Image 01 Image 03

Not vomitous

Not vomitous

Rick Santorum, referring to a speech by then Senator John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960, said the speech made him want to vomit because Kennedy used the term “absolute” separation of church and state.

The transcript is here.   (h/t conservativegram in the Tip Line)  Read the whole sentence and paragraph and speech, not just the clause referred to by Santorum

The speech was not, as Santorum protrayed, anti-religious, but a powerful statement in favor of religious freedom, as this excerpt indicates (emphasis mine):

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.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is  pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew–or a  Quaker–or a Unitarian–or a Baptist.

It is a fair criticism that separation of church and state, a judge-made doctrine, has been overdone in a secularist attempt to drive religion from the public square.  In some cases that secular drive reaches levels of anti-religious absurdity.

But that is not what Kennedy was doing in defending against claims he would take orders from the Pope.

Kennedy’s speech in favor of religious freedom was not vomitous, at all.  It reminded me more of Washington’s letter to the Tuoro Synagogue of Newport Rhode Island, which I have quoted more than once here.

Santorum’s hyperbolic rhetoric is one of the reasons “I’d have to think about it” if there is no third surge for Newt and the choice came down to Romney or Santorum.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.




    Milwaukee in reply to Canusee. | February 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Your link didn’t seem to work.
    might be what you were looking for.

    Clearly, “the commanders need to be hung, and the White House burned.” Isn’t that what Iran wants? If American commanders ordered this, because insurgents were using the Korans to communicate with each other, by writing messages to each other in them, that needs to come out. If American commanders allow their troops to be subject to trial for following orders to dispose of those Korans, the American commanders need to be dealt with for dereliction of duty. How dare they surrender American troops to such a trial. (The American military gave up hanging for dereliction of duty some time ago.)

    We need to leave Afghanistan. But not before leaving a large bomb, with a note. “We know where you live. Bother American citizens or American property again, and we will flatten all your buildings. This bomb has brothers.”

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Milwaukee. | February 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      HOW ACTUAL MUSLIMS TREAT THEIR so-called SACRED BOOK – In Pakistan, “Thousands of Korans dumped in sewer”

      This whole incident stinks just like the ALLEGED killing of Pakistani troops by NATO forces. No photos of bodies were shown and no forensic proof was ever given. We were only shown photos of coffins draped with flags that might have been full of sand bags. Who knows.

      All the mobs in the streets, etc. are just propaganda. All they want to do is kill good people…who are trying to help them out of their hellish way of living, thinking and treating each other and other nations.

      They burn churches, orphanages, bomb hospitals, rape nuns, kill and rape babies, enslave and abuse little children. All this has been documented. Even their Madrasas are places of abuse and torture.

      These are the acts of cowards and devils.

      Islam’s book is corrupt and its practices deserve NO RESPECT. NONE.

    janitor in reply to Canusee. | February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

    This is an abomination.

One of the divisions in this GOP race is between those who simply want to get elected to something (Rick and Mitt) and those who have a vision for our country and need to be President to accomplish that (Ron and Newt). Rick’s rhetoric on this gives weight to that theory.

NC Mountain Girl | February 27, 2012 at 8:26 am

The choices look uglier with each passing day. Santorum can’t seem to strike the right notes on the huge issue of religious freedom while Romney once again reminded voters that he hails from out of touch Belmont. Here’s the story from Romney’s visit to the Daytona 500.

“Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

conservativegram | February 27, 2012 at 8:31 am

Thank you, Professor. Love this post.
This is a speech that Newt gave in GA this weekend. (He starts speaking about 18 minutes in) He talks of the separation of church and state. It’s just such an aspiring speech. The last 10-15 minutes are amazing. Though I already knew of a few of the stories about Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln, I so enjoyed hearing Newt explain them in such an eloquent way. I love his knowledge of history. I would encourage everyone to watch this and share it.

“and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote–where no church or church school is granted any public funds”

jfk is full of feces. churches are stripped of their 1st amendment rights and school vouchers are taken away. herr prof jfk is largely a myth of the proggs.

I’m wondering when Rick’s supporters will finally see through all of this. It’s like he has some sort of spell over them.

Hoping for a third surge with Newt.

Without having watched the Kennedy speech, by impression was that in this speech Kennedy implied that he wouldn’t let his faith interfere with his decision making. Or, that’s what I’ve been told. If that is true, then why bother stating one is Catholic, or any thing else? (Later today, after breakfast and work, I’ll watch it.)

