Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Essay --

While the so-called spiritual issue is necessarily and properly the chief composition here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that we have far more critical issues to face in the 1960 elect(ip)ion the spread of Communist influence, until it at present festers 90 miles off the playground slide of Florida--the humiliating treatment of our chairwoman and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power--the hungry children I maxim in West Virginia, the over-the-hill people who cannot pay their doctor bills, the families forced to give up their farms--an the States with to a fault many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and satellite space. These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not unearthly issues--for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers. But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured--perha ps deliberately, in some living quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again--not what anatomy of church I call up in, for that should be important only to me--but what class of America I mean in. 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 parishoners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public money 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 offici... ...h favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the reputation by requiring a religious test--even by indirection--for it. If they disagree with that safeguard they should be out openly working to repeal it. I want a headway Executive whose public acts are responsible to all groups and obligated to none--who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may suitably require of him--and whose fulfillment of his presidential oath is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation. This is the kind of America I believe in--and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a divided loyalty, that we did not believe in liberty, or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the freedoms for which our forefathers died. Essay -- While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that we have far more critical issues to face in the 1960 election the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers 90 miles off the coast of Florida--the humiliating treatment of our President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power--the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills, the families forced to give up their farms--an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space. These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues--for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers. But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured--perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again--not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me--but what kind of America I believe in. I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Cat holic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners 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 offici... ...h favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test--even by indirection--for it. If they disagree with that safeguard they should be out openly working to repeal it. I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all groups and obligated to none--who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may appropriately require of him--and whose fulfillment of his Presidential oath is not limited or conditioned by any reli gious oath, ritual or obligation. This is the kind of America I believe in--and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a divided loyalty, that we did not believe in liberty, or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the freedoms for which our forefathers died.

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