Friday, December 07, 2007

I’m old enough to have some memories of my parents and their friends talking about JFK. My parents were split, with my father supporting Nixon and my mom Kennedy. As we were Roman Catholic that was a big reason for my mother liking JFK so much, but she also said she didn’t trust Nixon even back then. I also recall the nuns at Catechism and even some mention at mass about how proud we should be to have someone of our faith running for the office of President. It’s hard to believe that all these years later the matter of religion is still so important in an election.

I’ve only read excerpts of Mitt Romney’s speech as well as the reactions of various columnists, bloggers and some talking heads. To me it is a non-issue since I put all religions in the same category as belief in the Greek and Norse gods. Dude, if you pray to Odin or Buddha it makes no difference to me. Just tell me what you are going to do about the economy, the situation in Iraq and the environment. Those are the things that matter most folks and certainly to me. Your beliefs are or should be a personal and private thing between you and your family. As long as you’re not sacrificing goats in the Rose Garden who cares?

Romney’s speech reminds me more of Reagan’s remark that the Constitution promises “freedom of religion not freedom FROM religion”, rather than Kennedy’s comments. In fact, I’ll reprint the closing remarks from the late President's speech on the topic below:
Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end–where all men and all churches are treated as equal–where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice–where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind–and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe–a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

‘Nuff said!
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