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6/16/2004 10:36:00 PM by Donohue - Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights


Mara Vanderslice has been appointed Senator John Kerry’s Director of Religion Outreach. Catholic League president William Donohue finds her a curious choice:


“Here’s what we know about John Kerry’s religious outreach person. Mara Vanderslice was raised without any faith and didn’t become an evangelical Christian until she attended Earlham College, a Quaker school known for its adherence to pacifism. When in college, Mara was active in the Earlham Socialist Alliance, a group that supports the convicted cop killer Mumia Abu- Jamal and openly embraces Marxism-Leninism. After graduating, Mara spoke at rallies held by ACT-UP, the anti-Catholic group that disrupted Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989 by spitting the Eucharist on the floor. In 2000, she practiced civil disobedience when she took to the streets of Seattle in a protest against the World Trade Organization. In 2002, she tried to shut down Washington, D.C. in a protest against the IMF and the World Bank.


“At first, John Kerry was considered too moderate for Mara, which is why she became Howard Dean’s Religion Outreach Director. She admits that she was a freak in the Dean campaign: her colleagues dubbed her the ‘church lady,’ informing her that Dean was liked precisely because he didn’t talk about religion. ‘How in the world did you get hired?’ is how one staffer put it. Unfazed, Mara contends we have a ‘collective commitment to protect the integrity of God’s creation,’ specifically citing the needs of the ‘least of these.’ Yet she supports John Kerry, a man who has never learned of an abortion he couldn’t justify.


“All the polls show Kerry getting whipped badly by Bush among practicing Catholics, Protestants and Jews. Moreover, the latest edition of Time magazine reports that only 7 percent of likely voters think Kerry is a man of strong religious faith. Given all this, his choice of Mara Vanderslice as his religious point woman is confounding. Her resume is that of a person looking for a job working for Fidel Castro, not John Kerry. Just wait until Catholics and Protestants learn who this lady really is.”


Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

450 Seventh Ave

New York, NY 10123

(212) 371-3191

(212) 371-3394 (Fax)


Recently, Mara commented on world debt at g8online...


Featured Content: Response to the G8's Debt Initiatives

Mara Vanderslice - Analyst of the HIPC Initiative from Jubilee USA


The G8 Summit in Kananaskis has produced a deal on debt. This should not come as a surprise since the debt issue has raised a certain amount of consensus in the international community. Rock stars, religious leaders, and over 25 million citizens from around the world participate in the Jubilee movement that calls for debt cancellation.


The debt issue received a prominent place in the G8's plan for Africa. African countries service over 13.5 billion dollars of debt a year to foreign creditors. This figure is above the entire amount offered by the G8 leaders. Such a huge debt is inherently linked to crucial issues like health, education and the fight against AIDs. The debt issue, in fact, has lingered on the G8 agenda for last five conferences without much progress.


Moreover, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, sponsored by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is lacking in many areas. Only six countries have completed the program since in started in 1996. More than 20 countries are mired within the program itself, struggling to meet IMF conditions in order to qualify for relief. More than half of the countries that are going to receive relief will continue to spend more on debt than on health care.


The extra billion dollars promised by the G8 is not a new deal for the HIPCs. For HIPCs to qualify, their debt still needs to be over 150% of their total exports. The G8 leaders were over-optimistic about the price of HIPC goods. The new money will merely finance the resulting shortfall.


The G8 leaders have refused to move further and broaden debt relief. They have not acknowledged responsibility for funding loans to sometimes illegitimate efforts. Debt relief has led to positive education and health initiatives in countries like Uganda, Mozambique, Honduras, and Tanzania. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with human beings-real people that need access to health and education. ../address3.html




Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved