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April 11th, 2011
04:13 PM ET

U.S. ambassador faulted for faith writing and speaking

Douglas Kmiec, center, at a 2006 U.S. Senate hearing.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The U.S. ambassador to Malta has upset the State Department by devoting so much time to writing and speaking about faith-related issues, according to a report from the department’s inspector general released last week.

The ambassador, Douglas Kmiec, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 after Kmiec helped spearhead Obama’s outreach to Catholic voters in the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Based on a belief that he was given a special mandate to promote President Obama’s interfaith initiatives, he has devoted considerable time to writing articles for publication in the United States as well as in Malta,” the State Department’s Inspector General’s Office said of Kmiec in an inspection report on the Maltese embassy released Thursday.

“His approach has required Department principals, as well as some embassy staff, to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing his writings, speeches and other initiatives,” the report continued.

“His official schedule has been uncharacteristically light for an ambassador at a post of this size,” it said, “and on average he spends several hours of each workday in the residence, much of which appears to be devoted to his nonofficial writings.”

The State Department report did not cite specific instances of Kmiec’s faith-related writings and appearances, but said that "his unconventional approach to his role as ambassador has created friction with principal officials in Washington, especially over his reluctance to accept their guidance and instructions."

The ambassador, a former dean of Catholic University of America's law school, wrote in June about his father’s death for America, a weekly Catholic magazine. In an op-ed last year for The Times of Malta, Kmiec said Malta could provide a model for Obama as he pushed for health care reform.

“During Lent, as we prayerfully await the visit of the Holy Father to this largely Catholic place, it is fascinating for this visitor to contemplate how much Malta adds to the world's better understanding of itself,” Kmiec wrote in the op-ed, which ran as Pope Benedict XVI prepared to visit the island nation.

Kmiec has given many interviews to Malta-based media in which he has emphasized his belief that faith can be a key part of international diplomacy and has stated his disagreement with Obama’s support for abortion rights.

“President Obama is not pro-life,” Kmiec told the Malta Independent in 2009, “and we disagreed from the first time we met.”

Kmiec served as a top lawyer in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush but endorsed Obama in 2008, largely because he said Obama was willing to explore opportunities for common ground with conservatives on divisive issues like abortion.

Kmiec did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Times of Malta reported Sunday that Kmiec has added another faith-based event to his calendar. He’ll be lecturing Thursday on “the necessity of religious freedom for the common good’s good” at the University of Malta.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. Lauren

    This is not anti-religion!! The man was receiving a performance report. And if I sat around my job writing religious articles and employing my staff to do the same instead of doing the work I'm being paid to do, I'd get fired. The performance report also stated that he keeps a light schedule. The religion thing was just one part of it. Basically, he needs to step up his game if he wants to keep being an ambassador.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  2. Patrick

    Simple comment: Ensure the separation of Church and State. Use personal time only for faith based activities and make sure it does not contradict the hand that feeds you. If Ambassador Kmiec wants total freedom to speak his mind, he should resign and become a lecturer.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • BradLW

      RAMEN to that!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  3. RHHaith, Houston, TX

    People wonder why the US is losing its economic might, its prosperity, its influence, and the confort and affluence of its citizens. Is it just a strange coincidence that as we and our leaders rise in our denial of the Father and His Son, curse our Creator, excel in greed and wickedness above and beyond all nations of the earth, we fall in our prosperity and influence?

    April 12, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • BradLW

      Good Grief!!!

