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. Cyrus

    Rick Scrotum is a skinhead in a suit! He wants to turn the separation of church and state and instill a state religion, so to speak.

    Got to love "Freedom of Speech". Too bad these folks don't realize that such freedom also comes with responsibility.

    September 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. PM of a free country

    Just what we need, another foolish ignorant Republic that things this country needs more religion.

    When will they learn that the separation of church and state is there for a good reason. Religion makes people blind to reason and reality.

    September 1, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Perry

    I guess some people won't be happy until we are back in the days of the Inquisition or we become similar to modern day Iran's state sponsored battering of other faiths.

    If you have God, you don't have to worry about what other people are doing.

    If you want to spread the Word, become a pastor or evangelist.

    September 1, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Blake

    As stated, the only reason Kennedy had to do it was the fear surrounding the nation's first Catholic president. Would his loyalties lie with the Constitution or the Pope?

    But the Separation of Church and State is only an issue when a "suspect" religion is in the limelight. Had Kennedy been a Baptist, he would have never had to give this speech.

    September 1, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Mike in SA

    Claims of complete separation of church and state is a fallacy. The government may have agreed to separate themselves from religious matters, but the various religions never (ever) made that inverse agreement, that they would separate themselves from influencing government..

    September 1, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. AmFem

    I didn't know John F. Kennedy. But, I feel it's safe to say:

    YOU, SIR, ARE NO JOHN KENNEDY!!!

    These right wing-nuts are so full of themselves. Beck thought that his speech and day would go down in history! It was going to change the country!

    My neighbor attended and thought it was a waste of his time and money. He said it was boring, and draining. This was hard for him to admit, since he worships the ground Beck walks on.

    September 1, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. LLOYD ROBERTS JAMAICA, NY

    Wow, Santorum's one of those false conservatives that have dumbinated
    the Repub party and driven true, get government out of our lives conservatives like me out of the party. I have been politically homeless for thirty years since the social conservatives arrived with their B.S., you know, no government in your fiscal life but we'll tell you what to do in your personal life. And we're also going to wear our religion on our sleeves, Barry Goldwater would be nauseated. So would William F Buckley, and - oh what's the use. Palin and the teabaggers don't have a clue as to who these people are

    September 1, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. they call me "tater salad"

    Look out folks...........There's plenty of right-wing bible thumping nutcases out there just like this bush league pretender that would like nothing more than to erase the Constitution and replace it with the Bible.........And maybe even go so far as to lock your a$$ up for choosing not to go to church every Sunday like every obedient little "Christian" sheep should!.......You've been warned.........Vote with caution!!!!!!

    September 1, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. samuel richardson

    the quote goes all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,here is a example of a man redefining how one
    's personal beliefs should be applied to everyone in regard to public policies in a attempt to appear more religious and more patriotic than those who actually incorporate the lessons learned through faith examples provided to assure that we look after those less fortunate,less powerful, less attractive then the fad of the moment.

    September 1, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Peter E

    Yes, in this country of freedom of religion even Catholics were considered the spawn of satan until the 1950s. And Santorum will not score high if he declares too loudly that he would make decisions based on the Pope's will, as his opponents (especially from his own xenophobic party) would surely air. Hey, in this country of so-called tolerance even Mitt Romney has to continually defend his faith from his fellow republicans, most of whom aren't aware that Mormons are Christians too.

    September 1, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. django

    And so the next plank of the Grand Old Fascist Party is exposed.

    September 1, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Glenn Beckerhead

    To all you right wing "christians".... if you want a Theocracy, then move to Iran. Otherwise leave religion out of politics.

    September 1, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. jafs3

    I'm reading Ben Franklin's autobiography and notes, & letters. Everything happening now, happened then. That is why Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams among others, made provisions for the Separation of Church & State. There will always be zealots and atheists and those caught up in between. I just prefer America not turn into an Iran or Afghanistan, or Pakistan because of the zealots. The atheists merely point out "what if we're all wrong?"

    September 1, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Wow, we've come a long way. President Kennedy, a democrat had to explain his religion against anti-Catholic republicans who kept attacking him for it, saying how his religion will destroy America. (hmm, sounds familiar, doesn't it... what other President has recently been questioned on his religious convictions by republican zealots?) Now the majority of the Supreme Court are Catholics, most of whom were appointed by republicans. It is good to know republicans are finally recognizing at least a few of their fellow Christians.

    September 1, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    All I want to say is... Oh HELL NO!!! The Right continues to push it's ideology on the rest of this country... by blurring the lines between church and state, we will be setting this country up for a Christian take over of Government. We as a Nation must fight to keep the Separation between Church and State in tact, or we will become the Christian version of Iran.

    This country is not made up of just Christians. And amongst Christians, it's the extreme Right that is making this push. The rest of us Christians are appalled. First Glenn Beck's so called Rally, and now this.

    True Conservatives, Moderates and Liberals must unite to keep the Radical Christian Right from supplanting our Government with it's ideology. Or it truly will be the end of this Great Nation....

    September 1, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Minnesotan

    I love Dan Savage's re-definition of Santorum! Mr. "Frothy" Santorum, however, barely got 1% of the straw poll the Republicans did in Iowa last month. Tell me again: Why is this religious nut and epic failure trying to throw his hat in the ring for President? Stay with your "frothy mix" career, Ricky. You're far more suited for it.

    September 1, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    The more the potential C-Street republican hypocrits preach their christianity, the closer I hold my money. Hypocrits - all of them. We do NOT dictate religion or lack of in MY COUNTRY.

    God bless the real USA that gives us ALL freedom.

    September 1, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. blue

    I thought that we were through with him. His beliefs are his and his alone. Get out of the way, we are tired of you.

    September 1, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Joe

    Just what we need right now another loser right wingnut pushing his born again crap on everyone. Do us all a favor and just go back into what every dark hole you crawled out of.

    September 1, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Bo

    So what is he saying to challenge President Kennedy?

    September 1, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. TM

    So that means Santorum would prefer that the US becomes a THEOCRACY, since that has worked so well for Iran.

    September 1, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Rick, you're an idiot. You want to play up to the Tea Baggers?

    September 1, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. KMAN821

    In 50 years ... the question will be ... Rick who???

    September 1, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. duffey

    This man is no JFK.

    September 1, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Not Suprised

    It really comes as no surprise that people such as this view the Constitution as a threat to their beliefs. I have the feeling that if these folks had their way that we would return to the days of history where people were annointed as rulers by religious leaders and heretics were sought out and punished. It seems this political ilk is trying their best to create religious wars.

    September 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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