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Letter - Political record more crucial than piety

To the editor: What has happened to the doctrine of the separation of church and state as envisioned by our Founding Fathers? It is apparent that during this current presidential election cycle we are being inundated with concerns about the perso...

To the editor:

What has happened to the doctrine of the separation of church and state as envisioned by our Founding Fathers? It is apparent that during this current presidential election cycle we are being inundated with concerns about the personal religious beliefs of the candidates.

Republican Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, proudly exposes his faith as a political asset, while challenger Mitt Romney finds it necessary to allay fears about his affiliation with the Mormon Church. Other candidates know that to appear "un-Christian" is a sign of political suicide.

The history of sectarian-based conflict and authoritarianism in Europe taught the drafters of our Constitution a valuable lesson. They made clear their intentions to keep the corrosive effects of religion out of the political process in Article VI, stating that "... no religious Test shall ever be required as a qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Evidence of the importance of this separation is shown in the fact that four of the first five presidents were Deists, not Christians.

Should we as constituents care about the faith beliefs of our current crop of candidates? Or should we be more concerned with their political record from votes, policy pronouncements and proposed solutions to the important issues facing our country and world today? I believe it is the political record of the candidates that is far more important than their expressions of piety.

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We have seen from the time of the 30 Years War to the current conflict in Iraq how leaders inspired by their faith can sow death and destruction. Let us not make that mistake again.

David Dziuk

Alexandria

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