Timmeh! Russert was on tonight’s NBC evening news bloviating about Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech. Russert, ever the idiot, asserted that a “robust discussion” of the issue was in order. Wrong again, pumpkinhead.

United States Constitution, Article VI

…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Of course, our useless media has been equating Romney’s speech in its pre-delivery hype with JFK’s speech on religion, never bothering to look at the details.

In terms our media can better understand: One of These Things (Is Not Like The Others)

Oh, and another thing for our useless media – look up Morris King Udall‘s presidential campaign.

Let’s get down to business.

On September 12, 1960 John F. Kennedy spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association:

….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 parishioners 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.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew- or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you – until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril….

[emphasis added]

And further:

…I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test – even by indirection – for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it….

[emphasis added]

Yes children, as you can see, there used to be a time when a Harvard education actually meant something.

Now, let’s see what Mitt Romney said today:

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone…

[emphasis added]

What the hell does that mean?

What was that phrase? Oh, yeah. “…no religious test shall ever be required…” I see that reading comprehension is not Mitt Romney’s strong suit.

…Given our grand tradition of religious tolerance and liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are…

What was it JFK said? Oh, yeah. “…I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation, or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office…”

Mitt continued:

…We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong…

[emphasis added]

Yes, no. Yes, no. What is it?

Uh oh. There’s that reading comprehension thingy again. What about “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” do you not understand?

Mitt continued:

…The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation ‘Under God’ and in God, we do indeed trust…

That’s it. Mitt Romney is a moron.

It wasn’t the founders who added that stuff Mitt:

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, ‘under God,’ to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer…

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War….

Mitt dug himself in deeper:

….And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation’s symphony of faith….

Is it me, or did he just say that atheists and agnostics can’t be his friends and allies?

The following bit of history is somehow appropriate:

October 5, 1988

…QUAYLE:…I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur.

WOODRUFF: Senator Bentsen.

BENTSEN: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy. (Prolonged shouts and applause)…

Mitt Romney is no Jack Kennedy.