Monday, December 6, 2010

Palin, JFK, and Religion

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend spends some time defending her uncle's masterful speech to Houston Ministerial Association, where he sought to undo the perception that his Catholicism outweighed is American-ism, from Sarah Palin.

Palin questions the speech in her recent book, America by Heart, and thinks Kennedy divorced his religion from his governance, and that this was wrong. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, meanwhile, spends the majority of her essay defending separation of church and state, but also indicts those that would impose a religious litmus test on political candidates.

"Not only does she [Palin] want people to reveal their beliefs, but she wants to sit in judgement of them if their views don't match her own. For instance, she criticizes Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and a faithful Catholic, for talking the (God) talk but not walking the walk. Who is Palin to say what God's 'walk' is?" (my emphasis)

Quite right. There is a disturbing trend in American politics that candidates face litmus tests on all sides and instead of being rewarding for being genuine, they must walk this tight rope between what they truly believe and what a base of supporters will let them believe. Palin, it would seem, believes there is a religious litmus test a candidate must past.

This could help explain why Palin is the current presidential front runner for the Republican party. She's the one tying up the rope.

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