POLITICS: The Birth Control Issue

As the strongest Roman Catholic presidential hopeful since Alfred E. Smith, Massachusetts' Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy well knew that the issue of religion might hurt him in 1960 as it hurt "the Happy Warrior" in 1928. Consequently, out of a shrewd sense of political necessity, Candidate Kennedy provoked discussion of his Catholicism months ago, got accustomed to facing blunt questions with plain answers, and managed to run his fleet-footed political race with remarkably little religious heckling. But last week Kennedy found himself caught in a Catholic-Protestant clerical crossfire on the incendiary issue of birth control. And before the...

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