Santorum Still Ripping JFK Speech
Absolute separation is 'not America,' it's France, he argues
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2012 9:06 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the Alabama Policy Institute 2012 Presidential Candidate Forum, Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – Rick Santorum just cannot let this John F. Kennedy speech go: He again slammed JFK's remarks on the separation of church and state last night, although this time he didn't go so far as to say that they made him want to vomit. "Obviously, the language that I used was at a minimum inarticulate," he said at the Alabama Policy Institute banquet on the Gulf Coast. So he went on to articulate his thoughts: "An America where the separation of church and state is absolute" is "not America," Santorum insisted. "That’s France. That’s a naked public square where people of faith are out of bounds."

Santorum paraphrased JFK's 1960 comments thusly: "I will take no advice, directly or indirectly, from anybody of faith. I will not permit that to be discussed." (At the time, the Catholic JFK was reassuring Protestant ministers that the pope would not influence decisions he made as president, the Los Angeles Times notes.) JFK's speech "went too far," Santorum said last night, adding that he is unhappy that "freedom of conscience" has been undermined.
 

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