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Palin's take on JFK's faith

The Associated Press

In her new book, "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," Sarah Palin finds fault in JFK's famous religion speech, saying he "seemed to want to run away" from his faith.

"I am not the Catholic candidate for president," Kennedy said during the 1960 campaign. "I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic."

Palin was taught that JFK's speech reconciled religion and public service without compromising either, she writes. But she says she has since realized that Kennedy "essentially declared religion to be such a private matter that it was irrelevant to the kind of country we are."

Historian Ted Widmer, who included the JFK speech in a Library of America anthology, said he was surprised by Palin's comments. "It's putting a negative spin on what was interpreted at the time as a sensible and uplifting message," he said. "JFK was trying to protect his own right to be a Catholic and to run for president."

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