So, Sen. Tedward Kennedy, famed Buick enthusiast and hero of the battle of Chappaquiddick, is planted firmly in the good earth.
I made the mistake of alluding to the fact that I am not a fan of the man on Facebook. Snippets of hate-mail are still trickling in. Oops.
What pisses me off is that Ted is the face of American entitlement, the last son of a corrupt family that tried their damnedest, with the connivance of the media, to become American royalty. Strong words? Ask the Kopeckne's, or the poor drooling sister who Rose had lobotomized to keep her out of the public eye during John and Bobby's ascendancy.
The thing is, it's personal. The Kennedy's were the first catholic politicians to be accepted on a national level, because they were Wonder Bread catholics: they look good, not too strong, and inoffensive but bland to the palate, but ultimately, lacking in fibre.
Worse, to me, than sharing a common religion, is that I share a common ethnicity with these folk. The things I use to differentiate myself, ultimately, have required either admitting commonality, or digging deeper beyond what we share, to consider what we don't share.
I'm of Irish descent, but not that kind of Irish. And I'm Catholic, but not that kind, either. I believe in some absolute wrongs and rights, to accepting the moral teachings that are required to be a member of the group. I am no catholic on paper, and while I am more American than Irish, I recognize that it's inevitable to see a society influenced by a family that is widely spread throughout the world, courtesy of both a criminal predisposition and a certain monarchy's bad habit of transporting their trash overseas.
Ted Kennedy was not a Catholic for the latter part of his life, but for some insane reason, he was given a Catholic burial. It is not my place to say what happened in his closing days... maybe he got himself right with the man above. I hope he did. One thing is certain. Ted wasn't a Catholic for much of his political career. A central part of our doctrine is the belief that when the pope speaks 'from the chair of Peter,' something that happens only once or twice in a century, if that, his words become doctrine... and the last time that happened, it was declared that no catholic may be empowered to excommunicate another. Rather, in action, we may excommunicate ourselves spiritually.
Essentially, what all that means is that Teddy couldn't get censured by the Vatican in any meaningful way, despite his very active career spent running completely counter to the moral teachings of his church in several key areas such as the abortion issue and the implementation of gay marriage. This has been overshadowed by Ted's zealous protection of weaker groups in need of protection, something wholly good, for the most part, but it doesn't change the core issue; the many, many good things done simply don't wash away the bad.
Anyhow, the man's dead, and maybe that's not such a bad thing. He shared his strengths and protected those in need of protection, something which we're taught is the cornerstone of living morally. I don't seen the need to get overly enthusiastic about a man who simply does what he's supposed to do. There's not supposed to be a need to congratulate anyone for doing their job. I just can't stop focusing on the damage done outside of the circle of light that was constantly focused on the guy.