Principles are what matter. No one is smart enough to know how to solve every problem. Solutions to future problems will come from the problem solvers principles. If a person denies their faith as part of their problem solving skills, aren’t they like the salt that has lost it’s flavor?

    Ragspierre in reply to Milwaukee. | February 27, 2012 at 9:04 am

    You have to frame what people say in context, Mil, and TIME was a big part of the context of that speech. I was a precocious lad at the time, and there was REAL, LIVE anti-Catholic bigotry aplenty.

    Kennedy had to give that speech…or one like it…to speak to the nonsense that he was a “Papist”.

    Retrospectively, we might wish that Kennedy had been MORE informed by his religion.

      Windy City Commentary in reply to Ragspierre. | February 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Perhaps you haven’t noticed that anti-Catholic bigotry continues today. At least back in JFK’s time, the govt. wasn’t trying to force the Church to do things that are against their teachings. JFK gave this speech to help him get elected. It was a political speech. The unfortunate thing is that so many non-Catholic Republicans try to speak for Catholics. So, Prof. Jacobsen; you know more about Catholicism than Santorum? I doubt that.

    jimzinsocal in reply to Milwaukee. | February 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Prior to Kennedy’s election..a big deal was made of his Catholic background. (for Milwaukee). All sorts of stories during the campaign suggested he would get “marching orders” from the Pope and that sort of nonesense.
    What Kennedy did with this speech was try and no uncertain terms…his position. I think he had it about right.
    As far as Im concerned…where church “policy” and government “policy” intersect and agree? Thats fine and dandy. The point is to avoid one driving the other….and its not even a casual cause and effect situation.
    For some folks..and I understand the motivation…there is an insistance on finding Christian thinking/doctrine behind government policy….as a root consideration or prerequisite if you will. Guys like Santorum are almost fixed in that thinking and nearly fall apart with the word “secular”. In my opinion.

Conservatives should avoid reiterating the (extra-constitutional) phrase “separation of church and state”.

Instead, emphasis should be placed on the terms “free exercise” and, say, “non-establishment” of religion. This would keep focus on what the constitution itself actually says.

The problem with the “separation of church and state” isn’t just that it doesn’t itself appear in the constitution. It also has become WAY too metonymic. So instead of simply meaning a church body cannot impose law and the state cannot interfere with church governance, it’s come to mean in the popular imagination the separation of all things religious from all things public.

This blog would be a good place to start setting this erroneous thinking right.

    n.n in reply to Will. | February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    The language is actually more restrictive than that.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

    The First Amendment specifically binds and limits the authority of Congress. The founders were overwhelmingly fond of state rights and implicitly competing interests. In fact, the recognition of this principal characteristic formed the foundation of this nation, where the recognition and preservation of individual dignity was preeminent. It was also an implicit acknowledgement of the moderating power these interests exhibit. It’s worth noting just how optimally organic the structure they defined really is. Assuming, of course, that there does not arise individuals or cooperatives capable of establishing monopolies or exhibiting monopolistic influence, especially authoritarian interests (i.e. government).

      Hope Change in reply to n.n. | February 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Hi n.n. — Thank you for pointing out the exact language of the Constitution.

      “The language is actually more restrictive than that.

      ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion'”

      That’s pretty clear. That’s pretty explicit.

      I am so eager to elect people in a majority to the White House, House and Senate, who care what our Constitution says and will do their best to follow the Constitution.

      We are so fortunate to live in this country! To have this amazing set of rules for our game of freedom.

      Newt says in his speeches that the Founders intentionally created a system of government in which it was really, really hard to get anything done.

      Newt says they did that on purpose so that we would have fewer laws and more freedom.

      Thanks, n.n., for bringing in the actual, plain language.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Hope Change. | February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        The fuller phrase is:

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..”

        It is the second part that Obama violates with his contraception dictat.

“–where no Catholic prelate would tell the President”

Kennedy seeems to overlook his own religious denomination’s work in imposing “social justice”aka the worship of State-God. Example, Catholic bishops were out in full force telling President Obama about the great do-gooderness of Universal Health Care is a God-given right and they are one main reason we have Obamacare. Catholism is dominated by progressive Left Social Justice philosophy;in these times the Catholic Church isn’t abiding by the Holy Scripture but by Holy Politics.

