ST. LOUIS — Sen. John Kerry cited a Bible verse Sunday to criticize leaders who have “faith but has no deeds,” prompting President George W. Bush’s spokesman to accuse Kerry of exploiting scripture for political gain.
Kerry never mentioned Bush by name during his speech at New North Side Baptist Church, but aimed his criticism at “our present national leadership.” Kerry cited scripture in his appeal to the worshipers, including James, 2:14: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?”
“The scriptures say, what does it profit, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” Kerry said. “When we look at what is happening in America today, where are the works of compassion?”
Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry’s comment “was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse and a sad exploitation of scripture for a political attack.”
Kerry told the largely black congregation that the country has served privileged people while ignoring Americans who live in neighborhoods like theirs.