Governor, You're No Jack Kennedy
DonByrd printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:18:00 PM EST
This morning, Mitt Romney attempted his version of then-candidate John F. Kennedy's famous speech to a group of Baptist ministers in Houston. As difficult as it is to imagine now, Southern Baptists did at one time believe in the separation of church and state (many good Baptists still do). So it was sensible in 1960 to deliver a reassuring speech to that crowd that included this:
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 a 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.
Needless to say, Governor Romney's speech was a bit different...quotes and thoughts below the fold.
He started off well enough...
"Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am an American running for President. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

"Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.

But the allure of the straw man was just too great....

"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.

"The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust.

"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders - in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'

We are a nation full of religious individuals and communities, but not a religious nation. Church-state separation is necessary to preserve religious freedom - both the freedom to believe and the equally important freedom not to believe. It is not an effort to remove God or religion, nor to "separate us from God." It is simply the requirement that agents of government refrain - in their official capacity - from promoting or preferring, criticizing or harassing religious believers and non-believers. When the official institutions of the state are free of the enactment of religion, then and only then can the business of religious liberty really begin.

The kind of fear-mongering we see from candidates today - contorting the institutional separation of church and state into a supposedly serious threat to the place of God in our lives - preys on many Americans' most solemnly held beliefs. It is the height of cynicism and exploitation.

Mr. Romney attempts again to connect with the religious extremists of his political party to the exclusion of the majority of Americans.

by Lantern Jack on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 12:24:32 PM EST
have said it better myself.
   Listening to the speech this morning, I heard an awful lot of dog-whistle language, to the effect that if one is not a theist of one stripe or another, one just cannot be a good American. Pretty scary.

by nogodsnomasters on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 09:49:32 PM EST

A good beginning for this week's sermon from Isaiah 11.
Well, worded.

by Don Niederfrank on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 04:33:12 PM EST

With Kennedy and catholicism there was a tremendous history that wound from the first/second century in which the 'Christian' world was Catholic. Even following the Reformation, Catholicism wandered around the world doing great things in the 'New World', complying with the status quo most everywhere, earning Vatican City status as its own little nation. There's a helluva of a big difference betwixt Mitt's religious preference and John Kennedy's. Kennedy's had more of an involved history responsible for shaping all kinds of stuff. I'm too tired to list 'em. There's something I want to throw out. Mitt says: "What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind. My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history." Would you say that most Christian denominations (protestant) have a similar view of Jesus Christ? That 'my church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same....' irks me a bit.

by ecoflame on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 01:42:32 AM EST
if you were from an LDS-dominant community. I wouldn't downplay the ability of the LDS to muster its adherents in political issues of interest, and the LDS certainly has the money to have much influence in politics. Certainly in the anti-ERA, anti-abortion, and anti-gay-rights field, LDS has played an important but little noticed role in getting out the vote.

by NancyP on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 02:50:31 PM EST
to what I wrote. I grew up in an LDS-dominated farming community. I don't know as much about LDS (Mormon) 'theology' as I do about the evangelical or fundamentalist types, both of which is considerably less than what I know about Catholicism theology, history, and practices. The LDS church is not the Catholic church. It does not have the history the Catholic church has nor the outright power. Many folks probably don't even know who is head of the Mormon church here in the U.S. There's no correlation between Romney's comparison of himself to John F. Kennedy. It's a ruse. Like bringing in the name of certain people into his speech: Thomas Jefferson and Anne Hutchinson (!).

by ecoflame on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 02:18:57 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (374 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (198 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (110 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (101 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (113 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (144 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (126 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (118 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (250 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (64 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (161 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (176 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (70 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (80 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (218 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (253 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (107 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (211 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (165 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (163 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (169 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (157 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (130 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (330 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (148 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (90 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (214 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.