How their tune has changed.
There is a good chance you won't remember the 1960 election. Chances are fairly high that you were not even born yet. And if you were you are not likely to remember what happened. American fundamentalists were in an uproar. John F. Kennedy was running for president and he was a Catholic! They were livid. And if you don't remember Kennedy then I know you won't remember Al Smith. Smith was a four term governor of New York and a popular guy. He too ran for president and he too was a Catholic.
But when he ran the organized forces of fundamentalism and bigotry came out in force to attack him. One of the most visible, albeit masked, faces of this narrow-minded theology was the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan and evangelicals across American were organized against Smith and he lost the election to Herbert Hoover. Now fast forward to 1960. And once again the organized forces of intolerance came out against Kennedy. Just last night I was watching a film of the altercation that took place when Kennedy went to speak directly to the born-again bigots. They shouted in their typical revival meeting style demanding that he disassociate himself from the Catholic agenda to rule America. They were quite adamant that they wanted separation of church and state then. And they wanted full assurances that Kennedy would not allow his theology to dictate his political positions.
Now these same forces are demanding that all candidates allow their church to dictate their politics. And they are very unhappy when a politician refuses to bow down to ecclesiastical authority. One of the main nutters on the Religious Right is Gary Bauer and even he noted this absurdity: "When John F. Kennedy made his famous speech that the Vatican would not tell him what to do, evangelicals and Southern Baptists breathed a sigh of relief. But today, evangelicals and Southern Baptists are hoping that the Vatican will tell Catholic politicians what to do." I guess when it comes to theocracy they were born-again.