POINT: How times have changed! Over the weekend, Rick Santorum explicitly declared that John F. Kennedy's statement that he believed in the separation of church and state made Santorum "want to throw up!" In Santorum World, Kennedy's words, which were delivered to quell fears of Evangelicals and Protestants during the 1960 campaign about a Catholic in the White House, meant that people of faith should be kept out of public discourse and debate.
COUNTERPOINT: This is BAD history, BAD theological reasoning, and BAD governmental theory.The principle of the "Separation of Chuch and State" was first stated in America by Roger Williams and became a vital concept for ensuring religious freedom to founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The concept was considered so important that it was eventually written into the First Amendment. Santorum completely misinterprets JFK's words and point.
But more importantly, he is revealing his own radical Theocratic Worldview that is at odds with American traditions and values. The over-emphasis by the Religious Right on the "free expression clause" of the First Amendment seems to forget the crucial "establishment clause" and the dangers both to religion and democracy that a failure to balance these two can create. Mr. Santorum should STOP the religious demagoguery! It's his views that should make us all sick!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Guest blogger, Cliff Moone, ordained Christian minister from Hickory, NC, and Democratic chair of the 10th Congressional District: