Teddy joins his brothers to rest at Arlington Cemetery. The Kennedy Irish-Catholic Era has passed.
For me it began when I shook hands with Senator John F. Kennedy on the steps of the Bing Crosby Library at Gonzaga University in 1960 and ended this morning when I awoke at 3:00 PM and glanced at the Huffington Post on my iPhone. The Kennedy’s were the center of my life in so many ways.
The Kennedy brothers were a force for good. They epitomized Catholic social justice and Love. They were at the forefront of every great progressive movement in America for five decades. In so many ways, they changed the face of America.
John Kennedy, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, and now Teddy Kennedy.
Despite their best efforts, American Fascism continues its momentum. Who is strong enough to oppose the trends? Are the people even inclined to do so? Time alone will tell.
But ask yourself: What if our struggles to oppose Urs Fascism have now ended with the Kennedy Era? What if the Dream and the Hope actually wither and die. What if the prevailing view of the isolated, autonomous individual cannot be mitigated and pushed back? What then will happen to Personal Dignity? Individual Freedom? Human Solidarity? The Common Good? To America? To the World?
To me the clouds overhead appear thicker and darker. The economic collapse and the health care debate are ominous signs. They hang heavy over the entire nation. At times it appears the lights are going out all over America? Is it possible we will reach a point when they will flicker no more?
On August 3, 1914, Lord Edward Grey said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” What did Lord Gray see that made him say what he did? Do we see those same signs now and not know it?
Public funding of foreign contraception (JFK), adultery (JFK), womanizing ,drunkenness and illicit divorce and remarriage (Teddy), opposing the Bourke nomination because of contraception (Teddy). Yep, the Kennedy legacy sure does embody American Catholicism.
Could you not refrain a mere day before you cast your ill-judgment on a man who has just died? May God grant you more merciful and kind rememberers and supplicants on the day of your death.
The man is a misanthrope and of no consequence. But what the heck? Everyone needs attention.
Ted Kennedy struggled towards redemption and the world took notice. Our friend “the cynic” exhibits the qualities of a surly dog and no one cares. Its likely no one ever will.
Yes he’s irritating. So is a cranky child. Though we put up with both, we nurture the child and ignore the cur.
So be it. All we can do is pray that Grace will sort things out better than we.
E.J. Dionne gets it so right:
“He suffered profoundly, made large mistakes and was, to say the least, imperfect. But the suffering and the failures fed a humane humility that led him to reach out to others who fell, to empathize with those burdened by pain, to understand human folly and to appreciate the quest for redemption.”
Exactly right. Both Kennedy and Bush were born into rich, privileged, political families. Both had mis-spent youth and both had problems with alcohol. Both reformed. But Kennedy devoted himself to helping the little man while Bush devoted himself to helping his rich friends and bombing people. That’s the profound difference.
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