From OneNewsNow, David Barton says what I've been saying in response to some assertions that Christians shouldn't prefer Christians when they consider their vote for office holders:
But David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, says Whitehead's assertion is completely ridiculous and a complete rewriting of Article VI. Voters who oppose Romney because he is Mormon, says Barton, do not need to be intimidated by Article VI -- which he believes is the intent of the current effort.
"Article VI has nothing to do with Romney's faith anymore than it had anything to do with Kennedy's faith," states the Christian historian. "It has to do only with preventing the establishment of a national church, and citizens are free to use religion or any other criteria they want in choosing whoever they want for president."
According to Barton, Article VI is a limitation only on the federal government -- not on the rights of individual citizens. "It was one of the clauses to make sure that there was no national denomination," he explains. "So if the federal government can't have a religious test -- such as the federal government [saying] you have to all be Mormons, or Anglicans, or Baptists, or Methodists, or whatever -- then there's no chance of having a national church."
I don't know if it's a systematic campaign by liberals to undermine the application of constitutional freedoms, or whether education on government and civics has become so dumbed-down that people simply don't understand this kind of thing anymore.
The limitations on government seldom apply to individuals. Our Founders believed individuals should have as much freedom as reasonably possible, but they also believed that government needed to be restrained in order for individuals to keep on enjoying those freedoms. That's why the government is prohibited from requiring a religious test for office.
But private individuals have the right to their opinions, and their preferences. And they can and should exercise that right.
And as John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said,
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."