In the Fall 2011 issue of Dialogue (44:3), Gregory Prince interviews Shaun A. Casey about religion and presidential politics in light of his recently published book, “The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960.” Just one page in is this exchange:
Prince: When was the religion of the candidate first an issue? Was it Al Smith?
Casey: Well, I think it can go all the way back to 1800 when Thomas Jefferson ran. He was attacked as being an atheist. You see it crop up in American presidential elections from time to time.
Prince: But there, with Jefferson, you have what his religion wasn’t. When was the first time that a candidate was under attack because of the particular faith tradition that he embraced?
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but did Gregory Prince just suggest that if it’s prejudice against a nonbeliever, it doesn’t count as prejudice? Or is he saying that prejudice only matters when it is against a faith tradition, not a reason tradition?