I was disturbed to read Theodore Theodorsen's recent Letter to the Editor objecting to Joe Lieberman's presidential candidacy on the grounds of his Orthodox Judaism. Mr. Theodorsen wrote that "'very religious' persons are unfit for positions of great national power." Since when did someone's religious beliefs or lack thereof qualify or disqualify someone for public office? Obviously, Mr. Theodorsen has a right to his beliefs, both political and theological. However, his potshots taken at Judaism, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were uninformed and offensive.
Mr. Theodorsen states that an Orthodox Jew could not perform duties on the Sabbath, thus rendering Lieberman unfit for public office. However, Lieberman's record clearly shows that he has indeed performed senatorial duties on the Sabbath and he has openly stated that he would perform presidential duties on the Sabbath as well. Mr. Theodorsen then proceeds to insult Protestants by labeling them as "the least 'very religious'" of American religions and disrespectfully labels the Vatican a "dictatorship." Such alarmist views remind me of the outdated 1960s debate surrounding JFK's Catholicism.
Deeply held beliefs should never disqualify a candidate. Rather, beliefs, or the lack thereof (should an agnostic or atheist run), must be viewed as part of the total package, judged solely on their potential to influence public policy.
Reverend Jimmy Only
The Congregational Church of Manhasset