      Please go study some economics and history!!!!!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  4. USA401

    I really dislike the religious right. Not to be confussed with the political right. They force their narrow belifs on others and hate anyone who is not like them.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • BnB

      You should really love them – sound just like them – how wide is your comment? 🙂

      April 12, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • RHHaith, Houston, TX

      Jesus wasn't too fond of the 'religious right' either. They were called Pharisees at that time and he spent a great deal of time pointing out their wickedness. Don't confuse Fox News with true Christians. True Christians are disciples of Christ and do not hate anyone. It is a command of Christ that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Please don't allow your prejudices to keep you from getting to know Jesus.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  5. Ben Dover

    Another religious mouthbreathing nutjob. Fire him now. He can write as an unemployed ambassador. What an imbecile.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • BnB

      He's an imbecile? Just look at your pseudonym – who's your kid sister, Eilene Dover? I say spend some time standing up – I wonder what that very religious nation thinks – pretty happy to be sure... But you're one of those PC folks who don't think we should influence any other country, so why aren't you elated? Of that's right, you're Bent Over. 😉

      April 12, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  6. Dennis

    President Obama isn't having much luck with Ambassadors.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  7. FREE MAURO

    So, if is not to catholic for Malta he is just incompetent. He is there to represent US and US citizens interest and He is not doing his job in: the US viewing in that country is not rose at all and our country relationship with Malta had been down graded, in the last two years, from very good to cordial. He does not understand Malta importance in the med and the fabulous opportunities existing in Malta.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  8. FREE MAURO

    So, if he is not to catholic for Malta he is just incompetent. He is there to represent US and US citizens interest and He is not doing his job in: the US viewing in that country is not rose at all and our country relationship with Malta had been down graded, in the last two years, from very good to cordial. He does not understand Malta importance in the med and the fabulous opportunities existing in Malta.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  9. Sorahl

    So we see the President giving a plum of a post to a Catholic for special considerations. Hmm.
    And people will still say he's a Muslim. What dumb-asses. They still listen to Rush and Rove even after being shown that those people are black-hearted and evil over and over again.
    Birds of a feather, eh?

    April 12, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  10. ***dude***

    Reality: ya sure spend a lot of time concerned with justifying your positions. Paranoid that your wrong?
    Faith: a concept that eludes you.

    April 12, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Freidrich Nietzsche

      'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Benjamin Franklin

      To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Vulpes

      He seems to me to want to teach others that are too much under the spell of faith to open their eyes.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • BnB

      Hey – great post – they are hateful because they are wrong and know it... Faith is not believing in what is not true (that would be your own redaction)... Faith is testing and checking and deciding that based on the evidence, it's safe to proceed... All these haters exercise their faith every time they sit in a chair or prepare to start their car... The real issue is not faith – it is what or Who you place your faith in – faith in faith is folly; faith in the Creator is based on eveidence (but I know you haters have never noticed the sun comes up everyday or that He causes His rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike) – why is there something instead of nothing? Because He has called it into being. 🙂

      April 12, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Alverant

      "ya sure spend a lot of time concerned with justifying your positions. Paranoid that your wrong?"
      That must be why christians spend so much time in church, they know they're wrong and have to convince themselves otherwise.

      "Faith is testing and checking and deciding that based on the evidence"
      Hahahaha! Get a dictionary! Faith is nothing like that.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • BnB

      @Alverant... Happy to make you smile, just try and think about what I said every time you ever sit down again... or prove me wrong and always take someone else's word that the chair will support your weight... Did you find your definition on wikipedia or do you only trust printed matter? Just how often have you let your definitions be mastered by someone else without making them practical... but of course, all this is beneath you because you are all knwoing when it comes to faith, you've looked it up (or at least projected that you did)! 😉

      April 12, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Azuma

      @BnB

      Faith and evidence are two mutually exclusive things. You may not understand why the sun comes up everyday or why the rain falls, but I do. I understand the concept of earth orbiting the sun, on an axial plane. I understand precipitation and the circular pattern of evaporation and condensation. Your argument about everything needing a creator is moot, because you cannot explain the origins of god other than to say "he always existed". So everything needs a creator except the creator? How would you convince someone of that?

      I speak to you honestly, I've longed for some sort of evidence in a creator, a great being. My ignorance, however, is not evidence. Just because I don't understand some things does not mean I should fill that void with god. Your personal experiences are not evidence, either.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • BradLW

      "Faith" is simply an unreasonable(unreasoning) "belief" in those things that we "normally" intuitively recognize as not being "true".

