By T. Carty
In line with quite a few students and pundits, JFK's victory in 1960 symbolized America's evolution from a politically Protestant state to a pluralistic one. The anti-Catholic prejudice that many blamed for presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's crushing defeat in 1928 eventually looked as if it would were conquer. even if, if the presidential election of 1960 was once certainly a turning element for American Catholics, how can we clarify the failure of any Catholic--in over 40 years--to repeat Kennedy's accomplishment? during this exhaustively researched examine that fuses political, cultural, social, and highbrow historical past, Thomas Carty demanding situations the belief that JFK's profitable crusade for the presidency ended many years, if now not centuries, of non secular and political tensions among American Catholics and Protestants.
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Additional info for A Catholic in the White House?: Religion, Politics, and John F. Kennedy's Presidential Campaign
In 1950 federal aid-to-education legislation, several proposals provided government support for public schools alone. The Boston archdiocese newspaper, the Pilot, blamed anti-Catholic ‘‘prejudice’’ for this refusal to fund Catholic alternatives to public schooling. John Kennedy fought to include federal aid for bus transportation and health services of parochial school students. Catholic publications glowingly praised Kennedy’s efforts. ’’66 In the 1950s, Catholic unity behind anticommunism appeared particularly militant and excessive to many Protestants and secular liberals.
Yet many Democrats bristled at the choice of Raskob, who had worked for the wealthy Catholic Du Pont family, actively opposed Prohibition, and voted for Republican presidential nominee Calvin Coolidge in 1924. Nativists focused particularly on Raskob’s religion. As a Catholic who had donated more than a million dollars to his church, Raskob received several high honors from the Holy See. 13 Raskob’s immediate ascent to Democratic Party leadership through political patronage appeared typical of the undemocratic, secret dealings of Smith’s Catholic New York City political machine, Tammany Hall.
The New York governor had publicly kissed the ring of papal ambassador Giovanni Bonzano in 1926. When New York Cardinal Patrick Hayes conducted the wedding service of Smith’s daughter in that year, Franklin Roosevelt’s political mentor, New York newspaperman Louis Howe, expressed fear of such open display of religious loyalty. ’’11 During the campaign, Smith volunteered to serve as an acolyte—an assistant to the clerical celebrant of a Catholic service—in New Jersey. ’’12 Smith’s selection of a Catholic, General Motors executive John J.