Since hearing the news on my way to work yesterday that Edward Kennedy passed away after battling brain cancer heroically for a year, I felt the immediate need to say something, to somehow eulogize the man who has been the senator from Massachusetts, my senator, for the entirety of my life and most of my parents' lives as well.
Last night my wife and I watched a special on television that further solidified what I'd always known about the man, he was a fallen, broken human being and a transcendant, idealistic poltician. It is clear that after it became obvious that he would never be President of the United States, something shifted or something inside him rose to the service and that part that wants to climb to the highest office in the land was supplemented by the genuine desire to serve the people of this country.
Anyway, there's so much I'd like to say about the man, and so many ways in which I don't want to feel like I have to defend him, so I'm going to defer to somebody else's words to say what I myself am not up to.
You can argue the politics if you like, declaring the government shouldn't care about racism, or gender equality, or health care, that the extent of their 'intrusion' should be to pave our roads and provide an army, leaving us to fend for ourselves with the rest of life. You can point to his failures. But what you can't do is declare that he didn't "give a damn" about the least of these. As the church has, in recent years awakened to her calling to care for those who can't care for themselves, we've been reminded that caring for those on the margins is our calling precisely because such acts of mercy make the character of Christ visible.
Click the link above to read the piece in its entirety and take a moment to thank God for putting people like Teddy Kennedy on the planet; fallen, broken people whom He still chooses to use.
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