Spare Change News
John F. Kennedy, September, 1960:
“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.”
Retrieved from NPR, Transcript: JFK’s Speech on His Religion, Dec. 5, 2007, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600)
Rick Santorum, In reference to JFK’s speech, February, 2012:
“That makes me throw up…I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country”
Retrieved from, ABC news, Rick Santorum: JFK’s 1960 Speech Made Me Want to Throw Up, Feb. 26th, 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/rick-santorum-jfks-1960-speech-made-me-want- to-throw-up/
As of March 14, 2012, Mitt Romney lead the Republican presidential hopefuls with 492 delegates. He is the front-runner. Not far behind him is Rick Santorum with 252 delegates. And right behind him is Newt Gingrich with 131 delegates.
American politics cannot be explained easily. However, the above facts should scare you, if you know what they mean in political terms.
First, I hope you agree that it is Rick Santorum’s response to Kennedy’s speech that makes you want to throw up. The separation of church and state is of vital importance to the United States. It is as foundational as the right to bear arms or the right to a fair trial. The United States of America never has had, and, God willing, never will have, a national religion. However, the idea that Christianity should play a role in national politics, given that most Americans believe in some version of Christianity, is scary, very scary. If you believe in the separation of church and state, then voting for Santorum should not even be considered. He openly admits that he does not believe that ‘the separation of church and state is absolute.’
I did not think Santorum would still be in the race given his anti-American beliefs. However, since he is so pro-Christian, he is being backed by a lot of Christian folks. Unlike other Republican hopefuls like Tim Pawlenty, Santorum has a Super PAC (Political Action Committee) raising the needed funds to stay in the campaign. And since no Republican will ever try to exploit Santorum’s remarks, we Americans can. I thought we would; we have yet to; thus, this article!
Yes, Santorum is behind Romney by over two hundred delegates. In order to become the nominee you need 1,191 delegates. There are 2,380 delegates up for grabs. Gingrich, while never openly being against the separation of church and state, is very similar to Santorum, ideology-wise. There is very little doubt in my mind that when he eventually drops out he will throw his support to Santorum and call on his delegates to support him. In other words, you need to put Gingrich’s delegates in Santorum’s totals. And Gingrich, I do not think, will be dropping out anytime soon — he needs to be the viable second option to Romney, he needs to collect the delegates Santorum leaves in the dust.
Do you see what the Republicans are successfully doing? Some folks simply cannot vote for Santorum because he is too Christian-centered, yet these folks are still very conservative, so they vote for Gingrich instead of the less conservative Romney. Then you have some very religious conservative folks who never could vote for a man married three times, so instead of voting for less conservative Romney, these folks vote for Santorum. At the convention this summer, it will be Romney versus the team of Santorum and Gingrich.
This is scary. Santorum continues to pick up votes, states, and delegates. How is this happening? How are Americans showing support for such inflammatory remarks towards our country?
I understand Romney is a money man. That is more American, though, than the Christian campaign Santorum is on. At the very least, Romney is keeping his faith very close to his chest, as he should. We are not voting on religion when we vote for President. Yet, thanks to Santorum that is exactly what he has made the Republican race into.
Thanks, Rick. And if by chance one of your staffers may read this article, I suggest you re-examine your faith. Church is a very special place. As a religious man myself, I am with God when I am at church. I do not want the White House to resemble, in anyway, a church. I have a very private relationship with God and the idea that a Republican wants to use religion to govern is disgraceful, to both my great country and my God and his son, Jesus Christ.
AARON JAMES is a Spare Change News writer and vendor.