Do you think a political leader should or should not rely on his or her religious beliefs in making policy decisions? How much does it matter to you that a candidate for president shares your religious beliefs?
Faith in Virginia
Founding father and Virginia planter Thomas Jefferson revered the teachings of Jesus Christ but raised an eyebrow over much of the Scripture. Those parts that seemed “contrary to reason” – burning bushes, seas that part – he cut out. Then he reassembled his own Bible. He wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom to enshrine a fierce civic desire for separation of church and state in the newly independent colonies. The country is still arguing over that wall. A presidential election about financial security slips back into a struggle over religious doctrine’s role in social policy.
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PORTRAITS: Melina Mara; PHOTO ESSAY: Bonnie Jo Mount; WRITING: Ann Gerhart; DESIGN: Grace Koerber and Kat Downs; AUDIO: Nick Kirkpatrick - TWP. Published Aug. 24, 2012.