SEAN BLACKWELL – The Corsair
According to a recent poll, 18 percent of Americans believe President Obama is Muslim while only 34 percent believe the fact that he is Christian, and not surprising, 43 percent proclaim they don’t know his religion. Why do Americans refuse to believe the president when he says that he is Christian? An even better question is: Why does it matter?
In my American history classes I was told that this land was colonized by people escaping religious persecution. These people saw this land as a place they could freely practice what they believed. Although these people fell under the banner of Christianity, the ones that followed and established this nation’s independence went to great lengths to ensure this country had no religious affiliation.
It takes very little research to see that men like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine had problems with the religious establishment. The authors of The Constitution had the foresight to write into Article VI that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Obviously this doesn’t apply to the modern American citizen.
I, for one, would like to see a politician run for office proclaiming his agnostic or atheist beliefs. This is probably just wishful thinking on my part given the fact that in 21st century America many people still believe this is a “Christian Nation.” Apparently in the “land of the free” politicians are only free to share the faith of the majority.
Politicians and elected officials should keep their faith personal. Once they make it public they are required to pass the religious test of the Christian right, even if the Constitution doesn’t require it. Why can’t Americans wake up to the reality that a nation run on religious beliefs and not political prowess is incompetent, not to mention this model of government contradicts the American value system?
As long as this is still America, religion should not matter outside your home or place of worship. And as long as we are Americans we should not hold beliefs other than our own against others, least of all our elected officials. As much as it may pain those citizens of faith, our government and its officials are there to represent the nation as a whole and not just those of the Christian faith.
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