Religious Liberty and Political Office

The Union is profoundly interested in healthy inter-religious relationships in American life. In addition, we are vitally concerned with the maintenance of religious liberty for every citizen.

Therefore, we express our dismay over statements made and positions taken by a few religious groups in outright opposition to the possible nomination for President or Vice-President of the United States of any person of the Roman Catholic faith. Without expressing any partisanship in favor of, or in opposition to, any political party or candidate for any political office, we adopt the following principles which we deem essential to the preservation of a meaningful freedom of religion in the selection of persons for public office:

  1. We oppose all religious tests for office, and deem the suggestion that the profession of any religious belief or disbelief should automatically disqualify a person from holding any office, to be fundamentally at variance with our democratic principle that religion lies within the realm of personal conscience.
  2. The separation of church and state, to which we are wholeheartedly dedicated, is a concept developed in American life for the purpose of supporting and enhancing meaningful religious freedom, and any position taken in the name of the separation of church and state, that derogates religious freedom, and encourages religious bigotry, subverts the very purpose and intent of that concept.