John F. Kennedy’s “Church and State” Speech Makes Rick Santorum want to Puke

John F. Kennedy’s “Church and State” Speech Makes Rick Santorum want to Puke

Article VI, Clause III of The Constitution of the United States of America.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

 On September 12, 1960 John F. Kennedy addressed a group of Protestant clergymen concerned about the influence of his Roman Catholic faith and whether, as president, he could make important decisions independent of his church.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

 Rick Santorum as reported on by The Washington Post:

In remarks last year at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in Warner, N.H., Santorum had told the crowd of J.F.K.’s famous 1960 address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, “Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up. You should read the speech.”

I just read JFK’s speech, and it reflects exactly how the founders intended our elected representatives to act. Yet upon reading Kennedy’s landmark speech, Rick Santorum found the words so abhorrent that he wanted to throw up – presumably on Article VI, Clause III of the Constitution that follows a clause stating that the Constitution, not The Bible, is “the Supreme Law of the Land.”

What I find abhorrent is that Rick Santorum would not make the same pledge that John F. Kennedy did in 1960, and that Mitt Romney made in 2008. Any candidate who claims to be a Christian and has as narrow a mind as Santorum’s on equality, sexuality, and social issues ought to be the one justifying his religion and guaranteeing that he would not try and impose his dogma on the rest of us. If he can’t do that, then he’s unfit to hold the office of the President of the United States of America.

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