My argument is that the problem isn’t separation of Church and State rather it is a separation of greater rights to some over lesser rights to other; this seperation is according to what the State considers the valid faith (ie., believing State is God) and which faith is considered invalid (ie., believing God over the State)

Further; just because a Pastor of a faith believes God over the State this does not mean the State has the right to deny 1st Amendment rights to the Pastor.

The Constitution states we have rights to religion, not from religion.

(PS: Note that-according to its faith-Islam IS the State)

    Ragspierre in reply to syn. | February 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

    “The Constitution states we have rights to religion, not from religion.”

    Actually, it states both, and for very sound historical reasons.

    Several of the colonies were, as you’ll recall, religious enclaves at some point. Sometimes, the populace of those colonies could get violent in protecting their dogma.

    The 1st as originally rendered was to protect the states from a Federal religious preference, among other things. It had no such effect on the states, which continued to have officially approved religions in some cases.

Kennedy’s speech was purely for political gain because it was feared by his campaign that his religion might cost him votes. So his campaign brought it up as an issue in order to diffuse it. It has long been rumored in political circles that his campaign spread anti-Catholic literature among Catholics to fire up their vote, that almost reminds me of O and the race baiting. In politics, where there is smoke, there is usually fire, especially when you consider the Democrat graveyard vote in the 1960 election.

But, just because I am no fan of the Kennedys, doesn’t mean I can’t agree that Santorum picks all the wrong words and gets in all the wrong fights.

Irritable Pundit | February 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

As usual Professor, you put my rambling posts on the same subject to shame.

I honestly think the Church and State questions brought up by Santorum are going to hurt him more than people think.

Windy City Commentary | February 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

BTW, the minute this blog come out pro-Romney, I’m done here.

    what? on so many levels.

      Windy City Commentary in reply to Hope Change. | February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      I just find it surprising that after all the criticism that Mitt has warranted and received on this site; Prof. Jacobsen is considering supporting Mitt Romney over Santorum if Newt bows out. Prof. has even been defending Mitt Romney from Santorum lately, most notably that Santorum said Mitt is an Occupy Wall St. adherent. I’d say Mitt is exactly that. He talks about lowering taxes but adheres to OWS, by throwing them a bone, saying that he’ll do away with the tax deductions that the 1% can make. Anyone who says “1%” in this way is an OWS Adherent.

      It seems to me that many reasons people cite against Santorum are somewhat petty, and I for one will never overlook the significant big govt. interventions of Mitt in Massachusetts.

    Windy, I believe Rick is going to win Michigan, and I’m not kidding about it. So cheer up:)

There is no reason for Santorum to be pointlessly antagonizing everyone. None.
There are plenty of very religious candidates who speak of their values without using it as a tool of attack. Gov. Perry and Reagan are two that comes to mind.
I repeat myself – but what are we talking about when Santorum opens his mouth – not the country, but just Santorum…. We need a president who will focus on the country, not himself.

    Ragspierre in reply to tazz. | February 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

    “There is no reason for Santorum to be pointlessly antagonizing everyone.”

    There sort of is, you know. It is who he is. He can’t help it…

      And that’s why he should not be President of the United States. Agitating about the problem instead of communicating what is the solution is not leadership, nor is it presidential.

    Say_What in reply to tazz. | February 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I noticed that Rick has a “me, myself & I” problem.

I thought Santorum’s immediate disqualifition came during the last debate when he said, “Everything’s not going to be okay!” I watched him on the Sunday shows yesterday, really whiny and defensive. I don’t know where people get off dissing Newt for this behavior Saint Santorum is much worse.

Also, I don’t understand why people keep saying, “all of our candidates are awful.” When have we ever had candidates people were ecstatic about? None of the Young Conservative All-Stars (Rubio, et al) were prepared to run this year. IMHO, Newt is by far the best candidate I have seen in my short lifetime . The American people will see how prepared and serious he is and he will win. I still don’t think Obama has much of a chance this year, either. (He will try massive voter fraud – that is a forgone conclusion.)

    Hope Change in reply to ncmont. | February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    ncmont — I so agree with you.

    I am so tired of watching Washington,D.C. take one after the other steps toward doom.

    Newt is the closest thing to Reagan that we have seen since Reagan.

