Has Douglas Kmiec been muzzled?

 |  NCR Today

He was one of President Obama's earliest supporters among the Catholic intellectual community -- but Douglas Kmiec now finds himself in a battle with Obama's State Department.

According to columnist Tim Rutten in The Los Angeles Times, Kmiec has been muzzled in his role as Ambassador to Malta. He's done an impressive job by all accounts, strengthening ties with a strategically important and conservatively Cathoic country.

But the problem is, apparently, Kmiec's faith -- or at least his desire to "go public" about his faith.

Kmiec, a former dean of the Catholic University of America law school, argues that one key reason he was brought into the administration by Obama was so that he could continue his work promoting interfaith initiatives. But the diplomatic bureaucracy has its rules, yes it does -- and has demanded Kmiec stop all "outside writings."

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

According to Rutten, the State Department even heavily edited a memorial piece he wrote upon his father's death for the Jesuit magazine America.

Obama worked long and hard during the 2008 campaign to show himself a friend of the faithful -- and break the Democratic image of a party hostile to believers. Kmiec's support was an important part of that push.

Obama now needs to step in, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and support the man who has supported them. And there is a larger question at play here, too: does becoming a diplomat mean turning in your rights to free speech and religion?

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017