizing your own works.

(Just don't try to pin me down on who I think was the best BLOGGER ever at Wizbang... that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish I'd rather not stir up.)

was it a tumor or his liver... (Below threshold)
moseby:

was it a tumor or his liver attempting a bold escape thru his brain?

I'll stop making fun of stu... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I'll stop making fun of stupid religions for two seconds to ask seriously: how do any of you know that Kennedy didn't ask forgiveness from THE ONLY BEING THAT MATTERS, The Boss Himself? If he repented in a formal confessional setting then as far as he and every other Catholic is concerned, the deed was atoned for, so long as he said his fifty Hail Marys or whatever the hell "punishment" was inflicted upon him by Fr. Mc O'Hallaflanagan. (Don't accuse me of being anti-Irish. My mother is 100% Mick.) So grant that it's possible that he made his peace with Him: what does he owe Mary Jo, or the Earthly public? NOTHING. If you respect his Christian faith--as I'm told that I must, because atheism is bad and religion is awesome and just shut up--then you should withhold ALL judgment of his character because that's not YOUR job. Else you'd be disrespecting his faith, and his faith is on the list of those that cannot be ridiculed or trod upon. (So says arch-conservative William A. Donohue.)

Us atheists, on the other hand, think Catholicism is fundamentally stupid (no disrespect!) and so can freely point out that a man with a great many legislative accomplishments also happened to have done a few terrible things, and whether or not he apologized to a virgin warlock with a white collar and halitosis doesn't make the terribleness go away. (Might be an unfair generalization, but I have yet to meet a priest whose breath doesn't smell like dead people.)

And, as Marc pointed out, Ted Kennedy was fat, and in America, that's a Very Bad Thing. Fat people all go to hell with no Cheetos!

SAUD, I see since yo... (Below threshold)

SAUD,
I see since you are without sin you have cast
the first stone.
And your back must surely pain you from moving
goal posts so much.

Hyperbolist, religion has n... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Hyperbolist, religion has no necessary relationship to character (i.e., the point of the discussion). Please take that into account and redraft your previous missive, if there's anything cogent left to say once you've done so.

Thanks.

It's all been said, one way... (Below threshold)

It's all been said, one way or another today, but before this thread disappeared from view I feel compelled to enter my view concerning one particular, constantly appearing, string of comments by the well known, around here, bomb thrower Bruce Henry.

Bruce, you have staked out for yourself a moral high ground based on absolutely nothing except the words you offer here in continual condemnation and often bitter anger about. . .everything "us". And then for some unknown reason expect us to respect your "reasoning". You spew hatred of people sneering at Christians who do not measure up to your expectations. You tar every single person with the same brush as though that could possibly represent a well thought out criticism.

You appear to have some respect for D.J., but oddly enough use him to beat us over the head with. You take everyone to task for being hypocrites in their judgmentalism, but seen think that your own heavy handed dealing with all of us here is beyond the scope of the judgment you level.

Myself, I am just sick and tired of people like you whose only function on the internet seems to be anger, judgment, chastisement, and the general smearing of everyone at this place which somehow found its way into your crosshairs.

I suppose it could have been just any right leaning blog that you decided to come to and spew your endless diatribe, but I surely do hope you will do us the great honor of just leaving and taking your bucket of crap somewhere else where you can fling afresh your tawdry views which you feel it is so important that everyone know about, regardless of how much contempt you are held in.

Is that asking too much?

Thanks for your criticism, ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Thanks for your criticism, MichaelC.

It's true I'm sensitive to Christian hypocrisy. It must have something to do with living all these years in the Bible Belt, and seeing so many daily examples of it. I'm sorry it offends you when I point it out. I probably sometimes see it where it doesn't really exist, but that's not the case here.

It's obvious that many of these ghouls have been saving up their oh so pithy epitaphs ever since they heard the glad tidings of Kennedy's cancer. Excuse me, please, if I take a little offense myself.

And when you get your own blog, I promise I won't comment there. Until then, though, I'll let Wizbang decide whether or not I can post here, thank you.

Getting old is only in our ... (Below threshold)

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things:
http://www.whatwasdone.com/

If you believe that there i... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

If you believe that there is a Heaven and a Hell all you have to remember is that Kennedy wasn't greeted by St. Peter...

