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Letter: Biden, like JFK, puts country over Catholic faith

Letter: Biden, like JFK, puts country over Catholic faith

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1961: John Kennedy, JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy and wife Jacqueline leave St. Francis church after attending mass at Hyannis Port, Mass., on July 23, 1961. (AP Photo/Frank C. Curtin)

Regarding the letter "Catholic public figures should live their faith at all times" (July 18): More than 60 years ago, there was widespread worry that if John F. Kennedy were elected the first Catholic president, he would allow the laws of the Catholic Church to take precedence over the laws of the United States. The people concerned about such an eventuality knew that the U.S. is a democratic republic and not a theocracy. It is a secular country that gives a nod to religion with words like “under God” and “in God we trust” on money and documents, but not a country that follows any one religion.

Fortunately for us, Kennedy lived up to his oath of office to uphold and protect the Constitution (rather than the rules of his church). He was an American first and a Catholic second. President Joe Biden and other elected Catholic officials must likewise be Americans first and Catholics second.

I’m certain that these same people who want elected Catholics to “live their faith” would be far less anxious for an elected Muslim or Jew or atheist, etc., to live their faith or lack of faith while in office.

Joan H. Shaver • Des Peres

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