Heres a long, interesting, and informative article by a Catholic writer critical of the ease with which President Kennedy separated his faith from his political life. He was, in truth, a poor Catholic and maybe a true believer in generic American Deism. Kennedy readily reassured many Americans that rigorous separationism was no big deal at all for him, and that didnt bother Catholics much because the "faith-based" issues of his time were pretty boring--such as federal aid to parochial schools and recognizing the Vatican as a country. But todays issues--many of which center around judicial activism--are far more fundamental, complex and insistent, and Cuomos and Kerrys poor or indifferent Catholicism alienated them, with good reason, from orthodox adherents to their faith.
Romney cant and wont lie by saying hes a bad Mormon or that his faith can be reduced to generic American Deism. He cant and shouldnt follow Kennedys less-than-exemplary lead by taking refuge in personal strict separationism. He will have to say that his public-policy positions that have a basis in belief are also defensible through reason, and so hell have to move in the direction of a sort of Mormon Thomism.