I am trying my best to keep down my lunch and not blow chunks all over my keyboard and monitor. I try not to be disrespectful of the dead, but when debauchery filled men are lifted up as paragons of virtue, I have a problem with that.
The death of Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts is of course tragic for him and his family. I do not wish a death upon anyone, especially by brain cancer. I actually had compassion for Mr. Kennedy, since I could not imagine having brothers of mine assassinated as he did.
I have met and even exchanged brief words with Ted Kennedy, but I did not know him personally. I have, however, followed him politically for years. I do believe that he was perhaps the most powerful Kennedy of the bunch, considering his length of tenure in office and continuous Senatorial powers and influence.
His death was not unexpected. I quickly found the news of his passing in my morning news read. I found all sorts of flowery praise for his years of service, his compassion, his vision for our country, etc. I also found his detractors discussing Chappaquiddick some 40 years after the fact and his liberal record in the Senate.
Here is what I find extraordinary. When Senator Jesse Helms died, I heard quite a bit of rancor from his liberal detractors. There was a lot of hateful, spiteful commentary in the media and from his haters. People rejoiced at his death. Pundits swooned with glee. These same pundits are attacking anyone who now would criticize Helms' archetype in Ted Kennedy.
Today, I have been reading comments from different people I know online. Yes, I have some liberal leaning friends. I read things such as "God bless the Kennedys", "[God] will call a Kennedy home but he'll leave a Barack Obama to insure the vision is alive", and "the legacy [Kennedy] leaves is one of service and compassion for his fellow man."
I will admit that Kennedy had a long history of public service. I doubt he had a private sector job in his entire life. My commentary about blessing the Kennedy family is that I, too, wish blessings upon them. First, understand what the very first blessing is, and then you will understand my blessing prayer. At the end of the Book of Acts, chapter 3, Peter was preaching and said " Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." It is my honest prayer that an entire family who has never known Christ repents and comes to know Him, thereby finding eternal life.
I seriously doubt that Ted Kennedy is resting in peace as I am typing this. He led a life of drunkenness, debauchery, adultery, and deceit. I compare this to Senator Helms who was a born again Christian. Helms received scorn at his death from a sinful world, Kennedy is getting praise.
Just since I started typing away on this column, I have gotten personal messages from acquaintances touting Kennedy's accomplishments in the areas of civil rights and the passage of the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution. Actually, it was probably more the influence of Richard Nixon that helped in that regard.
There were some things Kennedy supported that I agreed with, but those constitute the minority of his voting record. I am looking at a long list of his major votes in Congress. The vast majority are laws for which no Senator should have ever voted, simply because they were unconstitutional, not to mention often immoral and/or just plain bad fiscal policy. We Americans are going to be paying dearly for the havoc inflicted by politicians like Ted Kennedy for years to come.
Here is the struggle I have when people like Ted Kennedy die. I wish to be respectful, but I also weigh principles such as Jeremiah 12:1 "Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?" Again, with Proverbs 11:10 "When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting."
Yes, I really do struggle with these. And I miss Jesse Helms.