We can not know if Kennedy ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

We can not know if Kennedy made his peace with God so please dont just assume he went to hell. I see why the lefties are getting panty-bunched reading some of the posts on here.

I too think Catholicism is the Mafia of religion, I am pretty agnostic myself though I believe He is my savior and I make myself right with him on a daily basis.

However it is my sincere belief that part of seeking forgiveness from God is to seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. You do not get absolution just for confessing and asking forgiveness, you must actually MEAN it.

Does the catholic church still take "indulgences"? Large cash sums used to pay for forgiveness of sins and I'm sure that money can still go a long way as a "pennance" from a priest. I honestly believe however that 50 hail Mary's is not "pennance", you should also make right with the family and the american people.

However: I do still hope that he WAS forgiven and is indeed saved at this moment. Any good Christian should hope the same, let not your heart be filled with anger. Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering.

Oops, sorry, wrong religion there at the end.

Luke 6:35-38;42But... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Luke 6:35-38;42

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ... How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

It is indeed up to God to d... (Below threshold)

It is indeed up to God to determine whether Ted Kennedy had indeed expressed true regret for his actions, and what eternal fate he merits.

Kennedy's money and influence allowed him to get away with what was clearly a crime...there is little HONEST debate about that.

Having gotten away with his crime, however, the people of Massachusettes then compounded the crime by turning a blind eye to the truth, and returning this man to the Senate for decades.

His fate is in God's hands now. Airbrushing history to make him into Saint Teddy is yet another crime being perpetrated against our country...this time in the name of passing ObamaCare as TeddyCare.

Christians can leave eternal justice in God's hands, while seeking justice in THIS life. Justice is not served by cannonizing someone who clearly does not warrant it.

Yep. Everybody makes mistak... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Yep. Everybody makes mistakes...some far more serious than others. Everyone is quite imperfect and no one will get out of this world alive. But no rambling moral equivalence argument will absolve Ted Kennedy of his sins against the United States and its citizens.

SAUD #58,It sure w... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

SAUD #58,

It sure would be nice if you attempted to follow that instead of the way you usually behave around here...

SheikThat's a good... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Sheik

That's a good point. I've been thinking about this whole issue as a result of this post.

#59: Having gotten away ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

#59: Having gotten away with his crime, however, the people of Massachusettes then compounded the crime by turning a blind eye to the truth, and returning this man to the Senate for decades.

Or, perhaps, the people of Massachusetts aren't so arrogant as to presume that their moral righteousness supercedes the law. You don't like that Ted Kennedy wasn't prosecuted? That's too bad. There are probably a lot of other things that you don't like. Idea: write them all down on a piece of paper and then set it on fire: you'll find the experience to be liberating and cathartic.

We should all hope that aft... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

We should all hope that after leading a life as ugly and corrupt as Kennedy there will be those who will excuse it all.

I mean who are we to judge a man who was thrown out of Havard for cheating?

A man who managed to avoid serving in Korea?

A man who never met a terrorist he didn't like or a US serviceman he didn't piss on?

A man who invented the term Borking.

A man who dissed American troops in Vietnam repeatedly.

A man who murdered a woman trying to cover up an affair from his wife.

A man who has done more to destroy the Constitution than any other in memory.

But you have to say this for him, he was the only man Carter could say of "I'll kick his ass" and Carter did too.

What is amazing to me is Hy... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

What is amazing to me is Hyper, Brucy and SAUD trying to defend Kennedy's character and abuse of priviledge and power.

We, as Christians can judge people based on their character. Jesus said you shall know those that are not christian by "their fruits". Well, Kennedy's fruit has been chaos, death, drunkedness, unfaithfulness, criminal, and his word was not honored. If Kennedy repented his sins, specifically, GOD will forgive him, no doubt. All I know of the man is his life that last forty years and it is nothing but self inflicted tragedy.

I am not "awed" by the Kennedy name as liberals are. I knew John's presidency was paid for. I had hope for Robert, he seemed to actually be more pragmatic, but Teddy was a joke. He only got to where he is because of priviledge. ww

Sorry, where was I defendin... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Sorry, where was I defending his character, TameBilliam? Cite anything I said in this thread. And, so we're clear, making fun of someone who detests the man is not the same as defending him. Again: disconnect the mercury drip from your cerebral cortex before responding.




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