Religious Test

The blog Mormon Coffee has picked up on something I have noticed a few times. When people discuss the impact of Mitt Romney's religion on his presidential chances, the Constitutional prohibition of a "religious test" for public office is cited, as if to say, "The Constitution prohibits you from not voting for Romney because of his religion." Here's an example:
Voters of all political persuasions need to be reminded of a core American value - your rights as a citizen, including the right to run for public office, do not depend on your religious beliefs. Our Constitution is clear there can be no religious test for public office.
This, of course, is patently false. You can vote however you want, for whatever reason you want. What we can't do is prohibit someone from holding or assuming an office because of their religious beliefs.

A letter-writer made the same point in the Salt Lake Tribune this week.

I'm not saying I'm going to discriminate based on religion. In fact, I'm starting to think Romney may be a good choice for Fred Thompson's running mate.

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