Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that no “religious test” should ever be required for federal office. Also, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1961 stipulated that states may not have a “religious test” for holding public office.
Even so, politicians frequently make positive references to their own faith and negative references to the faith of their political opponents.
In a recent closed-door meeting of evangelical leaders, Donald Trump raised doubts about the faith of Hillary Clinton. For the record, Clinton is a Methodist. But faith should not be an issue in any election.
Whether a candidate is Muslim, Jewish, Christian, any other religion or an atheist should not matter. That candidate is eligible to hold public office.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
To be an atheist is especially problematic for public acceptance. Many people feel that belief in God and a religious foundation are necessary to provide a moral compass that guides and informs decision-making.
On the contrary, adherence to strict religious tenets can obstruct logical, unbiased decision-making and can foster discrimination. Case in point: passage of House Bill 2y.
Let us all keep in mind the concepts of “separation of church and state” and, therefore, “no religious test required” when we go to the polls in November.