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Manchurian Catholic Democrats and JFK's Speech about Religion

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This is the kind of America I believe in, and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty," or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the "freedoms for which our forefathers died."

And in fact ,this is the kind of America for which our forefathers died, when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches; when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom; and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died McCafferty and Bailey and Carey. But no one knows whether they were Catholic or not, for there was no religious test at the Alamo.

I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition, to judge me on the basis of my record of 14 years in Congress, on my declared stands against an ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools (which I have attended myself)-- instead of judging me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we all have seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and always omitting, of course, the statement of the American Bishops in 1948, which strongly endorsed church-state separation, and which more nearly reflects the views of almost every American Catholic.

I do not consider these other quotations binding upon my public acts. Why should you? But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the state being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit, or persecute the free exercise of any other religion. And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny their presidency to Protestants, and those which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as Ireland and France, and the independence of such statesmen as Adenauer and De Gaulle.

But let me stress again that these are my views. For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.

Whatever issue may come before me as president -- on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject -- I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.

But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith, nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.

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If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I had tried my best and was fairly judged. But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being president on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser -- in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.

But if, on the other hand, I should win the election, then I shall devote every effort of mind and spirit to fulfilling the oath of the presidency -- practically identical, I might add, to the oath I have taken for 14 years in the Congress. For without reservation, I can "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, so help me God.

Transcript courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

for the first time since I've been running, I asked fellow editors for feedback on this article. I wanted to be sure I wasn't going too far. On their advice, I edited out one paragraph that you will not miss, that went on an aside. But one of our senior editors, Amanda Lang, actually OEN's first volunteer editor, who's been with us since 2003, provided some info and perspective I just can't resist including:

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"I found some interesting research on the Founding Fathers views at the time the Constitutional debates were taking place:


Many supporters of the Constitution, including one of the most prominent, James Madison, agreed to support a bill of rights in the Constitution, if it could be ratified. Several of the states included suggested amendments, including rights of the people, in their ratification documents. The push was on for a bill of rights in the Constitution. Madison was true to his word -- on June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison rose and gave a speech in the House where he introduced a series of articles of amendment. One concerned religious freedom:


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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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Whatever the right and wrong of the issue, it seem... by Don Smith on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 10:52:51 AM
which is how the rest of the industrialized world ... by Jill Herendeen on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:31:29 AM
That the USA remains the last nation in the world ... by Gary Williams on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:55:43 PM
Gary, I agree that propaganda has been relentless,... by Josh Mitteldorf on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 1:40:04 PM
"it seems to me that Obama and the Democratic lea... by Gary Williams on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:25:57 PM
The Catholic church is an employer.  As such,... by Stranger In a Strange Land on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:14:01 AM
by the catholic Church shoving its polices down... by Thomas Brown on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:23:12 AM
The institutional Catholic Church is socially and ... by Kevin Tully on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:27:25 AM
I think maybe Rob's Catholic hangups are leaking.T... by Terry Riley on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:42:22 AM
I am and Rob has nailed it very well and produced ... by Kevin Tully on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:57:29 AM
These politicians, as loathsome as they are on mos... by Andrew Steele on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:52:59 AM
I know that many men do get the "choice" issue for... by patricia win on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 1:40:00 PM
Resent all you want, it's your right, but it doesn... by Andrew Steele on Saturday, Feb 11, 2012 at 1:38:16 AM
You might think the US Conference of Catholic Bish... by Amanda Lang on Saturday, Feb 11, 2012 at 10:49:13 AM
I haven't looked at the details of their agreement... by Andrew Steele on Saturday, Feb 11, 2012 at 12:09:00 PM
For those who deny the Seperation of Church and St... by Diana Moss on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:54:27 AM
Republicans push to make this election about relig... by Amanda Lang on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 1:55:25 PM
more people are waking up to the fact that when re... by Jon Fox on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 at 1:13:59 PM
Well, Rob, it seems the beliefs of the Catholic... by Jerry Scott on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 3:28:39 PM
Compared to the vastly more evil, unholy alliance ... by Maxwell on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:30:40 PM
Let's hope those Manchurian Catholic Democrats lea... by linda selvia on Friday, Feb 10, 2012 at 10:45:35 PM
Seems like the right wing echosphere set this up a... by Gustav Wynn on Saturday, Feb 11, 2012 at 9:55:02 PM
Vice ... by Anuel Jackson on Saturday, Feb 11, 2012 at 11:14:30 PM