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Kashish Singh
Mrs. Mikel
ELA 9H 5th Period
November 8, 2014
Truth and Tolerance in America by Edward M. Kennedy Speech Analyzes
Religion is something that is very difficult to argue against or with. There will always be
someone who either opposes or supports the beliefs of a group too strong at times to be open
minded enough to accept things from the other side of the story. Much like how water and oil
refuse to mix unless something special is added that breaks away the bonds that keep them
separate. An example of the special thing in the real world today was Edward M. Kennedys
speech on Truth and Tolerance in America. He delivered his speech on October 3, 1983 at
Liberty University (also named Liberty Baptist Collage) in Lynchburg, Virginia. He used the
means of persuasion, ethos, pathos, and logos to create a groundbreaking speech that is
considered to be one of the top 100 speeches.
First of all, Edward M. Kennedy used ethos in his speech. Ethos is open mindedness and
credibility in a piece of writing. Ethos may have been one of the most important parts of his
speech for if he wasnt open minded when it came to both religion and politics, there would have
been a lot of bias in his speech and his audience of catholic collage age students would probably
not be too pleased with him trying to make religion sound like a bad thing that has no place in
society. Separation of church and state cannot mean an absolute separation between moral
principles and political power. The challenge today is to recall the origin of the principle, to
define its purpose, and refine its application to the politics of the present. Likewise if he had
taken too much of a religious stance, many people who do not believe in Christianity would have

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most likely have been absolutely outraged. The real transgression occurs when religion wants
government to tell citizens how to live uniquely personal parts of their lives. His speech was
stated in a way so that the catholic collage aged students can understand the importance of both
religion and politics and how they should relate to each other when it comes to government and
society. Without any sort of ethos in his speech, it would have just sounded unreliable and
untrustworthy to listen to.
Secondly, he used pathos in his speech so it didnt sound like something from a
controversial textbook. Pathos is the emotion and passion in a piece of writing and makes it so
that a piece of writing isnt monotone and extremely boring to listen to. If students in todays day
and age dont like listening to a textbook, it is highly unlikely that student from almost 30 years
ago would like it. Kennedys audience could tell that he had a strong passion for both his catholic
religion and for the government of his country.
I hope for an America where no president of public official, no individual will
ever be deemed a greater or lesser America because of religious doubt or
religious belief. I hope for an America where the power of faith will always burn
brightly, but where no modern Inquisition of any kind will ever light the fires of
fear, coercion, or angry division. I hope for an America where we can all contend
freely and vigorously but where we will treasure and guard those standards of
civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity.
It is undeniable that Kennedy felt very strongly about Americas future when it came to both
religion and politics and how they should be exercised in our lives and country.
Last but certainly not least, logos was the tight glue that bound everything together in
Kennedys speech. Logos are the straight up facts, data, and information that is undeniably true.

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Throughout his speech, Kennedy quotes many different things from the constitution, The God
who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time (1st Amendment of the U.S Constitution) to
quotes from the nations leading constitutional scholars, Law in a non-theocratic state cannot
measure religious truth, nor can state appose it. (Professor Larry Tribe) But its not just quotes
that Kennedy uses in his speech. Additionally he uses straight up facts about what is going on
right then and there such as the Cold War, which was currently still going on when he delivered
his speech. He also mentions things from the past like the Equal Rights Amendment which very
recently attempted to be ratified by the states during his time. Kennedy overall used a very
healthy amount of logos to make his speech transcend to both the past, present, and future as the
topic he states on religion and politics in America is something that will still be around even
centuries after his speech.
In conclusion, Edward M. Kennedy successfully used ethos, logos, and pathos to create a
strong and well-spoken speech. His main point for the speech was how religion and politics are
both important but religion shouldnt have the power over the government and vice versa.
I am an American and a Catholic; I love my country and treasure my faith. But I
do not assume that my conception of patriotism or policy is invariably correct, or
that my convictions about religion should command any greater respect than any
other faith I this pluralistic society. I believe there surely is such a thing as truth,
but who among us can claim a monopoly on it?
As the quote states above, Kennedy truly believed in both religion and politics and he used ethos
his open mindedness, pathos his emotion, and logos his facts and truths create one of the
strongest speeches that America has ever seen.