In 1961, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down religious qualifications for all public officeholders in its decision in Torcaso v. Watkins.
Article VI of the Constitution of the United States declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Despite this, religion remains an unofficial litmus test for political candidates at all levels of government. This unofficial test has not served us well in our history and continues to plague us today (see 2016 presidential candidates).
Religion does not guarantee someone is good or competent anymore than being non-religious guarantees someone is less than good or competent.
George W. Bush illegally declared war on Iraq. He is personally responsible for the deaths of over 4,500 U.S. soldiers, injuries to thousands more and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraq civilians. On national TV he said he spoke to God about invading Iraq.
Mitt Romney made his fortune closing down U.S. companies and creating thousands of unemployed Americans. He was also deeply religious.
I don’t know if we can survive much more “religious goodness” from our politicians.
Bill Rutherford, Meridian