Santorum: JFK speech on religion ‘makes you throw up’

In a famous speech in 1960 to a group of Baptist ministers in Houston, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy tried to convince his listeners that he would not take his orders from leaders of his Catholic faith but instead from his own conscience.

“I do not speak for my church on public matters,” Kennedy said, “and the church does not speak for me.”

Here’s the crux of that speech, which is available in its entirety here:

“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.”

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, running in 2012 for the Republican presidential nomination, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that Kennedy’s speech makes him want to vomit:

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?”

“That makes me throw up and it should make every American who is seen from the president, someone who is now trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you, not that you can’t come to the public square and argue against it, but now we’re going to turn around and say we’re going to impose our values from the government on people of faith, which of course is the next logical step when people of faith, at least according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square.”

Santorum has badly misread Kennedy’s speech, in my opinion. JFK spoke strongly against letting church leaders dictate public policy to politicians who shared their faith; he said nothing about barring individuals of faith from the public square. Nor did he belittle the power of faith in informing a person’s conscience.

It’s also important to note that Kennedy speech’s was very well-received at the time. In fact, as David Halberstam later wrote in “The Powers That Be,” “it became a staple of the campaign, hundreds and hundreds of copies of the film were made and it was shown whole, used for spots, and played and played again, and most significantly, used as a means of advancing him — with Kennedy coming into a given area they could build interest in him this way.”

Today, more than 60 years later, it makes Santorum want to vomit.

– Jay Bookman

580 comments Add your comment

HDB

February 27th, 2012
7:44 am

Santorum wants to create a theocracy…….let him run for President of Afghanistan….

HDB

February 27th, 2012
7:44 am

Santorum wants to create a theocracy…….let him run for President of Afghanistan….

Brad Steel

February 27th, 2012
7:45 am

googling santorum makes me wanna vomit.

Brad Steel

February 27th, 2012
7:45 am

…..after giggling

Jay

February 27th, 2012
7:45 am

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mick!

Happy Kine and The Mirth Makers

February 27th, 2012
7:49 am

And you Mr Bookman, with your constant regurgitation of the liberal non-sense, make us all want to “toss our cookies.”

ByteMe

February 27th, 2012
7:50 am

Does Santorum’s second paragraph even make any real sense or is it just a bunch of strung-together Palinisms?

TaxPayer

February 27th, 2012
7:52 am

Every time I hear Santorum speak, it looks like he’s vomiting. Or farting.

ByteMe

February 27th, 2012
7:52 am

And you Mr Bookman, with your constant regurgitation

Who let the trolls out… woof woof…

Granny Godzilla

February 27th, 2012
7:53 am

Santorum as a Valley Girl:

“It’s like BARF me out.”

ByteMe

February 27th, 2012
7:54 am

Gag me with a secular spoon. Totally.

Jm

February 27th, 2012
7:54 am

More much ado about nothing

All santorum was saying is you shouldn’t have to be an atheist or have to hide your religion in order to run for president

Related to all the oil related posts

Read folks

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-27/with-gas-tax-on-empty-u-s-must-find-new-way-to-fund-roads-view.html

Granny Godzilla

February 27th, 2012
7:55 am

Fly-on-the-Wall

February 27th, 2012
7:56 am

People like him are just plain scary. Next he’ll be asking for a religious test for the office of the President.

How can we be a great nation when people like Sanitorium want church doctrine committed to before the Constitution? This is a very dangerous path he takes for the whole country.

Mick

February 27th, 2012
7:57 am

Jay

Thanks…life is great and can only get better! I was a mere tyke when kennedy was president, what an intellect he had and just by his standards, nixon included. Santorum is a shrunken head and an embarassment to this country…yet, we persevere, republicans, your party is off the rails…

Granny Godzilla

February 27th, 2012
7:57 am

Fly-on-the-Wall

February 27th, 2012
7:58 am

Excellent graphic there Granny – I love it.

Normal

February 27th, 2012
8:00 am

I do believe that Mullah Santorum would want to grow a beard and don a turban…the dude is scary nuts.

