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For president, human values are most vital ones

To the editor:

I had mixed reactions to the Nov. 10 column “From one Christian leader to another.” While I have no problem with columnist Rev. Andrea Ayvazian’s values, which tend to be shared by liberals and progressives of all faiths, her urging President Obama to “reconnect with his religious roots” (I wasn’t aware he had disconnected from them) and “to remember that God is still speaking through him” was rather chilling.

President Obama is clearly a man of deep values and convictions. One of the things I prize about him is that, unlike many who ran as Republicans in the recent elections, he did not run as a “Christian leader,” just as a leader.

I, for one, don’t want my president to think that God is speaking through him. That’s for the Paul Ryans and the Rick Santorums and the Richard Mourdocks of the world, and I find it scary.

In a diverse nation the president has to represent people of all faiths as well as atheists, wiccans, believers in nature and, well, everybody. Obama’s values are human values, over which the Christians do not have a monopoly.

Politicians have a tendency to pervert religion for their own gain or to impose their values on everyone else. I mean, imagine for a moment the outrage if the Jewish members of Congress proposed a bill mandating forced circumcision for all male infants or that everyone keep Kosher?

Sounds funny, right? That’s how I feel when members of our Congress attempt to pass federal laws that serve to impose their religious beliefs (i.e. that life begins at conception or that marriage can only be between one man and one woman) on the rest of the population.

So, I’m very happy that the the president keeps his beliefs to himself and I sure hope he doesn’t think that God is speaking through him, no matter how right-on his words and actions might be.

Richard N. Norris

Florence

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