JFK on the separation of church/state


(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

One of the political positions that I'm particularly proud of as an Adventist is our advocacy for the separation of church and state around the world. Here is video of John F. Kennedy's famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on the issue of religion in public life (1960).

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 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.

Here's an archive page with the whole audio and text of the speech.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4285