      Yahweh.....er....Reality laudably and untiringly attempts to point the "uneducable" toward sources that can help them eliminate their ignorance; but of course most of those folks are truly beyond help. Only "unsure" people accuse others of being "unsure".

      April 12, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • BnB

      @Azuma,
      Thanks for a truly thoughtful response. 🙂 But of course my personal experiences are evidence – they would be accepted in a court of law and can be expressed and written down (and quoted from by people like Reality, although I'm quite sure he wouldn't read my views). I didn't say I didn't understand how things work... I merely posed the logical question about "Why" things work... You say you understand the earth suspended in space orbiting the sun – then tell me why we stay in orbit and are not flung out by the rotational spin? We can say what we are doing (or attempt to know) but we can't explain through science why it isn't something else... especially if we argue "chance". And I agree faith and evidence are different, but they are related... You and I everyday put our experiences, our intellect, and our evidence to work – how do you know it's safe to go out of your residence? Can you ever conceive that it might not be safe to go out? If a rabid dog is on the loose on your doorstep, you'd change your views based on the evidence of its presence and your experience with pain and risk management. The Christian faith is not a rope hanging from a cloud which is to be blindly ascended hoping it will hold; it is more like a firm foundation built on a rock with a ladder that ascends into what goes beyond our comprehension... the steps are secure but one must climb them to reach the top. God is eternal and uncreated – it is logical fallacy to think in terms of an eternal uncreated being needing creation. He has revealed Himself to us or we would not know Him, but His fingerprints are everywhere... a sunrise, a sunset, the order of the universe – my comment on why is there something instead of nothing is impossible to answer unless you arrive at a Supreme Being. The old adage "I think therefore I am" is a great starting point to take us to "We are here so He exists." Have you not marveled at the wonder of the world, the vastness of the universe, the intricate details found at the submicroscopic level – chance? Now that takes far more faith than believing in a Creator. The story is told of a British atheist astronomer who came to New York to view a working model of our solar system complete with the sun and planets moving in orbit around it... Upon arrival, he was ecstatic and asked who had produced this wonderful marvel – the American replied, "No one, it just happened, we came in here one day, and bang, it was just there." The Brit converted from atheism because he realized that if a mere model could not just happen, then the real thing, so beyond our full comprehension, could certainly not be left to chance either. There are solid answers to real questions... but many have stated they will follow the truth wherever it leads them, but what they really mean is that they'll follow the evidence as long as it doesn't point to God. I remain a skeptic of any skeptic... God has made Himself known and His creation testifies so that we are all without excuse. Hope you have a great day!

      April 12, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Jim

      Everyone has faith – it is only a matrter of what one has faith in (God, god, gods, yourself, a pilot, etc) and if it is reasonable to have that faith. Making moronic comments about faith is well...moronic because all have faith. If one doesn't understand the basic philosophical truth of that than one is trapped in a world of ignorance and dogmatism and is doomed to make stupid comments.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  11. Jerry R.

    Hey Reality, Chew on this "For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes." http://nlt.scripturetext.com/matthew/24.htm

    April 12, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Reality

      Jerry R,

      Hmmm, let us see what some of the NT and historical Jesus exegetes have concluded about the Son of God or Son of Man references in the NT:

      Matt 7:21
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

      Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/111_Invocation_without_Obedience

      Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

      "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

      Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/045_Father_and_Son and

      "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

      Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

      20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

      "Bruce Chilton

      In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-identi-ty, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

      Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/058_John_Baptizes_Jesus

      "Gerd Lüdemann

      Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

      ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

      "John P. Meier

      The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

      We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)
      Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

      Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

      Matt 24: 27, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb174.html and also Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 230.

