[Lincoln Journal Star]

John F. Kennedy

For a Jewish teenager in 1960, John F. Kennedy’s election as president of the United States of America gave Nancy Coren hope.

“If a Catholic could be president, then maybe one day a Jew could be president,” said Coren, spiritual lay leader of Lincoln’s Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

In fact, Kennedy was — and remains — the first and only Catholic to hold the presidency.

And to date, not a single Jew has held the office of president or vice president in this country.

Separation of church and state is a fundamental American principle. But the truth is, for as much as Americans value religious freedom, they as a whole are pretty uncomfortable electing leaders outside the Protestant faiths.