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RELIGION AND POLITICS

Zealotry has no place in creation of laws

September 8, 2011

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IN HIS Aug. 31 op-ed column “Anti-religious diatribes come in many forms ,’’ Jeff Jacoby calls New York Times executive editor Bill Keller anti-religious because he cares “if religious doctrine becomes an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises.’’ Religious zealotry has no place in the creation of laws that govern the United States. If a candidate’s platform is built on a mythological, religious, extraterrestrial, paranormal, or superstitious construct, I want to know that.

I agree with Keller that religious beliefs must become part of the political discussion, especially when those beliefs are wielded as bludgeons against the majority of our citizens. Jacoby’s reference to the oath of office reminds me of a sage remark: Yes, we place our hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; we do not place our hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

James Orleans
Brookline