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October 9th, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Letters to the President: #993 'Losing my religion'

Reporter's Note: The president has struggled for years against those who doubt his religious beliefs. And now, once again, that specter has been raised about others.

Dear Mr. President,

Well, once more we have politics and religion roaring through the headlines; this time over those folks who say they could never back Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon.

People are welcome to their opinions, of course, that is the nature of a free society, but frankly I’m feeling a little worn out over it all.

It seems like only yesterday that we were looking into all those accusations that somehow you were a secret agent Muslim out to take over the American government. Before that we’ve had questions about Jews, and Catholics, and heaven knows what else.

Time and again this old specter has been raised: Can Candidate So-And-So be trusted? He is after all a ______________! And you can insert the name of any religion you wish right there, because at some point I suppose they’ve all been attacked.

Like I said, people are welcome to their ideas on such matters, but I often find myself asking not what a person believes (because frankly that can be sort of hard to pin down,) but rather, what does he or she do?

If someone is going to allow his or her religious beliefs, whatever they may be, to inordinately shape policies, then I suppose those beliefs might be a problem. But notice that I said “inordinately.” By that I mean, do they allow their faith to clearly and obviously influence the nation’s course in a dramatically different way, or impinge on the rights of others to believe (or not believe) as they see fit?

Absent the evidence of such a problem, I’m not sure what the fuss is about. And I suspect, given what you’ve been through, neither are you.

Hope your Sunday is going well.

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman