"…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Even if you’re not a lawyer you can probably understand that one. If you want to hold office, the supreme law of the land says that your religion does not matter and cannot bar you from holding office.
Now, politically, that is another question. Certainly New York Governor Al Smith learned that in 1928 as the first Catholic to run for president. And then-Senator John F. Kennedy found out the same thing in 1960. He won, despite being Catholic. Since then, things have not changed that much, at least politically. Voters still put candidates for national office through a religious test.
Governor Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has certainly been an issue for some of electorate. So, it is very curious why Romney would say the following:
In an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor, Mansoor Ijaz writes:
"I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that 'jihadism' is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, '…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration."Ijaz is a prominent Pakistani-American businessman, a financier, and a media commentator on terrorism, mostly in relation to Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s obvious that Mr. Romney is making a ‘religious test’ a part of his campaign with regard to who would be in his administration. And not only that ---to make the percentage of Muslims in the population part of the criteria is equally outrageous. The fact that Muslims “could serve at lower levels” in a Romney presidential administration clearly deserves no comment and is wrong on its face.
Far too many Americans agree with the assumptions upon which Romney's answer is based. I wonder if Mr. Romney thinks that Mormons should have to pass the same ‘population’ numbers test he is applying to Muslims.
If so, where would that leave him?