A Brief Reminder

When John Kennedy ran for President, conservative whites, especially in the South, claimed to fear that he would take orders from the Vatican.

He famously went to Houston where with his brilliance and candor he explained his understanding of our American system of government — he outlined how this false religious debate detracted and distracted from the issues at hand:

“…the hungry children I saw in West Virginia; the old people who cannot pay their doctor 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.”

JFK went on:

“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 barriers.”

We face a similar effort now to distract us from the real challenges ahead: the pandemic; our crumbling infrastructure; and restoring an economy that is accessible and just for all. These are our real challenges, as all Americans of good faith realize.

Like John Kennedy declared in September of 1960, we need now to believe in an America “where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

That must always be the understanding of a free people.

-Albert Turner Goins