Article VI, section 3 of the Constitution states “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”, and so far we have been wise enough to leave that section in place. More than two centuries on, we still refrain from officially requiring candidates to profess any specific religion, or any religion at all. For better or worse though, we do have a religious test from the voters.
It is sad that today, the day that we will (if the polls are accurate) elect the first black President of The United States of America, people of specific religions are still shunned by the electorate in most areas, and most of those who admit to not believing in any religion remain political pariahs.
Is this the way it should be?
Not only is it unfair to reject a candidate based solely on religious beliefs, it is also very dangerous to vote for a candidate based on professed religious beliefs.
It is difficult to even trust politicians’ stated views, much less to extrapolate their views from their purported religions and then take it on faith that they will act in accordance with your conclusions.
Instead, just as our politicians should be putting the best interests of their country and constituents ahead of their own religious beliefs in matters of public policy, voters should be willing to overlook the religious beliefs of a candidate and vote on the issues.
A Muslim, Mormon or Atheist who will faithfully serve the best interests of your community is more worthy of your support than someone who claims to share your religious beliefs but will gladly sell your community out to the highest bidder.
Although politicians overall don’t have a good reputation for honesty and reliability, there are good candidates out there of all sizes, shapes and beliefs. We must be willing to vote not for the slickest politicians or the ones who claims to be most like us, but for the ones who share our vision for the future of the country.
Please, vote on issues not image.