A Cold War speech

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I read Peter Smith’s article “Undelivered Speech Reflects Kennedy’s Strong Catholic Ties” (Nov. 22) and then I read the full text of the speech at the PG website. I have to say, I don’t agree at all with his impression of the speech. This speech hasn’t got anything to do with Roman Catholic faith, or Christian faith in general. It hasn’t got anything to do with Catholic or Christian morals, except as those are involved with anti-communism.

This speech is a Cold War political campaign speech, pure and simple. Dragging in biblical quotes and allusions is a long-standing tradition in American political speech, and here, as nearly always, those quotes and allusions serve the political purpose of the speech rather than the other way around.

I don’t know what sort of rose-colored glasses Mr. Smith was wearing when he read this speech, but he certainly did not see the reality of it.


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