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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    20 Sep '10 17:17
    Sadly, after reading many of the posts in this forum, one such as I cannot refrain from tendering upon you the notion that what at first appears fresh and insightful in these forums is, in fact, stagnant and myopic.

    The classic case can is none other than the recent debate about the mosque at Ground Zero, a debate taken up in no small measure by many Americans both at home and in these fourms.

    The debate is not one of optics, or even simple intellilectual discourse on geographic metaphorical boundaries. It is about religious freedom. A debate that has raged in America for centuries culminating in the Virigiana dialogues so so many years ago.

    Sadly, however, it seems once again that the great unwashed, the uninformed massess, the silent majority of intellectual laggards if you will, have reared their ugly shrivelled heads to vomit their putrid verbal diarehae upon us without even a tacit nod to those who have come before them and spoken so elequently on a topic so thoroughly determined and decided.

    I offer to those of you with an interest, those of you still searching for the light beyond the cave walls, those Hollow Men among you who yearn for something greater, I offer to you words from your own President.

    Stay thirsty my friends, and read on.
  2. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    20 Sep '10 17:20 / 1 edit
    President Kennedy addressing church leaders, prior to the presidential election. (press the play button to listen to an audio recording of his speech)

    "While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 campaign; the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers only 90 miles from 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 doctors 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 barrier.

    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 Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners 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 official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

    For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been -- and may someday be again -- a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.

    Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end, where all men and all churches are treated as equals, where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice, where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind, and where Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, at both the lay and the pastoral levels, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

    That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe, a great office that must be neither humbled by making it the instrument of any religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding it -- its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. 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 him¹ 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. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection. For if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.

    I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office 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 of America I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we might have a divided loyalty, that we did not believe in liberty, or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened -- I quote -- "the freedoms for which our forefathers died."

    And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers did die when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches -- when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died Fuentes, and McCafferty, and Bailey, and Badillo, and Carey -- but no one knows whether they were Catholics or not. For there was no religious test there.

    I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition -- to judge me on the basis of 14 years in the Congress, on my declared stands against an Ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools -- which I attended myself. And instead of doing this, do not judge me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we all have seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and rarely relevant to any situation here. And always omitting, of course, the statement of the American Bishops in 1948 which strongly endorsed Church-State separation, and which more nearly reflects the views of almost every American Catholic.

    I do not consider these other quotations binding upon my public acts. Why should you?

    But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the State being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit, or prosecute the free exercise of any other religion. And that goes for any persecution, at any time, by anyone, in any country. And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny their Presidency to Protestants, and those which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would also cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as France and Ireland, and the independence of such statesmen as De Gaulle and Adenauer.

    But let me stress again that these are my views.

    For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President.

    I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.

    I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views -- in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

    But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.

    But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith; nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.

    If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I'd tried my best and was fairly judged.

    But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkhoustonministers.html
  3. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    20 Sep '10 17:56
    Originally posted by uzless
    President Kennedy addressing church leaders, prior to the presidential election. (press the play button to listen to an audio recording of his speech)

    "While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 campaign; t ...[text shortened]... of our own people.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkhoustonministers.html
    Wow - what a great speech!
    If I was American that is the sort of American President to make me proud.

    I had no idea that JFK's religion had been an issue during his election. Shocking.
  4. 20 Sep '10 17:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by uzless
    Sadly, after reading many of the posts in this forum, one such as I cannot refrain from tendering upon you the notion that what at first appears fresh and insightful in these forums is, in fact, stagnant and myopic.

    The classic case can is none other than the recent debate about the mosque at Ground Zero, a debate taken up in no small measure by many Ameri ...[text shortened]... reater, I offer to you words from your own President.

    Stay thirsty my friends, and read on.
    In a curious twist it seems that despite such euphonious talk it is you who has a myopic point of view on this subject, as you have wasted no time on condemning those whose you views you made no effort to understand.

    It seems to me that there is a legitimate question to be addressed here and it isn't over religious freedom, something which btw has been defended by many of those who disagree with the construction of the islamic community center, but over the propriety of the construction of an islamic building near the site of a great tragedy, brought upon the american people by adherents of the islamic faith. It takes either a great deal of dishonesty or ignorance to dismiss this completely and instead focus on the red herring of religious freedom.

    It is likely that among the voices of protest and disagreement there are some bigoted minds, but that doesn't mean that the arguments of these people must be dismissed without any true consideration.
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Sep '10 18:20 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Wow - what a great speech!
    If I was American that is the sort of American President to make me proud.

    I had no idea that JFK's religion had been an issue during his election. Shocking.
    WASPs often look down on Irish-Catholics. This is from 1848 in England:

    "Six-foot Paddy, are you no bigger –
    You whom cozening friars dish –
    Mentally, than the poorest n*
    Grovelling before fetish?
    You to Sambo I compare
    Under superstition's rule
    Prostrate like an abject fool."

    http://www.education.ne.gov/SS/irish/unit_2.html
  6. 20 Sep '10 18:33
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    WASPs often look down on Irish-Catholics. This is from 1848 in England:

    "Six-foot Paddy, are you no bigger –
    You whom cozening friars dish –
    Mentally, than the poorest n*
    Grovelling before fetish?
    You to Sambo I compare
    Under superstition's rule
    Prostrate like an abject fool."

    http://www.education.ne.gov/SS/irish/unit_2.html
    comments from victorian england, how relevant indeed!

    btw, it is mystifying to say the least that despite such virulent anti-catholicism the recent visit by the pope on british soil has been such a success.
  7. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    20 Sep '10 18:35
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    In a curious twist it seems that despite such euphonious talk it is you who has a myopic point of view on this subject, as you have wasted no time on condemning those whose you views you made no effort to understand.

    It seems to me that there is a legitimate question to be addressed here and it isn't over religious freedom, something which btw has b ...[text shortened]... sn't mean that the arguments of these people must be dismissed without any true consideration.
    Suggest you actually read the words of your own President. Even just the bolded section should inform you of the irrlevance of geographic location. Your Constitution is clear, there is no debate, there is no discussion upon which to be had.

    Freedom and Democracy mean agreeing to things, even when they don't suit you as an individual, for the betterment of your entire nation. Read Kennedy's words.
  8. 20 Sep '10 18:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by uzless
    Suggest you actually read the words of your own President. Even just the bolded section should inform you of the irrlevance of geographic location. Your Constitution is clear, there is no debate, there is no discussion upon which to be had.

    Freedom and Democracy mean agreeing to things, even when they don't suit you as an individual, for the betterment of your entire nation. Read Kennedy's words.
    My own president? I think most posters here are aware of my brazilian nationality.
  9. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    20 Sep '10 18:43 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Wow - what a great speech!
    If I was American that is the sort of American President to make me proud.

    I had no idea that JFK's religion had been an issue during his election. Shocking.
    Kennedy was brilliant. That is to say that, at least, his speech writer was brilliant.

    My favourite Kennedy speech is his remarks about the freedom of the press and the impact of the State invoking the censorship by the State for reasons of "national security" If ever words held more true, surely now is it. He is speaking here about communism during the height of the cold war, but the statements he make are no less true then as they are today.

    click the small play button (not the youtube link) and you'll hear the entire speech. It's funny as hell.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfknewspaperpublishers.htm
  10. Subscriber Proper Knob
    Cornovii
    20 Sep '10 18:43
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    comments from victorian england, how relevant indeed!

    btw, it is mystifying to say the least that despite such virulent anti-catholicism the recent visit by the pope on british soil has been such a success.
    Virulent anti-catholicism?

    Did i miss something?
  11. 20 Sep '10 18:44
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Virulent anti-catholicism?

    Did i miss something?
    Did i miss something?

    yes, and it was called sarcasm.
  12. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Sep '10 18:46
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Virulent anti-catholicism?

    Did i miss something?
    I'm flogging the IH8Anglos horse, don't mind me.
  13. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    20 Sep '10 18:47
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    Virulent anti-catholicism?

    Did i miss something?
    The headlines, probably.
  14. 20 Sep '10 18:49
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I'm flogging the IH8Anglos horse, don't mind me.
    horses from 1848!
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Sep '10 18:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    horses from 1848!
    Kennedy got assassinated. His religion was an issue in his election.