'I Believe in an America Where the Separation of Church and State is Absolute'

September 12, 1960, address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association


05/15/2011 11:31:52 AM

John Boehner is a good man, traveling down a road similar to railroad tracks, he has one foot on each track and the tracks switches in different directions from time to time making him realize he must choose one track or the other, (that is life) this is the personal fight John Boehner has been faced with since entering politics. Capitalism is great but it sometimes goes through shady areas, this is the part that tears John Boehner apart. You can't serve two masters and serve them well. Ronald Reagan switched from Democrat to Republican, for John Boehner to solve his problems he would need to switch from Republican to Democrat. Why is this? Because his heart is with the average American and his pocketbook is with the Elite Upper Crust, meaning the Super Wealthy. In the end, it's all between me and God and you and God. This is John’s call, not mine or yours. God may feel it doesn’t matter either way. God may feel it’s a silly earthly squabble. This is probably why that one nutcase in Shakespeare once said; “Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more”.


01/10/2008 10:19:56 AM

JFK's speech was releavant and important then and still is today. When one religion gains political ascendency it usually imposes its will on the others. The court rulings on separatrion of church and state are designed to prevent such a tragedy from happening. As to the "rock" that has been mentioned in other postings, I would consider allowing it to remain in the courhouse if it was scultped in the original holy Hebrew and not in the common language of the day. If that cannot be it should be removed and never allowed in a public government again. As a Jew I find it intolerable to have God's holy word displayed in something other than his holy language! I hope I've made my point. Thank you.


05/17/2004 04:35:56 PM

Bedeila: John K. nor any other one of us look for orders from the pope but from the Throne of God, I DO NOT believe digging up a dead man's speach and trying to apply it to your fancy today is a noteworthy cause. Mr. Kennedy was Irish and he knew history, he knew that just years before we landed in America the Queen and Kings of England were killing catholics, that there was and still is fighting in Ireland and prejudices.... that is more or the tone of his speach prejudice... not like the prejudice that is found in his brother today against the nominations for federal judges. That is not seperation of church and state that is a searing of the conscience. Stand up for your convictions like a man and let us vote.


04/25/2004 02:44:13 PM

John Kennedy said it best. The Catholic Church has no business trying to tell our president or any other elected official how to vote or what to believe. A Catholic should not be president if he is taking orders from the Pope or a Bishop. That is separation of Church and State.


04/24/2004 05:30:19 PM

John was a good Catholic, and I think this was basically just a lie--"I believe in an America where the seperation of church and state is absolute.' It's alot like Kerry's "I am a practicing Catholic." Who cares? Why do politicians have to lie like this? We don't need you to please anybody, just say the truth as you see it and we'll love ya. Peace.


02/17/2004 01:57:21 PM

Seperation of chruch and state was to protect the church from goverment .King Gorge took money from the churches Hitler abused them as well as Stallin


11/25/2003 08:42:41 PM

Nice.. 44% of us wouldn't vote for someone because they were a muslim...


11/24/2003 04:57:32 PM

I'm a 58 year old Catholic. I've never been told by Pope, bishop, or priest how to vote. I've been taught the Catholic position on various life and death issues and then been told to vote my conscience. I've never had them call to check and see if I voted their way. I've never been to a Catholic Mass where a politican was allowed to give a campaign speech or request a donation to his campaign. But, in over 30 active years working with Democratic Party candidates at all levels of government I've seen these abuses happen at Protestant and Jewish services and to their communicants.


11/23/2003 11:26:48 AM

It's ironic that Kennedy felt that he had to reassure the country that he wouldn't be influenced by his religion when, in more recent years, Catholic prelates have been quite open about telling their people how to vote.


11/21/2003 01:45:15 PM

My grandparents came to America not because it was a "Protestant country," but because it claimed to be a country where religion was not only free but not imposed by any public (i.e., governmental) institution. They found a country where Protestant Christianity was assumed and promoted by many institutions. But, America grew with its new immigrants and after the fuss over Kennedy, laws started to -- finally -- reflect the ideal of freedom from Other People's religions. Now, my grandparents were Christian, but many new immigrants are not, just as many native Americans are no longer Christian. It behooves all Americans to remember this and to leave religion as a private affair and not give anyone the idea that a judge or the courts are biased. Ceasar's wife must remain above suspicion and all that.


11/21/2003 01:08:45 PM

and the context of today? There is "real fear" today that the "religious right" and the religion of corporate greed have merged in the current political system where they have no place. Their leader (not mine) is George II. A voice of reason was quieted 40 years ago this week. I think Kennedy's concerns are still valid and maybe more so today. The rock that was removed from MY judicial building (yes mine. I live here) had no place, and minds where religious priorities come first over the good of the nation, has no room in my government.


11/21/2003 09:50:16 AM

Context, context, context. Of course Kennedy said this. He was a Catholic candidate running in a Protestant country. There was a real fear, utilized by JFK's opponents, that electing him president would effectively put the Pope in the White House. Kennedy's comments on church-state separation were an answer to this concern, not a support of stupid decisions by the federal courts in Alabama.


11/21/2003 09:43:28 AM

(cont from below) In the post-WW2 moves to the suburbs, it seems that many 2nd and 3rd generation Catholic Americans have forgotten their history, or never really believed it, sheltered in the pluralistic cities that their immigrant grandparents moved into. We went to Catholic schools because Protestant prayers were said in the "public" schools. Scout troops were often segregated (I was the only Catholic in mine and constantly evangelized by a troop leader). We didn't think of America as a "Christian" country, but rather as a country in which everyone followed their own religion without hassle. It was only 50 years ago, folks.


11/21/2003 09:43:13 AM

"It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim--but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril." Sound like today? I was raised Catholic and taught by nuns in the 50s and 60s. I remember the days when Catholics were thought of as less than "true Americans" like Protestant Christians. I remember ministers refusing to let Catholic kids ride in their schoolbusses. I learned parts of American History that my public school friends never heard of: the inner-city missions, the prejudice on the job and at the polls, the accusations of unAmericanism because Catholic workers had the audacity to form unions and to strike, and the nasty jokes and threats that bubbled up into Ohio from the South and the KKK.