'Absolute Separation': Fifty Years Later John F. Kennedy's Houston Address on Church and State Is Still Sparking Admiration-And Controversy
Bathija, Sandhya, Church & State
At nearly 9 p.m. on Sept. 12, 1960, John F. Kennedy stepped to a podium in the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas.
In a ballroom filled with 300 pastors from the Greater Houston Ministerial Association and 300 spectators, Kennedy delivered a speech that many scholars believe may have won him the White House.
"I believe in an America," said the 43-year-old Democratic candidate, "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."
Kennedy vowed that if he were elected president he would uphold the Constitution, keep church and state separate and not substitute his Roman Catholic religious beliefs for the national interest in making public policy. (See "John F. Kennedy On Religion And Politics," page 15.)
"Kennedy kept those promises," said Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "In this inspiring address, he laid down a …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: 'Absolute Separation': Fifty Years Later John F. Kennedy's Houston Address on Church and State Is Still Sparking Admiration-And Controversy. Contributors: Bathija, Sandhya - Author. Magazine title: Church & State. Volume: 63. Issue: 9 Publication date: October 2010. Page number: 13+. © 1999 Americans United for Separation of Church and State. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.