Fly-on-the-Wall

February 27th, 2012
8:00 am

Wonder how long it will take for the ‘deflectors’ to show up and some how blame all of this on Obama?

F Brancher

February 27th, 2012
8:02 am

Isn’t it a shame how the ultra-conservative nuts are so oppressed in America?

Normal

February 27th, 2012
8:03 am

jm,
diverting all ready?

Bud Wiser

February 27th, 2012
8:06 am

Speaking of dead Kennedys, RFK’s son number 10 (that we know of) has been caught on video tape kicking a nurse from an elevator as he was trying to take his newborn child “outside for some air”, removing the baby from post-delivery without the doctor’s orders or permission.

As reported by USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-25/douglas-kennedy-nurse-charges/53240426/1

Another white trash Kennedy sliming their way into the news.

And Bookman digs up the words of a media sanctified dead Kennedy for lack of anything else to say? In rebuttal to Rick Sanitorium (misspelling intended)?

His interpretation of what JFK said seems fairly accurate, but the trained media stooge attack dogs are always looking for a leg cuff to grab on, or a fire hydrant.

He has your interpretation, you have yours. So what?

Michael

February 27th, 2012
8:07 am

Santorum is one scary baby faced dude.

Peadawg

February 27th, 2012
8:08 am

“googling santorum makes me wanna vomit.”

^^This

Granny Godzilla

February 27th, 2012
8:09 am

Budwiser goes direct to fire hydrant.

Ironically appropriate.

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:10 am

Normal – 8:03 – it’s worked so well for him all this time, why change strategy?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

February 27th, 2012
8:10 am

Santorum is just the male Michelle Bachmann – a complete loon.

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:10 am

Finn – 8:10 – and, considering how strongly he’s running, that should tell you the mental state of the GOP …

Religion, Politics and Greed

February 27th, 2012
8:11 am

Everyone should have a CHOICE to worship as they please. It is a shame how religion is used to manipulate issues and people. Religion needs to remain out of politics!

Normal

February 27th, 2012
8:11 am

Michael

February 27th, 2012
8:07 am
Yeah,
He reminds me of “Chuckie”…

Gale

February 27th, 2012
8:12 am

I wonder if it would help if the media ignored him/Santorum? Nah. The rabble will get excited about the next crazy.

Mick

February 27th, 2012
8:13 am

bud

Yes, let’s try to find another kennedy to kick around, they’ve all done so much harm to this country. Santorum is foolish to go there, his interpretation? Not even close to what kennedy was saying, just goes to show you that even with all the degree’s santorum possesses, you can still aspire to be an idiot…

Stevie Ray

February 27th, 2012
8:13 am

JAY,

Agreed..the problem we have is that if you pay attention, all the mega-churchs of the caucasian variety are starting to sprout Santorum for Pres lawn signs and campaigns…Yikes!

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:13 am

A Santorum-Spread-on-JFK thread?

Clearly, Jay takes his orders from Mick.

Or, maybe, just from guys who just happen to be celebrating a birthday?

Tommy Maddox

February 27th, 2012
8:14 am

The notion of sharing interns with your colleagues should make you want to throw up.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

February 27th, 2012
8:15 am

He has your interpretation, you have yours. So what?

Yeah, Jay. How dare you question one of our public servants looking to reach the highest seat in the land.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

February 27th, 2012
8:17 am

even with all the degree’s santorum possesses, you can still aspire to be an idiot…

Even W has degrees from some of the top schools in the country. You don’t have to be too bright to get those.

Stevie Ray

February 27th, 2012
8:17 am

GRANNIE and FLY,

Imagine us actually agreeing on something…Santorelli eats too much flesh and drinks too much blood on Sundays….Is Catholicism his brand of tribe?

I’m at a point where I feel the only candidate that could soundly whip the spineless blame-master is Chris Christy…pound for pound my favorite. Too bad he not in race….interesting if he gets in at convention….

