Friday, December 07, 2007

We pledge allegiance to the Bible. The Old Testament shall be our sole and only Constitution.

Since this has been religion week here we might as well cap it off with a comparison of the speeches by one great man 47 years ago and one not-so-great man just yesterday.

On Sept. 12, 1960 John F. Kennedy gave speech on religion to a group of Protestant clergy outlining his philosophy on that subject and what he saw as the role of the church and the state

But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

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.

Yesterday Gov. Mitt Romney outlined his own philosophy on religion in our society and though it was meant to echo Kennedy's words, at least in form, in truth it stands in stark contrast to Kennedy's views.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.


I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.


Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed as much for liberty. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve freedom, for us and for freedom loving people throughout the world. America took nothing from that Century's terrible wars – no land from Germany or Japan or Korea; no treasure; no oath of fealty. America's resolve in the defense of liberty has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom.

To sum up and paraphrase both speeches:

Kennedy- "I am a religious man but my greater loyalty is to our constitution. The separation of church and state is absolute. The government protects our liberties including our freedom to worship as we see fit."

Romney- "I am a religious man and acknowledge that there is a separation of church and state but it shouldn't be enforced in any meaningful way. Liberty is derived from religion and not the other way around.

Forgive me but I'll take Kennedy's America over Romney's any day of the week.


ladybug said...

I second ya on that one!~

Swinebread said...

It's not his Mormonism, it's his conservatism that's the problem.

Don Snabulus said...

Wow! Now THAT is some good leg work. Thanks, Dean.

Romney obviously has never grokked on subjects such as Natural Rights (whether granted by God or their self-evidentness according to reason) or read any Thomas Paine and The Rights of Man.

God didn't grant us freedoms; the founders were explicit that these rights were one that we were born with; regardless of religion.

Dean Wormer said...

God didn't grant us freedoms; the founders were explicit that these rights were one that we were born with; regardless of religion.

Yep. The whole concept of Civil Rights came about, in large part, due the opression of religion and willigness of religious institutions to take the side of the state against the opressed.