    Newt is positive and offers real solutions to our most urgent problems.

    The thrill of imagining our country EXPORTING energy. Lots of jobs. Lots of exciting future and development of new technologies.

    The vision of what could be changes everything.

    Like finding a new best friend. Everything gets better.

1. Santorum’s hyperbolic rhetoric is one of the reasons “I’d have to think about it” if there is no third surge for Newt and the choice came down to Romney or Santorum.

When the candidate of the Boston Democrat machine advocated a more constrained government than Republican Santorum does, I don’t have to think about it at all.

2. Religions meddle, have meddled, and will meddle in politics. Presumably everybody in the room knew that during JFK’s speech. As the expression of a guideline or boundary, the speech was nevertheless important.

In a cycle where the undeniable primary issues are the economy, jobs, the economy, federalism, the budget, the economy, and the economy, Santorum has fallen prey to the media’s ploy to paint him as all social conservatism, all the time. I understand his points, but he is quite awkward in presenting or explaining them, which only serves the media agenda and which makes many of the independent voters a little nervous, fearful of the false ‘is he some religous nut?’ theme.

Gingrich’s presence in the GOP primary race has created a review of his years in the House, particularly as Speaker, but this revisited history also reminds many of the Religious Right of that era, a group which took a lot of flack from the left and from the media. The media and leftist charges against Santorum are very similar and are having a similar effect – scaring the crap out of too many voters.

Santorum needs to move away from discussions of religion, not because he is necessarily wrong – there are many who agree with him – but because he hasn’t proved particularly skilled at speaking on it to anyone except the choir, plus people are worried far more about the economy and jobs. The GOP nomination and the general election will be won by the candidate who wins the trust of the GOP base, and has the clearest viable plan to (1) beat Obama, and (2) resolve the real issues: the economy, jobs, the economy, federalism, budget, the economy, and the economy.

Any time spent on other issues, particularly social issues (whether a candidate is correct on them or not), is time away from the issues that will win the GOP nomination and will defeat Barack Obama. The Obama/MSM team has correctly surmised that the way to defocus people off the horrific economy is to get GOP candidates to talk about something else, obviously, and to accomplish this they’ve conjured up the non-issue of contraception ‘rights’, picked precisely because it intersects with GOP candidate religious beliefs and will at least forestall attention on economics and at best (from the pro-Obama perspective) will cause some unforced and potentially fatal errors.

Into this trap, Rick Santorum has leaped headlong without looking, and though it is reversible, time runs short. Santorum has not displayed a good grasp of the political skills and intelligence that the general will require.

Should Santorum falter over the next couple weeks (through Super Tuesday), sink in the polls, and suffer funding reductions, the GOP base will have sampled each and every candidate available. Clearly they do not want Romney, or this nomination race would be over already. Ron Paul is an issue candidate and is not running for the presidency, but only to forward the libertarian cause. Gingrich has risen and fallen twice already, but remains a viable candidate. It is like the GOP base is a huge shark taking each candidate into its maw for a taste, then spitting him or her out to go taste the next. If Santorum falls away, they will have tasted everyone at least once and will go back to finally eat the one who tasted best. This will be Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich 54%, Obama 46%. Bank on it.

    I was enjoying reading this until you got to the tasting of candidates and eating Newt part; although I will admit it appears the RINOs are trying to cannibalize us Conservative Republicans:)

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Say_What. | February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      You would have enjoyed my first choice of analogy even less. It made me throw up a little.

      Hope Change in reply to Say_What. | February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Yeah, Say_What, me, too. But your conclusion, Henry Hawkins, 100% yes.

      Plus decisive Constitutional-believing majorities in the House and Senate.

      To enact the 90% agenda. American Energy. Jobs. Education under the control of teachers and parents. Lower taxes. reasonable regulations. bring manufacturing home to the USA. drill here, drill now, use clean technology to drill, pay off the national debt with oil royalties. Let every American who chooses to have a personal Social Security account that they own.

      The increase of creativity and activity in our economy is going to be thrilling.

      the stabilization of our freedoms is going to be reassuring.

      Our energy supply will be under our own control and we will feel more relaxed about that.

      Henry Hawkins said: “Newt Gingrich 54%, Obama 46%. Bank on it.”

      I think yes. Maybe even better.

I’m reading this again, and on second look, it is very confused:

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.