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:17 am

So almost 50 years after JFKs death, Santorum is just now taking notice of his position on faith and elected office? What’s next, if selected as the candidate to beat Obama, will he base his platform on dismanteling LBJ’s policies?

AU Liberal in ATL

February 27th, 2012
8:17 am

Everything about Rectorum makes me want to vomit. I bet he wins Georgia. Another reason to vomit.

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:17 am

“all the mega-churchs of the caucasian variety are starting to sprout Santorum for Pres lawn signs and campaigns…Yikes!”

EXCELLENT!!!!

a guaranteed Obama win!

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:18 am

I didn’t exactly want to vomit, but I did kind of feel sorry for the Mittster when he attempted to channel JFK during the last general election cycle, when he gave his own “I promise I won’t be my church’s robot if you make me Preznit” speech that, of course, paled horribly in comparison to JFK’s.

Mick

February 27th, 2012
8:18 am

stands

Amazing how jay can whip up a column in about 1.1 minutes after a request? Hey, it’s my b-day, gotta roll with it…

Jay

February 27th, 2012
8:19 am

Tommy, I’d fully agree with you on that one. I was never a huge JFK fan, but that revelation was grotesque.

Fly-on-the-Wall

February 27th, 2012
8:19 am

Hey Bud – yes the misspelling WAS intented. This guy is dangerous to this nation – period.

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:19 am

How about the democrat party of Georgia about to be insolvent???? Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on that Jay???

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:20 am

Joseph – “Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on that Jay???”

I’m sure he would, but as long as the GOP candidates continue to make themselves look like idiots, he has no choice.

Jerome Horwitz

February 27th, 2012
8:24 am

This remark, along with his recent comment regarding college education for the masses, indicates that this man is not ready for prime time. There is a good reason why he was turned out of office in PA by a landslide. Imagine calling Obama elitist for wanting everyone to go to college. Does he want to permeate a permanent underclass?

Fly-on-the-Wall

February 27th, 2012
8:24 am

Stevie – amazing as it seems we can reach across the isle and agree on somethings. I may not care for Chris Christy but at least he can govern to some extent.

jconservative

February 27th, 2012
8:24 am

Whether one does a casual or intense reading of the US Constitution, one must come away from that reading with the knowledge that the US Constitution is the most Religion Neutral governing document on the planet.

Anyone who wants to change that does not deserve the White House.

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:25 am

Butch Cassidy:

Thats an obvious opinion from a liberal. Most sane people think its a good crop of candidates. Consider the utter failure they will have to run against….

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:26 am

Jerome Horowitz – ” Imagine calling Obama elitist for wanting everyone to go to college.”

It’s not limited to Santorum. Gingrich accused us New Yorkers of being “Elitists” who live in high rises and ride the subway. Because you know, nothing says elitist like riding the subway. :)

AmVet - Just say no to the GOP's fascist theocracy.

February 27th, 2012
8:27 am

As repulsive as Ricky’s ideas are, at least he is consistent and proud of his juvenile rhetoric.

JFK though flawed, was a true American hero. A man of great courage and backbone. Santorum is a disgusting, never done a thing, little twerp not qualified to have ever shined JFK’s shoes.

The good news, of course, is that in about six weeks he will just be another discarded oddity on the mountain of discarded neo-con oddities…

Willydoit?

February 27th, 2012
8:27 am

Kennedy wasn’t really all that religious anyway, he just did the church thing for appearances.
He cheated on his wife many many many many many many times over and over and over…..not that there’s anything wrong with that, if you’re into that kinda thing…or if your old lady don’t object!

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:27 am

Joseph – you might like Blogger … although I prefer WordPress …

either way, starting a blog of your own is free …

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:27 am

Joseph – “Consider the utter failure they will have to run against….”

I have, which is why it’s even more disturbing that the GOP couldn’t come up with a better set of candidates to run against him.

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:28 am

“Most sane people think its a good crop of candidates. ”

:lol:

although, I shouldn’t laugh … that’s just sad …

Jerome Horwitz

February 27th, 2012
8:28 am

Jay – I was indifferent of JFK until I read some books on the Cuban missle crisis. For all his foibles his leadership probably kept up us from a nuclear confrontation. I cringe when I think what might have happened if Nixon were elected and let LeMay and the Joint Chiefs influence his thinking.

