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“Regurgitating Rick”: The Separation Of Church And State Makes Santorum Want To Vomit

Appearing on both ABC’s This Week and NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, Rick Santorum claimed that he “almost threw up” while reading President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech on the separation of church and state. When asked by an incredulous George Stephanopoulos to respond, Santorum held firm: “I don’t believe in an America where separation of church and state is absolute,” something that Kennedy explicitly called for. “To say that people of faith have no role in the public square, absolutely that makes me want to throw up.” And since such a barrier disenfranchises the religiously-minded while protecting secular opinion, Santorum claims, it is also a violation of the First Amendment.

Except, that is not at all what Kennedy was advocating.

I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office. I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious liberty; nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so.

It’s right there. People’s First Amendment rights to practice and preach their own morals or religious beliefs should never be subverted, rather it is a preach-y president that Kennedy warns against, one who lets his (or her) own religious views affect the decisions they make in office. And, as Kimberley Strassel pointed out in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, that possibility is exactly what frightens voters most about Santorum, who seems perfectly willing to govern the entire country on the basis of his personally-held beliefs.

Mr. Santorum’s mistake is in telling people how to live. His finger-wagging on contraception and child-rearing and “homosexual acts” disrespects the vast majority of couples who use birth control, or who refuse to believe that the emancipation of women, or society’s increasing tolerance of gays, signals the end of the Republic.

And it is a vast majority of Americans. A recent study by the First Amendment Center found that 67 percent of Americans agreed that there should be a “clear separation of church and state.” This is at least one issue where Santorum seems to be badly out of stop with not only the rest of the country, but the march of history.

 

By: Andre Tartar, Daily Intel, February 26, 2012

February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Constitution, GOP Presidential Candidates | , , , , , , ,

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