Getting Religion Wrong Again – Justice Sunday III

Statement of Marco Grimaldo,Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative

Here we go again. This weekend, Jerry Falwell, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council will hold an event in Philadelphia along with a nationwide telecast to convince Americans that a vote against Alito is somehow anti-God. This is precisely the kind of intimidation that the founders of our nation sought to avoid as they carefully crafted the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Simply put, there is no one "religious" view of the Constitution. Moreover, it is wrong for Sen. Santorum, as an elected government official, to participate in an event that would promote one view of religion over all others. A Supreme Court nominee should be judged on upholding the Constitution, not on his personal faith, and we are confident that any senator who casts a vote against Judge Alito will do so because of sincere disagreement with Alito’s record rather than religious animus.

Our nation’s tradition of religious tolerance and pluralism depends on the protection of the Federal Courts. The constitutional guarantees of free exercise of religion and separation of church and state have made our nation the most religiously diverse and robust democratic country in the world. We must not allow Jerry Falwell or anyone else to inject their narrow view of religion into the process of selecting a Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States. It is the participants of Justice Sunday III, not Alito’s opponents, who are imposing a "religious test" on this important public office.

See also: Religious Groups Respond to ‘Justice Sunday’: A Resource Guide