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Should politicians refrain from making religious appeals and claims?

The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom says that " ... all men shall be free to profess, and ... to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, ... their civil capacities." Is that right? As a corollary, should politicians be free to express and act on their religious views, so long as others are free to do the same? I ask because many secularists seem to wish to banish religion from politics entirely, to the point of wanting to deny some religious people freedom of speech and the right to vote.

Glenn Shrom , 18.12.2012, 17:36
Idea status: under consideration

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DianaHsieh, 31.12.2012, 19:53
Here's the full text of the original question:

How much support do you give for the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom when it says, " ... all men shall be free to profess, and ... to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, ... their civil capacities." Do you think that based on this, politicians should be free to publicly express their personal religious viewpoints without it being seen as a bad or dangerous thing in our society, and even for people to be able to vote or pass laws based on their religious principles, so long as others are allowed to also be free to profess and maintain their own opinions in matters of religion? I say this because some American secularists say that they don't want to ever hear God mentioned publicly in speeches given by people who hold public office, and don't want prayers to be prayed in public, etc. The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, however, seems to protect the right of office-holders to religious speech. There are also secularists who seem to want to deny the vote to those who would vote a certain way because of religious belief, yet I see no way that the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom would ever tolerate such discrimination. "... that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, [which are] free argument and debate, ..."

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