Mitt Romney and America's promise of religious freedom

Now we have two Mormon candidates running for president in 2012, and one of them, Romney, may well be the Republican nominee. Once again the promise of religious freedom enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution will be tested, along with our Founders’ dream that America would be a shining city on a hill where religious freedom, diversity and tolerance would thrive. And once again, a barrier may be broken.

I hope and believe that Americans of all faiths — and of no faith — will not base their votes on the fact that Romney’s Mormon faith seems “different.” Just as Americans rose above differences when John F. Kennedy’s Roman Catholic faith was “different” in 1960, and 16 years later when Jimmy Carter’s Christian evangelical faith was “different,” and again in 2000 when my Jewish faith was “different,” Romney must be judged on his personal qualities, experience and ideas for America’s future.

My experience in 2000 gives me great confidence that the American people will again reject any sectarian religious tests for office and show their strong character, instinctive fairness and steadfast belief in our Constitution. That truly is the American way.