Separation of church and state means that the government does not endorse or support, with funds or laws or other action, any religious or anti-religious point of view.

On the other hand, freedom of religion (and speech) means that ministers — who are not government officials — do not give up their rights to speak out, nor do voters give up their rights to decide — including, if they like, on religious grounds — who they wish to vote for. Those who are put into office remain entitled to (and are going to — it’s naive to think otherwise) make their decisions and take their positions informed not only by their constituents’ wishes but also by their own values and beliefs.

There is a difference between “separation of church and state” and “religion-blind”. Diversity politics that lump meaningless distinctions such as “race” with religion make the mistake of pretending that religion, just like someone’s education and cultural background, does not affect that person’s thinking and values, and somehow can be compartmentalized out of their brain when they are making executive decisions. This is foolish.

Just a historical note, JFK was not a “Jr.” — his dad was Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. JFK’s older brother was Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., and he was killed in action of England during WWII.

Even though Santorum is an attorney and knows the importance of words, he still misses in expressing what he means. He is usually right according to Scripture and science when he talks about social issues. But he is most effective when he gives the statistics and quotes research instead of making blanket statements like the one the professor quoted.

That’s the biggest problem with his speeches and debates. He will say things the right way one minute and then say something right, but say it the wrong way so that it sounds judgmental and irrational the next minute.

I believe what he is trying to say about the separation of religion and US government policy, is what he has said in the debates a couple of times (paraphrase): “The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were based on Judeo-Christian Scripture, Law/Commandments. This is what makes them unique, good, and what makes our nation stable, free, strong, just. When our laws depart from God’s law, they become harmful to individuals and society and endanger our security, prosperity, stability.”

We cannot break God’s law without breaking and harming ourselves, individually and collectively. The US (and Western nations) now have laws that enable us to break all of the commandments and some that would force us to do so.

Santorum has said he would not pass a law forbidding contraception but is in favor of repealing Roe vs Wade and a marriage protection amendment.

This is similar if not identical to what Newt would want to do.

Unlike Ron Paul, Santorum and Newt not for legalizing drugs and human trafficking. (Is Ron Paul also for legalizing porn and child porn?)

Internet gambling is a plague similar to porn. I wish Newt’s biggest donor Adelson’s was not a casino magnate…despite his physician wife Miriam’s interest in teen opiate addiction, gambling also has an addictive effect. And where casinos are, other vices and criminal activities are present also. Gambling is not good, clean, wholesome, harmless fun.

Addictive substances and activities that the state permits to be legal and sold – alcohol, tobacco, legal drugs (oxycontin) gambling, etc. (anything that causes people to become unable to work and causes an extra burden burden on the state due to law enforcement to cost of disability) should be heavily taxed, at both the dealer and the consumer end.

Science (honest science, not Al Gore-ish biased science), statistics and medicine/mental health clinical findings should determine government policy – not pressure from from political/social agenda and lobby groups.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Remember the exaggerated liberal indignation over Santorum’s statement about women in combat?

    Turns out he was right, really. Studies show what he said is true.

    Israel did a study because they once had women in combat and combat training and found that women suffered more hip and other fractures than men…PLUS longterm feminine injuries and dysfunctions…loss of fertility, uterine prolapse, etc. Elevated incidence of fractures in younger women are much more significant finding than in the elderly. Moreover, Israel has not used women soldiers on the front lines since the 1950s.

    If Santorum had his assistants hand out back-up citations of studies and statistics after every debate or speech, he would be less likely to be rail-roaded by the gotcha press.

    Santorum is right, really, about contraception. Neither the pill or condoms are reliable at preventing pregnancy or disease. Contraception is not a panacea or all pros without harmful cons – negative effects on women and on society:

    Santorum is right about promiscuity, most especially the SS kind, is correlated with dramatically increased incidence of all sorts of emotional illness: depression, domestic violence, addiction and suicide. There is also the increased incidence of STDs and violence with promiscuity. The highest being M/M with more than 40 times the incidence of AIDS and the highest risk of STDs and the lowest being a faithful, respectful, loving heterose* ual marriage. Contraception does not reliably prevent disease, unwanted pregnancy or the emotional and physical consequences.
    Here is Miriam Grossman, M.D., psychiatrist, on the devastating consequences of the hook-up culture on young bodies and minds.;
    Here is a Psychologist, Professor and researcher with the latest in science research:; Original article –

    Santorum needs to stick to statistics, science and quoting other people’s research and expert opinions as he did when making his point about POVERTY. He named three things that statistically proven to prevent poverty: 1. Learn to work, get a job when you are a teenager. 2. Finish high school 2. Get married before having sex and children.

