Thursday, September 02, 2010

Santorum Plans to "Challenge" JFK's Message on Faith in Public Life

From The Daily Caller:
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a potential candidate for president in 2012, will travel to Texas next week to challenge Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s historic 1960 address on religion and politics in America.

Spokeswoman Virginia Davis said Santorum’s Sept. 9 speech titled, “A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square” will take on Kennedy’s message about the role faith plays in public life and in “our country in general.”

Santorum’s speech is scheduled to take place at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, the same city where Kennedy gave his address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association nearly 50 years ago. Kennedy used the occasion to address fears that as the first Catholic president, he’d feel a duty to take orders from the Pope.

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish,” Kennedy said then, “where no public official either requests or accept 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.”

Santorum, a Catholic who was elected to the Senate in 1994 but left in 2006 after losing his seat, told The Daily Caller last month that he plans to make a decision on a presidential bid by either the end of this year, or the beginning of 2011. “I’m going through the process of what someone who is seriously considering running would do,” Santorum said, “in order for when the time comes to decide, I’m in a position that I have a choice.”


[Read more]
My Comments:
Santorum has to be careful here in taking on JFK.

Unfortunately, Santorum is a has-been who no longer garners widespread support even among those in his own party, much less the public at large. (How's that Specter endorsement working out for ya, Rick?)

It's a pity that there's not a more prominent Catholic in public life - of greater stature than Santorum, at least - to deliver this "challenge" of what has become the prevailing view of the role of faith in public life. (By a prominent Catholic in public life, I mean someone involved in politics; Archbishop Chaput has already quite eloquently challenged the JFK view of faith in public life.)

Maybe give Bobby Jindal or Bob McDonnell a few more years ...

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