      April 12, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • BnB

      Hi Reality,
      Here are a few words for you:
      Pre-supposition
      Supposition

      April 12, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • BnB

      Hi Reality,
      Here are a few words for you:
      Pre-supposition
      Supposition
      You quote these liberal scholars as if they are more authoritative than the sources they criticize – all their criticism stems from their anti-God pre-suppositions and anti-God suppositions... They voted what they thought not based on facts but the folly of men... Try a little honest and open historical criticism yourself – you might find your posts shrinking, your heart less troubled, and grow in your integrity as you investigate the facts and evidence vice reading books penned by liberal scholars who hate God so they can try and justify their lifestyles.
      Peace in Truth

      April 12, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • steven harnack

      Hey Jerry R., chew on this "What a maroon!", Bugs Bunny chapter and verse unknown.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Jim

      I like how UNREALITY throws out some quotes and a conclusion (with such a trustworthy source as Wiki to boot.....) and thinks it is intelligent or educated...

      April 12, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  12. Fred Furdinander

    Ambassador is one of the greatest political pork barrel pay-off scams still remaining. The people chosen as ambassador are always being rewarded for helping the president get elected. Elani Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, is the daughter of Sacramento real estate developer and Democrat money guy Angelo Tsakoloulos, and was long a part of his firm. And what qualifications did a real estate developer from Sacramento have for being an ambassador to Hungary? None. Did not even speak teh language.

    I met the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica once. He was a personal friend to Reagan who had previously manufactured carpet.

    This really has to stop.

    April 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    “His official schedule has been uncharacteristically light for an ambassador at a post of this size,” it said, “and on average he spends several hours of each workday in the residence, much of which appears to be devoted to his nonofficial writings.”
    ------!
    Could that schedule be light because its .....MALTA?

    April 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  14. Colin

    What he does on his OWN time is his business. On my time, as a US taxpayer, knock off the sky-fairy worship and get back to work.

    April 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Jake Jeckel

      Exactly

      April 12, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • Isaiah55

      God holds your breath in His hands and the next beat of your heart. Because His mercy endures forever he has let you say what you want about Him. God's faithfulness is great and even though you reject His existence, it doesn't change a thing. He's still God! "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" and He will still be around when you and I are long gone. What a Great God He is! He changed my life 39 years ago and has seen me through many things since then. I know He's real and its sad that you have denied the very one that would change your life and help you all the way through.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • IfSphere

      Izzy55>>> So your god created "Colin" and holds him in his hand. Your god gave "Colin" no fore-knowledge of said god's existence, provides nothing other than a highly edited rewrite of another religion's holy book as the REAL story "Colin" should be following, and expects "Colin" to figure it all out and be thankful for this wonderful chance to be left totally in the dark.

      Fvck your god.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  15. FREE MAURO

    He did not do his job: a us citizen traveling to Malta has to provide, before boarding, a return ticket within 90 days ; outside Malta International Airport emigration point it is a big billboard encouraging russian investment in Malta against US. It is the first think you see when you arrive in Malta. He did very well to provide religion but not the best interest of US and US citizens traveling in this magical country

    April 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  16. Rev. Fr. Robby Entrekin

    WOW !! What an eye opening post. To think I have longed to make my mark upon this world and have aspired to do so in many ways. Maybe , as I once thought, by entering the military and displaying great courage I would gain a name for myself. Then again, maybe it would be in the polictical world where I could make policies that would out live me and thus I would long be remembered.

    Little did I know that the "truth" was that all I needed to do was be crucified and eaten by wild dogs in a lime filled stoney grave to be remembered by millions upon millions over the past 2000 years !! Who would have thought that by simply being a meal for a few canine friends that I could be the one name that inspired Kings, Brought faith that would compel men to charge into battle ! A chewed up ole body rotting in a grave would cause the lame to walk and the dumb to talk. Think of the atheists who have denied him and then later confess him as Lord. And all he had to do, all I would have to do is be killed and eaten by dogs, wow it almost sounds to easy. I just cannot see it.

    But I can see it happen if for instance this Jesus was crucified as you said and then buried only to raise from the dead three days later!!! I can see his name being above every name for the last 2000 years if he conquered hell , death and the grave. I can see people still calling out to someone who time and time again hears and responds to the prayers of those he died for. I can see people running to one who never gave up on them and whose mercy endures forever.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • jefe

      awesome post, hermano

      April 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • BnB

      Amen brother! They hate Him because He is holy and they are not. Light has come into the world, but the darkness has not understood it.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • IfSphere

      It's like saying: "Unicorns are total BS... but Leprechauns, now THAT'S something I can believe in!

