The Right Coast

April 07, 2004
The Kerry Messages
By Tom Smith

A not particularly reliable source emailed me this exchange of instant messages between, apparently, John Kerry and a person identified only as "Father Bob," who seems to be a Catholic priest sympathetic to the Kerry campaign. I cannot attest to the authenticity of the what follows . . .

JK: So is it Paul John or John Paul?
FB: John-Paul
JK: What's with the two names??
FB: It's the names of the last two Popes, well, second to last two popes put together . . .
JK: But I thought that was Pius, you know, the CCCIII or XXX, the 23rd; trouble with those roman numerals ;-)
FB: It was JOHN XXIII, then Paul VI, then John Paul I, THEN John Paul II
JK: There were TWO John-Pauls???
FB: You know, the first one died after a few weeks
JK: Geez! Was he poisoned or something?
FB: Don't go there, John. Now what do you know about catholic issues?
JK: I know everything. Let's see, abortion is bad, but birth control is OK . . .
FB: John, artificial birth control is forbidden by the Church
JK: No! You're kidding right? What do you mean artificial?
FB: The pill, diaphrams, condoms
JK: You can't even use a bag?
FB: John, don't say "bag," it makes you sound too familiar
JK: OK, OK, condom. Holy shit.
FB: You know about divorce?
JK: Sure, it used to be forbidden, but now it's OK in many cases, I think
FB: No, John. Church doctrine still does not permit divorce
JK: But Teddy said
FB: Just forget anything Teddy has told you about it, OK?
JK: But he had I don't know ten kids or something and he still
FB: Just forget him. He was a special case. Divorce is out
JK: Even if you have a pre-nup?
FB: Pre-nups aren't really very Catholic, John. I wouldn't mention your pre-nup if you can help it. Maybe you should tell THK to do the same.
JK: Maybe you should tell her.
FB: OK, fine. Now you tell me what you think of when I say, let's see, "culture of life"
JK: Wasn't that a gay rock group?
FB: That was Culture Club. This is "culture of life."
JK: Oh I know, George Bush, he says that, right?
FB: He got it from John-Paul
JK: The first or the second?
FB: The second. The first John Paul didn't have time to say anything
JK: OK. So what does it mean?
FB: It means anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-war, anti-violence
JK: What does that have to do with life?
FB: You know, the fetus is alive, the old person is alive
JK: I don't follow you
FB: It's wrong to kill, and there's too much disrespect for life in modern culture
JK: OK, fine. That reminds me. Did you know I fought in Vietnam?
FB: I know. Maybe you could say something like it taught you the value of life
JK: I don't know about saying 'life' it sounds a lot like 'pro-life' which I absolutely cant say
FB: The value of compassion then. Compassion is always good
JK: Fine. Compassion. What else?
FB: That reminds me. What do you think of the movie The Passion?
JK: Is that the one with the cheerleaders in the carwash?
FB: No, no. The Passion of the Christ. You know.
JK: I think I remember something about that from school. Is that a Catholic thing too?
FB: Yes. If anybody asks about a movie with Passion in the title, just say you haven't seen it, and with your schedule you don't know when you'll get the chance. That's fine. OK. Easter. What does Easter mean to you?
JK: Uh . . . Bunnies? Spring skiing?
FB: No, John. If anyone asks about Easter, say it is a time of new life, renewal of life, victory over death. That's all true, vaguely Catholic and shouldn't offend anyone.
JK: I told you. I dont want to say "life"
FB: OK. Hope. Hope is always good. Good Democratic word. New hope. Say that.
JK: OK. I think I'm good. I knew I was a Catholic.
FB: Born and bred, John. Born and bred.