    He needs to let the evidence and experts make his points for him.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Hey guys, sorry I offended…I still support Newt … but in my study of research and theology, I do know Santorum is not wrong in what he says about social and spiritual issues, just the way he says it. He needs to support his statements.

      Liberalism and promiscuity have distorted our humanity and damaged our health at many levels, emotional, physical and relational as well as societal.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Homo sapiens is prone to ultimately self-defeating behavior. As bad as are gambling, drugs, and porn, we experience even more grief from dishonesty, selfishness, and laziness. We should tax these heavily, use the federal government to control them and hopefully eliminate them.

    Or, alternately, we could accept that gambling, drugs, and porn, among other social vices, are the symptoms of character flaws and poor choices, and that just as treating the symptoms and ignoring the disease doesn’t bring cures in medicine, neither do they in social governance.

    Legalization is often touted as the answer to criminal behaviors. So is criminalization. Ultimately, to overcome negative behaviors requires the individual engaging in them to assume responsibility for his or her self and to make the necessary changes. Whether this does or does not happen usually has nothing to do with the problem’s legality or the tax rate on it.

    Google ‘prohibition’, then ‘unintended consequences’, then ‘personal responsibility’, then ‘Nanny State’.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Ok, I know about prohibition… but I don’t want to go the way of Ron Paul and legalize drugs and human trafficking and have a drug shop and ho house on every street corner. We’ve got the Islamist drug cartels invading the US, beheaded bodies being found on US soil. We need to fight the war on drugs for real.

      Drugged up kids never get straight. Highways and sidewalks are dangerous when such is legal.

      When my mother was a girl, women and children were not allowed to go into town (a very small town) after lunch on Saturdays because of the drinking, shooting, etc. especially around harvest time when the money was plentiful.
      Imagine how much worse it would be with the Zetas and the Ndranghetas running loose in your city, fighting for turf.

Sante is a nanny-statist.

As, it appears, are you.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Ragspierre. | February 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I’m more ‘nanny’ than Ron Paul…and not ashamed of it.

    We need strong Fathers and Mothers running our country…like Washington and other greats…who would stand up for and be guardians of what is right, true and good, not cowering from agenda groups, not greedy for power and money, but who care for the common good and future generations.

    For example, the good council of a town in Mississippi voted unanimously not to permit a nude dancing bar to establish itself in their town.

    If that’s nanny-ism, great – I’m all for it. Same with Pride parades. Yuck.

[…] » Not vomitous – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion Santorum’s hyperbolic rhetoric is one of the reasons “I’d have to think about it” if there is no third surge for Newt and the choice came down to Romney or Santorum. […]

If you noticed, in the debates, Santorum had an annoying habit of starting many of his answers by saying “I’m the only on on this stage who…” [fill in the blank…”knows anything about China” or “Iran” or “manufacturing” or “marriage” or “winning in a Democrat state”, etc. etc.] It would have made a wonderful drinking game. Now he has another accomplishment: “I’m the only one on this stage who fell into the media’s trap of painting me as a religious extremist.” Footnote: He’s also the only one of the stage that lost a reelection bid by nearly 20 points.

Right wing social engineering really is as bad as left-wing social engineering. Really.

To me, Santorum is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of someone who can unite the American People to restore our economy and our nation’s Constitutional basis.

    Ragspierre in reply to Hope Change. | February 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The nanny-statist is ANTI-Conservative, IMNHO.

    Going back to first principles…liberty, self-determination, responsibility…those are Conservative.

And when Santorum is not making horrendously divisive statements, and is offering solutions, Santorum’s “solutions” are just watered-down copycat talking-points of Newt’s solutions.

Newt thought of the solutions and actually understands how to DO the solutions.

Anyone who would vote for Santorum should have his head examined.

Santorum’s ludicrously misleading interpretation of JFK’s speech — which was, indeed, an eloquent restatement of first amendment principles — makes him look the fool. And his obnoxious “throw up” way of expressing himself makes him look positively creepy.