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:29 am

Santorum has badly misread Kennedy’s speech, in my opinion.

While it’s only my opinion, I don’t think he’s done any such thing. He didn’t “misread” anything. I think Rick Santorum is perfectly capable of understanding exactly what JFK said about his personal faith, and that Rick is deliberately misrepresenting it for stupid people who will vote for him because they need to hear such things.

Such is the coarseness of primary retail politics in 2012.

Put another way: Rick is not stupid. He is a liar.

AmVet - Just say no to the GOP's fascist theocracy.

February 27th, 2012
8:30 am

…a good crop of candidates.

It sure is, USinUK.

For the Democrats.

The Bush/Cheney loyalists and apologists have unwittingly destroyed the GOP for awhile. Heaven knows when it will regain any credibility or earn the trust of the American people again…

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:30 am

$3.59 a gallon?????

Citizen of the World

February 27th, 2012
8:31 am

Santorum is *deliberately* misreading JFK’s speech, just like he twists President Obama’s words about education — his willful ignorance and anti-intellectualism boggle the mind; that is, among people who use theirs.

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:31 am

Joseph – “$3.59 a gallon?????”

Walking?????????

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:32 am

Joseph – “$3.59 a gallon?????”

Public Transportation????????

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:32 am

Joseph – “$3.59 a gallon?????”

Not buying an Expedition??????????

Doggone/GA

February 27th, 2012
8:32 am

“Does he want to permeate a permanent underclass?”

Sure he does. How can he feel superior if no one will be inferior?

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:33 am

Joseph – “$3.59 a gallon?????”

Free Markets?????????

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:33 am

“Walking?????????”

mass trans?????

car pooling????

cycling?????

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:33 am

Obama slamming American religous institutions and apoloigizing to radical muslims… Go figure…

Jm

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

“I was never a huge JFK fan”

Hilarious. Absolutely priceless bunk.

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

Butch Cassidy:

Obama?????

TaxPayer

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

Most sane people think its a good crop of candidates.

Yep. All they need is a little fertilizer and water and a healthy dose of Roundup.

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

Hoping people will be stupid enough to blame Obama for it??????????

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

oh, and…Threadjacking???????????

Doggone/GA

February 27th, 2012
8:34 am

“that Rick is deliberately misrepresenting it for stupid people who will vote for him because they need to hear such things. ”

I agree. I tried to post pretty much the same thing, but you beat me to it!

Butch Cassidy

February 27th, 2012
8:35 am

Joseph – “Butch Cassidy:

Obama?????”

Ask someone who voted for him????????

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:35 am

Bitter ex-AJC employee???????????

Ron Myers

February 27th, 2012
8:36 am

After an “interpretation” like that, I feel a name change is in order – it should be Rick “Sanitarium”. Our country has shown it will elect male, female, Protestant, Catholic and Jew. Mr. Santorum wants to get us all fighting each other – a very devicive political strategy for running the country I would think. I would rather him tell us all how he intends on dealing with the major issues of the day and not how he wants to have his religion tell us all how to act in our private lives.

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:37 am

“They get bitter, and they cling to guns, and religion, and hopes that fuel commodity vagaries will piss off the voting public eight months from now.”

–Thomas Jefferson

Normal

February 27th, 2012
8:38 am

Stands,
You said, “Put another way: Rick is not stupid. He is a liar.”

And I’m glad you said it first. My views on religion are pretty well known and I didn’t want to point out he’s a lair first because of that.If Rick Santorum is supposed to be the ideal of “Conservative Religion” with all of it’s piety, then why in blue blazes are they letting him get away with the lies he said about the Netherlands and now this? Where is the supposed “Goodness and Trueness” of these folks.

All I can say is this…”If Rick Santorum is the model of Christian values, then I am glad I am not a Christian. I will never be called a hyprocrit because of it.”

