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英语演讲43.Ted Kennedy - Truth and Tolerance

2008-10-16    来源:http://www.dmhes.com.cn    【大乐透走势图浙江      普特网校:美国外教1对1

本文地址:http://www.dmhes.com.cn/html/download/speech/20081016/8633.html
文章摘要:英语演讲43.Ted Kennedy ,攻瑕指失洛维奇先头部队,不打自招悲观厌世因扎吉。

新概念| 重新定义经典英语教材

43.Ted Kennedy - Truth and Tolerance

Thank you very much Professor Kombay for that generous introduction. And let me say, that
I never expected to hear such kind words from Dr. Falwell. So in
return, I have an invitation of my own. On January 20th, 1985, I hope Dr. Falwell will say a prayer at
the inauguration of the next Democratic President of the United States. Now, Dr. Falwell, I’m not
exactly sure how you feel about that. You might not appreciate the President, but
the Democrats certainly would appreciate the prayer.

Actually, a number of people in Washington were surprised that I was invited to speak here and
even more surprised when I accepted the invitation. They seem to
think that it’s easier for a camel to pass through
the eye of the needle than for a Kennedy to come to the campus
of Liberty Baptist College. In honor of our meeting, I have asked Dr. Falwell, as your
Chancellor, to permit all the students an extra hour next Saturday night before curfew.
And in return, I have promised to watch the Old Time Gospel Hour next Sunday morning.

I realize that my visit may be a little controversial. But
as many of you have heard, Dr. Falwell recently sent me a membership in the Moral Majority and
I didn't even apply for it. And I wonder if that means that I'm a member in good standing.

Falwell: Somewhat Somewhat, he says.

This is, of course, a nonpolitical speech which
is probably best under the circumstances. Since
I am not a candidate for President, it would certainly be inappropriate to ask for your support
in this election and probably inaccurate to thank you
for it in the last one.

I have come here to discuss my beliefs about faith and country, tolerance and truth
in America. I know we begin with certain disagreements. I strongly suspect that at
the end of the evening some of our disagreements will remain. But
I also hope that tonight and in the
months and years ahead, we will always respect the right of others to differ, that we will
never lose sight of our own fallibility, that we will view ourselves with a sense of perspective
and a sense of humor. After all, in the New Testament, even the Disciples had to be taught to
look first to the beam in their own eyes, and only then to the mote in their neighbor’s eyes.

I am mindful of that counsel. I am an American and a Catholic. I love my country and
treasure my faith. But I do not assume that my conception of patriotism or policy is invariably
correct, or that my convictions about religion should command any greater respect than any
other faith in this pluralistic society. I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who
among us can claim a monopoly on it?

There are those who do, and their own words testify to their intolerance. For example,
because the Moral Majority has worked with members of different denominations, one
fundamentalist group has denounced Dr. [Jerry] Falwell for hastening the ecumenical church
and for “yoking together with Roman Catholics, Mormons, and others.” I am relieved that Dr.
Falwell does not regard that as a sin, and on this issue, he himself has become the target of
narrow prejudice. When people agree on public policy, they ought to
be able to work together, even while they worship in diverse ways. For truly we are all yoked together as Americans,
and the yoke is the happy one of individual freedom and mutual respect.

But in saying that, we cannot and should not turn aside from a deeper and more pressing
question which is whether and how religion should influence government. A generation ago,
a presidential candidate had to prove his independence of undue religious influence in public
life, and he had to do so partly at the insistence
of evangelical Protestants. John Kennedy said at that
time: “I believe in an America where there is no religious bloc voting of any kind.” Only
twenty years later, another candidate was appealing to a[n] evangelical meeting as a religious
bloc. Ronald Reagan said to 15 thousand evangelicals at the Roundtable in Dallas: “I know
that you can’t endorse me. I want you to
know I endorse you and what you are doing.”

To many Americans, that pledge was a sign and a symbol of a dangerous breakdown in the
separation of church and state. Yet this principle, as vital as it is, is not a simplistic and rigid
command. Separation of church and state cannot mean an absolute separation
between moral principles and political power. The challenge today is to recall the origin of the principle,
to define its purpose, and refine its application to the politics of the present.

