GOP Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, hates separation of Church & State

Posted By Levi

February 28th, 2012 8:24pm

Recently I wrote this post in response to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum arguing that the Constitution did not establish the priciple of seperation of chuch and state. I pointed out that while it is true that the  phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the actual text of the Constitution,  almost all constitutional scholars agree that it is implicit in the First Amendment which reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

This week the candidate doubled down on his belief. He was incensed by what President John F. Kennedy said in a 1960 speech about separation of chuch and state. Here is part of what President Kennedy 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.”

After reading the speech, Santorum said it made him wanted to throw up:

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” he told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week.  “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…  to say that people of faith have no role in the public square?  You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: That speech has been read, as you know, by millions of Americans. Its themes were echoed in part by Mitt Romney in the last campaign. Why did it make you throw up?

SANTORUM: Because the first line, first substantive line in the speech says, “I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute.” I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.

Of course, Santorun misrepresented what President Kennedy said; Kennedy welcomed the participation of religious people in public life.

Here is Kennedy’e speech:

 

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