May 1927 November 2012

Catholic and Patriot

As a presidential candidate who would become the first Catholic nominated by a major party, the New York governor responded to charges that he would be unable to reconcile his faith with his duties in the White House. Though he lost the race, his admonition against religious division blazed a path for John F. Kennedy, a fellow Catholic, and was invoked again this year as Mitt Romney, a Mormon, pursued the presidency.
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I have never known any conflict between my official duties and my religious belief … Moreover, I am unable to understand how anything that I was taught to believe as a Catholic could possibly be in conflict with what is good citizenship …

I recognize no power in the institutions of my Church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects, and all beliefs before the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in the absolute separation of Church and State …

In this spirit I join with fellow Americans of all creeds in a fervent prayer that never again in this land will any public servant be challenged because of the faith in which he has tried to walk humbly with his God.

Read the full article in the May 1927 Atlantic.

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