Religious Casualties

April 18th, 2011, by

On the surface, it appears that doing religious work on the job is what caused Douglas Kmiec to be ousted from his position in Malta.

But, was it really Kmiec’s faith that got him into trouble? No. It was politics. Critics will argue it was his willingness to dedicate time to his religious work to the detriment of official government activities. Some will even point to an audit of government resources that stated his “outside activities” were beyond the scope of his governmental role as ambassador; but I don’t believe that either.

I suspect that the individuals who wanted to see him removed were the same ones who didn’t like seeing Kmiec, a longtime supporter of Republican leaders, adamantly supporting Obama while he ran for office. As a result of Kmiec’s decision, political hardball was played, and he became a casualty of political warfare at the expense of his religious convictions.

It’s unfortunate to see this happen; but in a greater theme of things, it is probably better off this way. Why? Because, for some people, religion is truly their life’s greatest work. If religion fulfills Kmiec or anyone else to the point that it is all you want to do and live for, then other jobs will certainly pale in comparison — especially when people are trying to use religion to score political points.

If Mr. Kmiec is indeed as devout to his religion as reported, then perhaps his spiritual work is more important than his diplomat work. And, while I believe we need more individuals of faith working in public service, this is yet another example of why more people don’t.

Last modified: May 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm