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Who's right about church and state, Kennedy or Santorum?
Much has been written and said recently about the First Amendment and freedom of religion in the context of the current political atmosphere. Many of the most provocative comments have been about contraception, abortion rights and health insurance. Some politicians and pundits claim that President Barack Obama is attacking religion or religious institutions. Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum stoked the fires by criticizing the 1960 speech given by John F. Kennedy when he ran for president. Kennedy, trying to become the first Roman Catholic president, said that he favored the "absolute" separation of church and state. (Unsuccessful Catholic candidate Al Smith had given a similar speech in 1928.)
By Irwin E. Weiss
March 14, 2012