Rick Santorum talks about faith in public service in Newton


 

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), while speaking at a Catholic Citizenship event, criticized former president and Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy for marginalizing religion in public life with a speech during the presidential election of 1960. That speech, which Kennedy delivered to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, was used by Kennedy to allay concerns about his Catholicism. In that speech Kennedy declared, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.”

Santorum said that he was appalled by that speech, calling it a “radical statement” that did “great damage.” He said that too many politicians, especially Catholic politicians, are not only divorcing their faith from the public square, “but from their own decision-making process.”

He addressed the claim that the Founding Fathers believed in a separation of church and state, explaining that Thomas Jefferson never meant for there to be such a separation. In fact, the term “separation of church and state” was in a letter that President Jefferson sent to a group of Baptists in Connecticut to alleviate their fears that the government would force itself on the church, not the other way around.

"We need to be more engaged, and we need to be unapologetic about who we are and why we’re doing it," said Santorum, a potential candidate for president. "America needs the truth that believers bring to the public square."

    Source: Santorum, possible GOP presidential candidate, attacks Romney on health care – Michael Levenson, Boston Globe

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