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Should politicians’ religious affiliations matter at all in campaigns? E.J. Dionne writes in his new column, “The Politics Of The Heavenly And The Unheavenly”:

We have embarked on yet another presidential campaign in which religion will play an important role without any agreement over what the ground rules for that engagement should be.

If you think we’re talking past each other on jobs and budgets, consider the religious divide. One side says “separation of church and state” while the other speaks of “religion’s legitimate role in the public square.” Each camp then sees the question as closed and can get quite self-righteous in avoiding the other’s claims.

Anyone who enters this terrain should thus do so with fear and trembling. But a few things ought to be clear, and let’s start with this: The Mormon faith of Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman should not be an issue in this campaign. Period.

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