The founders of our nation had long and bitter experience with the state, as both the agent
and the adversary of particular religious views. In colonial Maryland, Catholics paid a double
land tax, and in Pennsylvania they had to list their names on a public roll an ominous
precursor of the first Nazi laws against the Jews. And Jews in turn faced discrimination
in all of the thirteen original Colonies. Massachusetts exiled Roger
Williams and his congregation for contending that civil government
had no right to enforce the Ten Commandments. Virginia
harassed Baptist teachers, and also established a religious test for public service, writing into
the law that no “popish followers” could hold any office.

But during the Revolution, Catholics, Jews, and NonConformists all rallied to
the cause and fought valiantly for the American commonwealth for
John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill.” Afterwards, when
the Constitution was ratified and then amended, the framers gave freedom
for all religion, and from any established religion, the very first place in the Bill of Rights.

Indeed the framers themselves professed very different faiths: Washington was an
Episcopalian, Jefferson a deist, and Adams a Calvinist. And although
he had earlier opposed toleration, John Adams later contributed to
the building of Catholic churches, and so did
George Washington. Thomas Jefferson said his proudest achievement was not the presidency,
or the writing the Declaration of Independence, but drafting the Virginia Statute of Religious
Freedom. He stated the vision of the first Americans and the First
Amendment very clearly: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”

The separation of church and state can sometimes be frustrating for women and men of
religious faith. They may be tempted to misuse government in order to impose a value which
they cannot persuade others to accept. But once we succumb to that temptation, we step onto
a slippery slope where everyone’s freedom is at risk. Those who favor censorship should recall
that one of the first books ever burned was the first English translation of the Bible. As President
Eisenhower warned in 1953, “Don’t join the book burners...the right to say ideas, the right
to record them, and the right to have them accessible to others is unquestioned or
this isn’t America.” And if that right is denied, at some future day the torch can be turned
against any other book or any other belief. Let us never forget: Today’s Moral Majority could
become tomorrow’s persecuted minority.

The danger is as great now as when the founders of the nation first saw it. In 1789, their fear
was of factional strife among dozens of denominations. Today there are hundreds and perhaps even
thousands of faiths and millions of Americans who are outside any fold. Pluralism obviously does not and cannot
mean that all of them are right. but it does mean that there are areas where government cannot
and should not decide what it is wrong to believe, to think, to read, and to do. As Professor Larry Tribe, one of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars has written, “Law
in a nontheocratic state cannot measure religious truth, nor can the state impose it."

The real transgression occurs when religion wants government to tell citizens how to
live uniquely personal parts of their lives. The failure of Prohibition proves the futility of such an
attempt when a majority or even a substantial minority happens to disagree.
Some questions may be inherently individual ones, or people may be sharply divided about whether they are.
In such cases, like Prohibition and abortion, the proper role of religion is to appeal
to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state.

But there are other questions which are inherently public in nature, which we must decide
together as a nation, and where religion and religious values can and should speak to our
common conscience. The issue of nuclear war is a compelling example.
It is a moral issue. it will be decided by government, not by each individual. and to give any effect
to the moral values of their creed, people of faith must speak directly about public policy.

The Catholic bishops and the Reverend Billy Graham have every right to stand for the nuclear
freeze, and Dr. Falwell has every right to stand against it.

There must be standards for the exercise of such leadership, so that the obligations of belief will
not be debased into an opportunity for mere political advantage. But to
take a stand at all when a question is both properly public and truly moral is to stand in a long and honored
tradition. Many of the great evangelists of the 1800s were in the forefront of the abolitionist
movement. In our own time, the Reverend William Sloane Coffin challenged the morality of
the war in Vietnam. Pope John XXIII renewed the Gospel’s call to social justice. And Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. who was the greatest prophet of this century, awakened our nation and its
conscience to the evil of racial segregation.

Their words have blessed our world. And who now wishes they had been silent? Who would
bid Pope John Paul [II] to quiet his voice against the oppression in Eastern Europe,
the violence in Central America, or the crying needs of the landless, the hungry, and those who
are tortured in so many of the dark political prisons of our time?

President Kennedy, who said that “no religious body should seek to impose its will,” also
urged religious leaders to state their views and give their commitment when
the public debate involved ethical issues. In drawing the line between
imposed will and essential witness, we keep church and state separate, and at the same time we recognize that the City of God should speak to the civic duties of men and women.