      April 12, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • TruthSquid

      Pay your goddammmmnned fire/EMT assessments and property taxes on that multimillion dollar crystal cathedral of yours and stop opposing science and denigrating women while cornholing little boys and you can get rich and/or ego-fulfilled spinning your fairy tales and ripping off all the dumbazz frightened fools you want, padre.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Jim

      If Sphere gives the unthinking reply of a dogmatist who knows nothing outside of making little remarks from ignorance.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Jim

      spoken like a true squid – a creature that cannot and does not think critically

      April 12, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • IfSphere

      Jim, your head-up-your-assedness makes me smile. I promise you I know a GREAT deal more than you about your petty mythology, which ever it may be. Read a few history books to find the political origins of modern catholicism/christianity... which rose in the 4th century C.E., and not at all when the so-called christ was said to be frolicking.
      They real christians were one of many splits from the jewish temple. If you ever want an interesting story, ask a learned jew what he/she thinks about the use of the hebrew term "messiah" being applied to the christian character "jesus." It's quite laughable to them... very much a "you missed the point" kind of thing.
      Some day, when you glow with radiation and ache from years of labor serving your Theo-Corporate overlords, I hope you think of this little conversation and hear, very faintly, an "I told you so!" echoing in your confused little mind.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Ray in Vegas

      Wake up and smell the horse manure people. Religion is mostly a big con game designed to control your mind and make your wallet lighter. We should move on as a species. This is with all due respect, Reverend. I was raised Catholic, was an altar boy for many years, and was heavily encouraged to become a priest, which I did not do.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Jim

      The truly intelligent speak like angry 12 year olds....IS you demonstrate your lack of maturity, intelligence and knowledge everytime you write – thanks for making me (and 90% of the general population) feel & look intelligent.

      Goodbye our Charlie-Sheen wannabe...have a great day living in you ignorance and irrational hatred.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • IfSphere

      Charlie Sheen is a sad story, and one I don't give much time. "Belief" is nothing more than belief. You cannot change that. And no amount of belief changes reality. We simply do not know... and that includes you, Jim. I do not hate "believers," but I grow concerned when policy is being determined by them. However, these are still not issues of emotion or my personal beliefs... I simply would feel more comfortable knowing that objective observations provide the data, and rational minds provide the philosophy for decisions based on that data. Six billion people (and growing) need more precise guidance than "belief" these days.
      If god... then that god's will WAS, IS, and WILL BE. So the subject matter of this, or any, discussion is of little importance. As is my belief in that god... or yours... or anyone's. Organized religion, by existing among a myriad of similar organized religions, invalidates itself in ALL cases.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  17. CatholicMom

    The article stated….“President Obama is not pro-life,” Kmiec told the Malta Independent in 2009, “and we disagreed from the first time we met.” AND….. ‘Kmiec endorsed Obama in 2008, largely because he said Obama was willing to explore opportunities for common ground with conservatives on divisive issues like abortion.’

    Kmiec’s first mistake was believing there could be common ground found with the issue of abortion. And Kmiec's 2nd mistake was believing that Obama was interested in finding common ground.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Alverant

      Obama has done nothing BUT try to find common ground with conservatwits. But they won't budge. They want everyone to be like them and punish those who aren't. Make no mistake, the notion of "pro-life" is a lie. If they were really pro-life, they would show more concern for what happens after birth.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • IfSphere

      Indeed... "pro-life" would indicate opposition to things like the death penalty, war of any kind, and probably the manufacture of any weapons not integral to hunting for food. (And that's just human life being defended.) The conservative christian movement in America is a political sham riddled with lies and hypocrisy. Nothing new for religion or politics here.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Jim

      Yes, finding "common ground" was illegally and driving through a health takeover that 80% of the American public didn't want (and that includes a majority of those moderates and Democrats). Yes, finding common ground....

