September 1st, 2010
12:44 PM ET
4 years ago

Santorum to challenge Kennedy speech in Texas

Santorum will take on one of JFK's most famous speeches next week.
Santorum will take on one of JFK's most famous speeches next week.

(CNN) - As he contemplates a run for president, Rick Santorum has decided to take on the premise of one of President John F. Kennedy's most famous speeches.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who lost his reelection bid in 2006 and has expressed interest in running for the White House, will deliver a speech in Houston, Texas next week titled "A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square."

The speech, to be delivered at the University of St. Thomas, is being billed as a challenge to the speech Kennedy delivered in Houston 50 years ago, during which the then-senator and presidential candidate famously addressed concerns about his Catholicism.

In the now-historic speech in which he sought to quell concerns the dictates of his religion would influence his decision making, Kennedy articulated a view of complete separation of church and state.

"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," said Kennedy then.

Among other destinations, Santorum's recent travel has taken him to Iowa and New Hampshire – the two states that kick off the presidential nominating process.


Filed under: Rick Santorum
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Geoz

    Santorum is anti-American.
    Our freedom includes a freedom from religion.
    Keep your beliefs Rick, just don't make me believe them.

    September 1, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Michael

    "On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country. My desire to discover the causes of this phenomenon increased from day to day. In order to satisfy it I questioned the members of all the different sects; I sought especially the society of the clergy, who are the depositaries of the different creeds and are especially interested in their duration. As a member of the Roman Catholic Church, I was more particularly brought into contact with several of its priests, with whom I became intimately acquainted. To each of these men I expressed my astonishment and explained my doubts. I found that they differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point."

    "This led me to examine more attentively than I had hitherto done the station which the American clergy occupy in political society. I learned with surprise that they filled no public appointments; I did not see one of them in the administration, and they are not even represented in the legislative assemblies. In several states the law excludes them from political life; public opinion excludes them in all. And when I came to inquire into the prevailing spirit of the clergy, I found that most of its members seemed to retire of their own accord from the exercise of power, and that they made it the pride of their profession to abstain from politics. "
    – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1837.

    So, when he talks about "Reviving the role of Faith in the Public Square," he's trying to one-up the Teabaggers by going pre-Revolution??

    September 1, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Storz

    The holy war in the US has begun. Americans against Americas… get a life Rick!

    September 1, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Marcus

    He's going to challenge THAT? Are you serious? Is HE serious?
    Come on, there's gotta be some mistake in here...

    September 1, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Danel

    You can challenge but not even close.

    September 1, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. k

    Save your money Rick and stay home.

    September 1, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Readbetweenthelines

    Why do all the Crazy Christians think they can re-write the constitution where it clearly dictates a separation of Church and State? GOP continues to echo how Dems are shoving socialism down the throats of Americans, when the majority of that same party feels it is OK to push their values on all Americans. While faith and spirituality are a part of my life, I believe in facts which are dictated by science, not by the bible. Too many Americans live in fear of God – life your life people modern religions are a sham!!!

    September 1, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    In the vernacular of the day: 'You're smelling yourself' Pawlenty. John F. Kennedy was a beloved American president. You are not in the same stratosphere as JFK. Go back to the pile of useless rubble that encompass all current GOP wannabes: Palin, Gingrich, Qualye, Boehner et al.

    Do not aspire to what you will never be. There's a lot to be said for knowing your place Paw.

    September 1, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Betty

    Theocracy. NO!

    September 1, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Anne, Florida

    Anyone and his brother wants to run for president in 2012. Santorum could not even win his Senate race in PA. What a joke!!

    September 1, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Kahuna

    Be very afraid of the carpetbaggers who want to redefine the USA as a "Christian Nation". Once they pry the door open it will be down a slippery slope to having to attend the "right" churches, dress correctly, dance correctly, mate correctly, etc.

    September 1, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    If there's anything we don't need in government, it is more religion. remember, that separation of church and state, is part of being in America.

    Just look at Iran, to see what happens to government, when religion takes control.

    September 1, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Brett Favre's Fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    "All" religions are the subjugation of self AND others. Our founding fathers learned their lessons in Europe. Now, religious thugs are taking over our country.

    Why do religious wankers keep pontificating about moral values? Religious subjugation has no bounds.

    Isn't time CNN helps expose this hypocrisy, instead of censoring my crude but truthful comment?

    September 1, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Shamelessly Wearing Your Faith On Your Sleeve . . .

    Little Ricky is the epitome of a sleeze-ball. We may be a "Christian" nation, but separation of church and state is what makes us different from the rest of the world.

    September 1, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Gee did I say Pawlenty? I meant the other clown Sanitarium!
    My bad.

    September 1, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. patrick

    Thank you, Jeff Brown. Well said. Sometimes less is more.

    September 1, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. MikeH

    Manondog Santorum is yet another RepubliKlan facist wacko that the media does not investigate.

    September 1, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. nfl1

    If Santorum thinks he's mainstream...he should travel to less friendly states than TX for a speech. I hope he will trump his view of complete partnership between church & state...so we all know which candidates do not believe in the successful history of this country (separation!!) embracing tolerance, and living with those who are different (not just looks but values and lifestyles – rich and poor).

    September 1, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Ed L

    AH SHUT UP....

    I'm already sick to death of the GOP/Christian union.... Shut up and keep it to yourself.

    September 1, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. charlie from the North

    When he is done he can stop by Salem Mass. And then Pakistan and Afganistan speaking of places who didn't or don't believe in separation of church and state.

    September 1, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Todd in Kansas

    Santorum is qualified to pump gas.

    September 1, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. juge

    BAH – Santorum 'sanctorum' hasn't a clue of what America is all about. This does not bode well for those Americans that believe in the Constitution. YIKES

    September 1, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Wm Scot

    This fellow is the face of the republican party and all it stands for. This the type of fellow that the Glenn Beck followers praise. This is a fellow that will try to discredit anything that a democrat stands for including one of the most beloved presidents that we have had in our life times. This is the type of fellow that needs to get a real job !

    September 1, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. rosaadriana

    Kennedy was a more rational and compassionate man than Santorum could ever dream of being. I think it is disgusting he is taking on one of the cornerstones of our democracy and the only thing that separates us from the crazies in the middle east, that is, the separation of church and state.

    September 1, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Eric in Manhattan

    This loser is a bigot, a liar, and a fraud. Having no ideas of his own, he now reaches deep into the lunatic right-wing fringe's bag of tricks and pulls out the "United States was founded as a Christian nation" spiel. Why doesn't he go out and get a job and stop stirring the pot? We have enough problems in this country without a rabble rouser who needs to feel self-important.

    September 1, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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