Rick Santorum is playing the victim game: “Christians aren’t allowed to be involved in politics according to former President John F. Kenenedy.”
Here is a quote from Rick Santorum:
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…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.
Wow, I think that’s pretty harsh. I mean – the idea that people of public faith can’t participate in government? That sounds awful discriminatory. John Kennedy must have been a really awful person if he’d said that!
Only – he didn’t. He said:
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 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.(emphasis added)
So Kennedy – who by the way took advice from Catholic leaders (Occupy Wall Street: And by this I mean he took advice from people who were people in religious leadership because he valued their advice, not because he wanted the policy of their religious institution) – simply said something obvious: that no religious group should be special benefits or harm from government because of their religion. Kennedy described the same attitude that, in my opinion. I’d like to think I’d curry: I might not agree with your religious beliefs, but if you’re a basically good person who’s trying to go good things, then I’d want you working with me.
Rick Santorum isn’t just wrong about separation of church and state, his entire argument against what Kennedy said is by warping Kennedy’s words to mean the exact opposite of what he actually said and meant.
Because Rick Santorum and his ilk can’t handle one simple thing: the truth. And it’s a sad statement on his religious beliefs when he rejects the truth so he can gain power. And that is why no one should vote for him.