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:38 am

Butch Cassidy:

I wasn’t in the booth with ya sport…

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:39 am

“I wasn’t in the booth with ya sport…”

yeah, he was in the one NEXT To you, tapping his foot …

Jm

February 27th, 2012
8:39 am

Jay wouldn’t have been a screaming mad aggressive bestows style JFK fan.

He just would’ve had the posters, all the recordings, and gone to as many concerts as he could have. So I guess he wasn’t a “huge”, or gigsnticly insane fan. Just a really really big fan of the moonshot Camelot president.

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:39 am

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:40 am

“Rick is not stupid. He is a liar.”

I’ll see your liar …

and raise you a wanker …

TaxPayer

February 27th, 2012
8:40 am

When the Republicans have the likes of the Koch crooks and Friess and Adelson picking their candidates, this is what they get. They deserve no better.

carlosgvv

February 27th, 2012
8:41 am

Republican politicians have already made it crystal clear they are of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Now Santorum is making it equally clear he wants a Christian government, preferably Catholic, to rule America. What is not clear at all, in fact totally beyond comprehension, is why so many millions of Republican voters actually support this kind contemptible behavior.

stands for decibels

February 27th, 2012
8:41 am

why in blue blazes are they letting him get away with the lies he said about the Netherlands and now this? Where is the supposed “Goodness and Trueness” of these folks.

Long answer: Read The Family if you haven’t already, to learn about the history of radical right wing evangelism in this country.

Short answer: Lying is a-ok with radical right-wing clerics.

Jm

February 27th, 2012
8:41 am

Bestows = Beatles

No idea how autocorrect came up wid dat

Willydoit?

February 27th, 2012
8:41 am

Why do democrats fear Christians in America but love Muslims in the Middle East?

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:42 am

Joseph – do you even READ what you post???

4 polls show a gain
1 poll shows a tie
3 polls show a loss

that’s a nosedive????

oy to the vey …

Finn McCool (Class Warfare = Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

February 27th, 2012
8:42 am

USinUK, is Scotland ready to break free of England? Interesting op-ed in today’s NYTimes.

AmVet - Just say no to the GOP's fascist theocracy.

February 27th, 2012
8:43 am

Speaking of great GOP candidates for the Dems, is Herman’s campaign still suspended?

Let’s review these great options over the past two elections…

Thompson
Tancredo
Gilmore
Brownback
Thompson
Keyes
Romney
Paul
Huckabee
Hunter
Giuliani
McCain
Pawlenty
Cain
Bachmann
Huntsman
Perry
Santorum
Romney, again
Paul, again
Gingrich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBzJGckMYO4

Normal

February 27th, 2012
8:43 am

So, let me get this straight…If ol’ Rick is elected President, the actual President would be the Pope?

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:44 am

Finn – “USinUK, is Scotland ready to break free of England?”

I hope so – we’ll come out a net winner with that devolution … Scotland (like many red states) is a net recipient of government funds

(of course, they’ll try to keep North Sea oil and we’ll fight them tooth and nail for it)

Jm

February 27th, 2012
8:46 am

Joseph

Oil prices are high for a variety of reasons

Obama has not helped the situation on the supply side. He hasn’t done anything on the demand side either, though his future CAFE requirements will help in the future. It is a flawed method of addressing demand though (Cafe)

Joseph

February 27th, 2012
8:46 am

USinUK:

Did you look at the dates when the polls were taken??? I realize its difficult for you but the gas prices will soon be taking a toll when Americans finally wakeup and realize that this President has put forth absolutly nothing to help….

USinUK

February 27th, 2012
8:46 am

“If ol’ Rick is elected President, the actual President would be the Pope?”

does that mean that the US will observe Saints Days and other Holy Days of Obligation???

now, THAT would be interesting …

Willydoit?

February 27th, 2012
8:47 am

The only thing JFK worshiped was the poontang! That I can respect!!

Keep Up--Te gusta losing woofinpoofs?

February 27th, 2012
8:48 am

So much Republican candidate playing to a rabid base stupidity, so little time……