There are four tests which draw that line and define the difference.
First, we must respect the integrity of religion itself.

People of conscience should be careful how they deal in the word of their Lord. In our own
history, religion has been falsely invoked to sanction prejudice even slavery to condemn
labor unions and public spending for the poor. I believe that the prophecy, ”The poor you
have always with you” is an indictment, not a commandment. And I respectfully suggest that
God has taken no position on the Department of Education and that a balanced budget
constitutional amendment is a matter of economic analysis, and not heavenly appeals.

Religious values cannot be excluded from every public issue. but not every public issue
involves religious values. And how ironic it is when those very values are denied in the name
of religion. For example, we are sometimes told that it is wrong to feed the hungry, but that
mission is an explicit mandate given to us in the 25th chapter of Matthew.

Second, we must respect the independent judgments of conscience.

Those who proclaim moral and religious values can offer counsel, but they should not casually
treat a position on a public issue as a test of fealty to faith. Just as I disagree with the Catholic
bishops on tuition tax credits which I oppose so other Catholics can and do disagree with
the hierarchy, on the basis of honest conviction, on the question of the nuclear freeze.

Thus, the controversy about the Moral Majority arises not only from its views, but from its
name which, in the minds of many, seems to imply that only one set of public policies is
moral and only one majority can possibly be right. Similarly, people are and should be
perplexed when the religious lobbying group Christian Voice publishes a morality index of
congressional voting records, which judges the morality of senators by their attitude toward
Zimbabwe and Taiwan.

Let me offer another illustration. Dr. Falwell has written and I quote: “To stand against
Israel is to stand against God.” Now there is no one in the Senate who has stood more firmly
for Israel than I have. Yet, I do not doubt the faith of those on the other side.
Their error is not one of religion, but of policy. And I hope to be able to persuade them that they are wrong
in terms of both America’s interest and the justice of Israel’s cause.

Respect for conscience is most in jeopardy, and the harmony of our diverse society is most at
risk, when we reestablish, directly or indirectly, a religious test for public office. That relic of
the colonial era, which is specifically prohibited in the Constitution, has reappeared in recent
years. After the last election, the Reverend James Robison warned President Reagan no to
surround himself, as president before him had, “with the counsel of the ungodly.” I utterly
reject any such standard for any position anywhere in public service. Two centuries ago, the
victims were Catholics and Jews. In the 1980s the victims could be atheists. in some other
day or decade, they could be the members of the Thomas Road Baptist Church. Indeed, in
1976 I regarded it as unworthy and unAmerican when some people said or hinted that Jimmy
Carter should not be president because he was a born again Christian. We must never judge
the fitness of individuals to govern on the bas[is] of where they worship, whether they follow
Christ or Moses, whether they are called “born again” or “ungodly.” Where it is right
to apply moral values to public life, let all of us avoid the temptation to be selfrighteous
and absolutely certain of ourselves. And if that temptation ever comes, let us recall Winston
Churchill’s humbling description of an intolerant and inflexible colleague: “There but for the grace of God goes God.”

Third, in applying religious values, we must respect the integrity of public debate.

In that debate, faith is no substitute for facts. Critics may oppose the nuclear freeze for what
they regard as moral reasons. They have every right to argue that any negotiation with the
Soviets is wrong, or that any accommodation with them sanctions their crimes, or that
no agreement can be good enough and therefore all agreements only increase the chance of war.
I do not believe that, but it surely does not violate the standard of fair public debate to
say it. What does violate that standard, what the opponents of the nuclear freeze have no right
to do, is to assume that they are infallible, and so any argument against the freeze will do,
whether it is false or true.

The nuclear freeze proposal is not unilateral, but bilateral with equal restraints on the
United States and the Soviet Union. The nuclear freeze does not require that we trust the
Russians, but demands full and effective verification.

The nuclear freeze does not concede a Soviet lead in nuclear weapons, but
recognizes that
human beings in each great power already have in their fallible hands the overwhelming
capacity to remake into a pile of radioactive rubble the earth which
God has made.

There is no morality in the mushroom cloud. The black rain of nuclear ashes will fall alike on
the just and the unjust. And then it will be too
late to wish that we had done the real work of
this atomic age which
is to seek a world that
is neither red nor dead.

