Is America ready for a non-Christian president?

One has to wonder why the United States has not evolved as quickly as other democracies. Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India in 1966; Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel in 1969 and Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of the United Kingdom in 1979. Yet the United States, a prime model for democracies in the world, has never had a woman president.

One has to wonder why India, a nation of nearly 1.3 billion people, 79.8 percent of whom are Hindu, has had a Sikh prime minister (Manmohan Singh) and a Muslim president (Abdul Kalam), yet for more than a century and a half the chief executive of the United States has always been a Christian.

And this is not a trivial matter. The United States, like no other country in the world, has opened its doors to immigrants. For nearly a quarter of a millennium, it has truly been the land of opportunity. People from all cultures have come here seeking a haven where their hopes and dreams can come true. Or at least most of them…

As our country becomes more diverse, it needs to persuade both its own citizens and all those who hope to become citizens that it will always be a land of limitless opportunity for everyone.