      April 12, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • IfSphere

      Republiklan spin and lies (off-topic, too). Your "80%" was closer to 65%, and the liberals you include were unhappy by the changes the republiklans made. The majority of Americans DID want health care reform, and some 30% of the total felt it didn't go far enough. Stop trying to make it look like you or the GOP have the numbers behind you (or even know how to count numbers, or do math, or read for that matter).

      April 12, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Jim

      IS again proves an utter lack of basic knowledge of the facts – and since I'm not a Republican and can read and comprehend the actual survey and poll data (which IS certainly cannot) then the only spin here is the little one calling names, spewing lies, spewing vulgarity and showing the rest of the world that IS is an uneducated piece of cannon fodder.

      Thank you IS for opening your mouth repeatedly and proving that you are a fool so others don't need to expend the energy pointing it out until after the fact is proven by your words.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • IfSphere

      Notice jimmyjaun doesn't provide any new info, just denial. Mods and Dems wanted more health care. Look it up.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • QS

      "Kmiec’s first mistake was believing there could be common ground found with the issue of abortion."

      Indeed, as this is a legal medical procedure protected by federal law, there really is no common ground on the abortion issue...it's legal and should be the woman's choice.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  18. JohnR

    So this guy has worked for three American presidents. What a racket.

    April 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • BG

      @ JohnR

      Close. This guy was -used- by three American presidents. Obama wanted voters that happened to be catholic. Kmiec misunderstood; he thought Obama actually wanted catholic voters.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  19. BG

    Apparently Ambassador Kmiec is a victim of either poor vetting, or a really badly written job description... only Obama's staff knows for sure.

    ".Yerrrrr..Out !" Please proceed to the confused civil servants' out-processing center by the end of the week. Thanks for your dedication, no matter how misunderstood. Feel free to keep the government pencils and ashtray, but turn in the laptop.

    April 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • JohnOBX

      No "like" button. So "like" comment.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  20. Reality

    Maybe we can save the ambassador some time:

    Saving Christians from the Great Resurrection Con Game:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology grad school professor's white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    o p.4

    o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
    o
    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      From my point of view it is you who have been conned!

      April 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Then there is the Great Angel Con:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Steve (the Real One), Jesus and his family have or had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm
      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      April 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • RGeneration

      Yawwwnn.....eh...what? Some nonsense... ....hmm......back to sleep.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • tim Ricard

      How in the world could the disciples steal the body, the roman soldiers guarding the gave faced possible death if they failed, these guards were problity the Marines of their time thus. No way the disciples could have stolen the body

      April 12, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • BnB

      Hey Reality,
      I like how you moved up from Wikipedia for your sources... ever try and review the original or early sources for yourself? Exactly what is your basis for believing in liberal scholarship? Please expound on your pre-suppositions and suppositions (you DO have them, don't you?) so we can understand what your basis is for questioning and abandoning 2 thousand years of history, tradition, and credibility... or did you just think that since it was published on Wikileaks and in a book that it was true? Let's see the apostles or John Crossan and a bunch of German liberals with a lifestyle to influence? Guess I'll stick to reality and the Biblical account – I'd recommend you line up your name with true and accurate state of things, you know, the "reality"! 😉

      April 12, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Jim

      Only problemis that the Dom doesn't base his opinion on the evidence which makes it opinion and not too informed at that. And that as an explanation as to how this thing called Christianity started 40 days after is preposterous for many reasons such as the authoriies would have gladly pointed out that there was no grave of which Jesus was buried in and people don't go around promoting something that brings them nothing but problems when they know it is a lie.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Reality

      BnB et al,

      Professors Crossan, Borg, Ludemann, Chilton and Fredriksen plus a large number of other NT scholars over the past 200 years have reviewed the NT docu-ments, the docu-ments that went into their preparation and all the as-sociated doc-umentation. By comparing the number of attestations and stratums in these books, they were able to separate the "wheat from the chaff". I highly recommend the same analyses for anyone interested in what really happened in Palestine in the first to third century CE.

      Some references to get you started:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"

      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."

      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria

      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html

      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias

      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm

      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm

      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      April 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.