I am perfectly prepared to debate the nuclear freeze on policy grounds, or moral ones. But we
should not be forced to discuss phantom issues
or false charges. They only deflect
us form the
urgent task of deciding how best
to prevent a planet divided from becoming a planet
destroyed.


And it does not advance the debate to contend that the arms race is more divine punishment
than
human problem, or that in any event, the final days are near.
As Pope John said two
decades ago, at
the opening of the Second Vatican Council: “We must beware of those who
burn with zeal, but are not endowed with much
sense... we must disagree with
the prophets
of doom, who are always forecasting disasters, as though
the end of the earth was at hand.”
The message which echoes across the years is very clear: The earth
is still
here. and if we
wish to
keep it, a prophecy of doom is no alternative to a policy of arms control.

Fourth, and finally, we must respect
the motives of those who exercise their right to disagree.

We sorely test our ability to
live together if we readily question each other’s integrity. It may
be harder to restrain our feelings when moral principles are at stake, for they go to
the
deepest wellsprings of our being. But the more our feelings diverge, the more deeply felt
they
are, the greater is our obligation
to grant the sincerity and essential decency of our fellow
citizens on the other side.


Those who favor E.R.A [Equal Rights Amendment] are not “antifamily” or “blasphemers.” And
their purpose is not “an attack on the Bible.” Rather, we believe this is the best way to fix in
our national firmament the ideal
that
not only all men, but all people are created equal.
Indeed, my mother, who strongly favors E.R.A.,
would be surprised to
hear that she is antifamily.
For my part, I think of the amendment’s
opponents as wrong on the issue, but
not as
lacking in moral character

I could multiply the instances of namecalling,
sometimes on both sides. Dr. Falwell
is not a
“warmonger.” And “liberal
clergymen” are not, as the Moral Majority suggested in a recent
letter, equivalent to “Soviet
sympathizers.”
The
critics of official prayer in public schools are
not “Pharisees”. many of them are both
civil
libertarians and believers, who think that families
should pray more at
home with
their children, and attend church and synagogue more
faithfully. And people are not
sexist because they stand against abortion, and they are not
murderers because they believe in free choice. Nor does it
help anyone’s cause to
shout such
epithets, or to
try and shout a speaker down
which
is what
happened last April when Dr.
Falwell was hissed and heckled at Harvard.



So I am doubly grateful for your courtesy here this evening. That was not
Harvard’s finest
hour, but I am happy to say that the loudest applause from the Harvard audience came in
defense of Dr. Falwell’s right to
speak.

In
short, I
hope for an
America where neither "fundamentalist" nor "humanist" will be a dirty
word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at
life and
into their own souls.

I hope for an
America where no president, no public official, no individual will ever be deemed
a greater or lesser American because of religious doubt or
religious belief.

I hope for an
America where the power of faith
will always burn brightly, but where no
modern Inquisition of any kind will
ever light
the fires of fear, coercion, or angry division.

I hope for an
America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will
treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both
democracy and diversity.

Twenty years ago this fall, in New York City, President Kennedy met for the last
time with a
Protestant assembly. The atmosphere had been
transformed since his earlier address during
the 1960 campaign to
the Houston Ministerial
Association. He had spoken
there to allay
suspicions about
his Catholicism, and to answer those who claimed that on the day of his
baptism, he was somehow disqualified from becoming President. His speech
in
Houston and
then
his election drove that prejudice from the center of our national life. Now, three years
later, in November of 1963, he was appearing before the Protestant Council of New
York City
to reaffirm what he regarded as some fundamental truths. On that occasion, John Kennedy
said: “The family of man
is not limited to a single race or religion, to a single city, or
country...the family of man
is nearly 3 billion strong. Most of its members are not white and
most of them are not Christian.” And as President Kennedy reflected on that reality, he
restated an
ideal for which
he had
lived his life that
“the members of this family should be
at peace with one another.”


That ideal shines across all
the generations of our history and all
the ages of our faith,
carrying with it the most ancient dream. For as the Apostle Paul wrote long ago
in Romans: “If
it be possible, as much as it lieth
in you, live peaceable with all
men.”


I believe it is possible. the choice lies within
us.
as fellow
citizens, let
us live peaceable with
each other. as fellow human beings,
let
us strive to
live peaceably with
men and women
everywhere. Let that be our purpose and our prayer, yours and mine for
ourselves, for our
country, and for all the world.

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