Bainbridge Island Review


Political attacks based on religion have a long history | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

March 21, 2013 · Updated 6:53 AM

To the editor:

Unfortunate when speaking to the issue of abortion, civility loses out. Our senator supported an abortion mandate in private medical insurance if the same policy covered maternity care. Something already provided in this state, but under scrutiny because of the new Affordable Care Act coming into effect.

Historically attacking political politicians because of their religion in no new occurrence unfortunately in our country. In this case the husband of the senator wrote a letter to the editor defending his wife, something I am sure all of us can identify with regardless of the position we hold on abortion.

From history we find that Thomas Jefferson was attacked for his religious beliefs when he ran for president against John Adams in 1800. He was stated to not go to church, and questioned if he even belonged to the Christian faith. Even Abigail Adams joined in the mud slinging and accused him of being a deist. An unpopular belief system at the time for national politics. She wrote, “Can the placing at the head of of the nation two characters known to be deists be productive of order, peace, and happiness?”

A friend of Thomas Jefferson wrote a circulated pamphlet stating the charge of deism was false and malicious. It spoke to his belief in Christianity.

The concern of religious beliefs of those who represent us seem a part of our history as is the concern we keep it separate from the political use of it promoting one belief over another in law. As government becomes more intertwined in our daily decision process and takes away those decisions is concerning. The free exercise of religion is not only pertaining to those with in four walls of a building. An exception was sought in this mandatory abortion coverage that was disregarded.

It is no different if it a Deist, Christian, or secular legislative action promoting those specific beliefs stop the free exercise of religion. A legislative action stopping the free conscience and beliefs of others to participate in medical coverage supporting a specific forced monetary support for abortion should have had an exception.

Allowing an exception was the least that should have been done, the attacking of a personal belief was something that should not have been done. It’s a contradiction of the respect we all should have with government and our personal-held beliefs.



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