Question of the Day: Religion in Presidential Elections

Should a political candidate's religious believes be a factor in the election process?

We'll be asking Easton Patch readers a different question every weekday. Questions could range from local decisions made by officials, to state issues, to national politics and entertainment. Whatever it is, we want to know what EASTON thinks!

When Massachusetts Democrat John F. Kennedy ran for president of the United States against Richard Nixon in 1960, a lot was made of his religion. Kennedy was the first catholic to become the nation's president.

In September of 1960, Kennedy addressed the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. An exerpt from his speech reads:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

Today, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is among the front-runners in the republican primary. Romney, if elected, would be the first Mormon to become president.

Should a political candidate's religious believes be a factor in the election process?

Elaine Dahlgren November 18, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Absolutely not!! Religious preference should stay out of politics!!
Karen West November 19, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Is there not a separation of church and state in the laws of our land? Is our country a melting pot of people of different beliefs, and those that have none? Do we welcome all those people, or just those of a certain type? I thought the laws of the land state that you obey the laws of the land, and it separates what you believe or do not believe from those laws. In this way, we encourage our country as a melting pot that welcomes all types of people, as long as they are good in character.


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