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August 27th, 2009
09:39 AM ET

Honor Kennedy with unity

Jim Wallis
Special to CNN

In the aftermath of the 2004 presidential election, the Democrats were roundly accused of losing the "moral values voters" in America, and of being the party of secularists who were hostile to faith and religion.

The first Democrat to call me and ask to talk about that accusation and how to change the moral debate in America was Ted Kennedy. He invited me to his home, where he and his wife, Vicki, engaged me in a long and very thoughtful conversation into the night about the relationship between faith, morality and politics.

Their deep Catholic faith was evident and their articulation of it very impressive, especially the impact of Catholic social teaching on both of them. Our discussion was not partisan at all, i.e., not about how to "win religion back" for the Democrats. Rather, we focused on the great moral issues facing the nation, and how we as people of faith needed to respond to them.

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Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mari

    I agree completely, let us UNITE and work together for the good of our Nation. That's Sen. Kennedy's legacy, indeed.

    Rest in peace Teddy, and God bless your family & wife, Vicki.

    August 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  2. Michael C. McHugh

    During the Second Gilded Age of the Democrats got used to playing a very defensive, reactive game, while the Republicans had the initiative most of the time. They also got used to being very timid and deferential, and running and hiding any time the conservatives started making some noise. Old habits are hard to break, but they are going to have to stand their ground now, or lose the chance to pass any reforms for a generation. That's how these political cycles work, and they are not kind to anyone who missesthgese rare opportunities for real change. In the coming decade, the Republicans are going to be at their nadir, and if the Democrats can't pass anything now, they'll never have a better chance.

    August 27, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  3. WENDY K. JOHNSON

    SENATOR KENNEDY DID SO MUCH FOR SO MANY- LET'S UNITE AND GET A HEALTHREFORM BILL PASSED IN HIS NAME!

    August 27, 2009 at 11:52 am |