But it is also important to keep in mind the context of Kennedy’s speech, the reason he gave it. Hard as it is today to imagine, huge numbers of Protestant Americans in 1960 really believed that Catholics were not to be trusted with high office and that a Catholic President would follow the Pope’s advice in making decisions. Specifically, some assumed that a government run by Catholics would channel public money to Catholic parochial schools. The last and only other time that a Catholic had been a major party nominee, Governor Al Smith in 1928, the reaction to Smith’s campaign among Protestant Democrats had been luke warm to outright hostile, and Smith went down in flames.

At stake especially was whether Kennedy would be able to carry the overwhelmingly Protestant South, when the “solid South” was still critical to any chance of Democratic victory. Kennedy’s
southern rival, Lyndon Johnson, slyly ran a campaign that took advantage of this. And another rival,
Hubert Humphrey, hoped he could put together a winning coalition from such heavily Protestant
northern and western states as Minnesota and West Virginia. The West Virginia primary contest
between Humphrey and Kennedy was widely seen as the decisive race that would demonstrate whether Kennedy could avoid Smith’s fate. He did beat Humphrey there, and his Texas speech was an important factor.

Say what you will about JFK otherwise but his 1960 razor-thin victory over Nixon was an amazing feat, considering the still extensive ignorance about the American Catholic Church and deep suspicion against it, not among the unchurched but across a large swath of the church-going Protestant majority.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | February 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    That was my sense of the history too, that JFK was facing a great deal of fear and confusion over how much influence the Catholic Church would have over a Kennedy presidency, and that his speech might have gone a bit overboard in cementing the idea of none, None, NONE!

It pains me deeply to disagree so strongly with the honorable Professor, but …

” 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.”

Most of this (but not all) is wretched nonsense. As others have pointed out, “separation of church and state” is not a concept present in the Constitution. Instead, as Henry Hawkins and others point out, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..” What does this have to do with a clergyman telling presidents or parishioners what they should or should not do? Does Kennedy think he and others are such mindless robots, incapable of deciding what instruction to accept and what to ignore, that the clergy should just shut up?

The phrase “no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference” is especially pernicious. As someone closer to the time when the Government Public School System was instituted in order to use the tax money of recent Irish Catholic immigrants to forcibly socialize their children along the lines of the dominant Protestant and Unitarian culture, Kennedy should know better. This is the main reason we have a large Catholic school system! (See “Disestablishment a Second Time” Skillen, ed. for a good description of the history of the Common School.) A profile in courage, this is not.

” 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.”

This is a red herring. One of the things government does is to impose its will upon the general populace. This is called “governing”. The “will” of the government consists of values whose origins are in our religions. If we eliminated all laws which derive from religion, we would be eliminating the laws against theft and murder. People have forgotten where our laws came from because the Judeo Christian tradition is the air we breathe and the water we swim in, so we don’t notice it. Until we travel to Afghanistan.

One of the most perverse aspects of the reign of progressivism is the privileging of non-theistic over theistic world views. We would be better off if we used a _functional_ definition of religion, meaning the world views which we use to answer the Big Questions: Who are we? Why are we here? How should we live? The answers provided to these questions by secularists are no more rational or free of unprovable assumptions than those provided by Christianity or Judaism.

I believe that education and religion (in the functional sense) are utterly inseparable. World view determines what gets included in the curriculum and what is taught about it. Therefore, one can see our Government Public School System as pervaded by religion, and thus an exercise in oppression of excluded religions by the State.

” For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew–or a Quaker–or a Unitarian–or a Baptist.”

Looks like it’s an evangelical Christian this year. At least he has a spine.

Santorum may be choosing his words and his battles poorly, but I haven’t heard him say anything I disagree with yet.

Agreed on all counts, and I’m not sure why Santorum is pushing this one without historical (and JFK’s personal) context. One thing, though, Kennedy did hammer the “separation of church and state” as a means not to protect the establishment clause or free exercise but to suggest the exact way it’s been used to push all concept of God from the public sphere (i.e. music teachers being fired for using a song with the word “God” in it in class, coaches being suspended for praying, and the myriad other instances of shameful (and unConstitutional) attacks on religious freedom). I just am not so sure that he wasn’t, himself, being hyperbolic in an attempt to allay Americans’ concerns that the Vatican would be running would be running America.

That said, I really can’t disagree with Santorum in terms of being guided by his religious beliefs. Most people are.