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5:26 AM Fri, Jan. 18th

Kingman Letter: Religion in politics

A recent letter to the editor suggested that this country is failing because not everyone has a firm belief in God. Many responders to this letter suggested that the Founding Fathers declared this nation a Christian nation, and based the Constitution on their religious beliefs. I would like to set the record straight.

The words "God," or "creator," or "Jesus" do not appear anywhere in the Constitution, neither in the original or any of the Amendments. The word "Lord" appears one time, on the Signatory section within the date, which was a common way of expressing the date in those days, "in the Year of our Lord." The Framers felt that the new government should not involve itself in matters of religion. The original Constitution actually bars any religious test to hold any federal office in the United States.

According to Article II, Section 6, "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution, but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Amendment 1 (1791) states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This amendment protects religious freedom by prohibiting the establishment of an official or exclusive church or sect.

My point is this: Why are the Republican candidates hell-bent on bending over backwards to please religious groups? Simply so those groups will bankroll them? Religion should have no voice, whatsoever, in our Government or politics. That's the way the Founding Fathers wanted it. And that's the way it should remain.

Lori Gabriel-Dane