John F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy, (1917-1963) 35th US President

John F. Kennedy Quote

“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 parishoners 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.”

John F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy
~ John F. Kennedy

address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association

Ratings and Comments

Yolanda Lyons, Barryton, MI

Separation of church and state will always be an issue, not because of the church or the state but because of the people in both.

Mary Booker, Charlotte, N. C.

One of the greatest speeches I ever heard!

  • Reply
Anonymous    4/7/09

Yes, yes, yes, YES! Thank you, Kennedy! People! Listen to this guy! He's got the right idea!

Anonymous, Dallas

What a crock! A minister's job is to shepherd his flock and if that includes discussing politics from the pulpit then so be it. If the people want to vote based on religion that is their right. The separation of church and state has nothing to do with what this buffoon says. The only thing the constitution calls for is that the state doesn't not create a state religion such as the Church of England. Liberals, atheists and money grubbing preachers have perverted the statement to mean that there shall be no mention of God by any government institution and the IRS will not tax churches.

Mike, Norwalk

I am not quite sure how to rate this. Anonymous from Dallas makes some great points. It is precisely the battle between religions the brought the founders of the de jure States united to bring about a body politic at natural law so that all religions ("A"theist to "Z"en - inclusive of "B"uddhists, "Christians, etc ) could flourish and influence the politician. Religion is: an object of conscience, an ethic(s), a moral(s), a value (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment, believed sufficiently conventional and sacrosanct as to enable an attributable action (which is absolutely different than the "law"). Religions foundation, through fruition, encompasses self obligated pursuits and devoted interests based on said enablers. When said enablers are drawn upon or referenced as authority, power or reason to enforce, a formal religion is established. A god or other relegated source of such enablers may or may not be instrumental in defining a religion. An object of conscience, an ethic(s), a moral(s), a value (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment (religion), can not lawfully be legislated. The church is an organized segment of religion. Kennedy did not believe in a separation of church and state. Kennedy wanted his organize segment of his socialist religion to dominate, supersede and control all other religions (even his secondary moral belief system in Catholicism i.e. his moral / immoral foundation for organizing his primary church) The de jure States united was to morally legislate order to the laws of nature and of nature's God that already existed (man can not create law) The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land is a church.

Mike, Norwalk

One star as an after thought. I believe in a land of liberty with order derived from sectarian logic, reason and a moral foundation - all such being manifest without a specific church's dominance or establishment. The "establishment clause" forbids the current statist theocracy infesting this land.

cal, lewisville, tx

Wish he had thought of this before appointing his brother to be Attorney General.

E Archer, NYC

I agree that the government should have no influence on religion -- particularly prohibiting religious leaders from expressing political views. Power and influence need to be distributed. By denying churches to speak politically is to centralize influence with the government.


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