Speech at the Dedication of the John F. Kennedy Interfaith Chapel at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia

May 26, 1964


Carrollton, GA

There have always and everywhere been those, throughout our history, and particularly in times of crisis, who have preached intolerance, who have sought to escape reality and responsibility with a slogan or a scapegoat. Religious groups have been the first targets, but they have not been the only ones. There are those who suspect their neighbors because they pray to a different God, or because they pray to none at all. And there are those who bellow that a former president of the United States is a tool of the Communist conspiracy. There are those who preach that desegregation of the schools will destroy our society. And there are others who believe that Calamity will occur because of the way we may treat our drinking water. There is freedom in this country to be extreme, to propose the most reactionary or the most utopian solutions to all the problems of the country or even the world. There is freedom here to believe and act with passion, whether for the cause of religion or party or personal welfare.