I've noticed that there has been a decent amount of discussion already on this blog and its comments regarding what role faith should play in a politician's work. First, from a legal perspective, I have to say that the idea that the separation of church and state calls for politicians to entirely leave their faith at the door to the Capitol Building is as false as the idea that the separation of church and state is just an act of judicial activism.
Let's be honest: it's impossible to build that sort of wall. For people who are religious, it's an inherent part of their culture and life experiences, and those are the things that lead to a person's sense of morality. You don't want people to leave their sense of morality at the door, even if you happen to disagree with some of the opinions that individual has.
The problem is when politicians believe that it is necessary for all constituents to share their morality. This is what makes individuals like Rick Santorum so distasteful to so many Americans. Because he believes that abortion is always wrong, he thinks that all Americans should be prohibited from having abortions. Because he thinks that gay marriage is wrong, he believes that gay marriage should be prohibited in America. It would be akin to me saying that because I believe that people should live together before they get married. But that would not be in tune with the morality of many decent, hard-working Americans, and as such I don't think that it would be right for it to be a law. That is something I firm believe each individual should decide for themselves.
I don't ask for Rick Santorum to forego his religion, or to not consider it when doing political work. I merely ask him to not impose his own morality on me, and I will show him the same respect.