I listened today to the recording of JFK making his famous speech about the question of his religious faith. His being the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate had become a "millstone" around his campaign's neck.
I also listened to Mitt Romney make his seemingly parallel speech about his Mormonism, which has also become like a millstone around Romney's neck, or would one of Joseph Smith's golden tablets make a better comparison. And parallel is the right word as neither speech intersects even remotely.
Don't be fooled by Romney's verbal smokescreen that claims he and the rest of us share a moral inheritance based on religious faith.
I and many millions of fellow atheists are able to function quiet well and even better than many Americans who claim to be "washed in the blood of the lamb" or "reborn unto the faith." Statistics have shown that atheists, freethinkers, and agnostics have a better track record with avoiding divorce and drug/substance abuse, and staying out of jail. Their personal lives are calmer and more productive.
These facts were deliberately ignored in Romney's speech. Instead Romney refers to nearly every imaginable faith tradition in America except for the Snake Handlers! They must not be making a significant portion of the voting public!
By the starkest verbal contrast imaginable President Kennedy speaks of the right to attend church, or NOT to attend church. He elaborates that he would work for an elimination of the divisiveness caused by virulent religious differences and refers to history to prove his point.
President Kennedy said clearly in his speech that the separation of church and state is "absolute."
Mr. Romney on the other hand claims that religion is essential to the future of the United States as it is our birthright as a nation.
The Romney campaign is intentionally refusing to read the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... Or Article VI: ...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
You can listen for yourself to the time capsule of Kennedy's speech and Romney's doggerel attempts to spin his superstition as essential to the human good by going to this NPR link.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId= 16970082 or