When Did Religion Become A Bad Word?

Is the rejection of religion on all fronts a reaction to the recent rise in ultra-conservative groups, or is there something else going on? I have been talking to a lot of friends and co-workers recently who are rejecting candidates on both sides of the presidential race because of their religion. What struck me is that these rejections are not because of the specific religion these hopefuls have, such as Mormon or Baptist, but because they have strong religious convictions at all.

InterfaithNow I could actually more understand rejecting a candidate for his specific religion than for the fact that they are religious at all. And as far as I have been able to ascertain, I don’t think any of the current mainstream presidential wannabes is planning on turning the oval office into a pulpit. But, I would readily welcome a candidate who is an intelligent religious person. I would find it heartening to elect a leader who has been through the questioning phase of any religious journey and come out with a better understanding of themselves and what they believe in.

Unfortunately I believe that many people are trying to take the separation of church and state a little too far. Instead of making sure that government makes no laws that would impede the freedom of religion, there is a current wave to instead have the government act in such a way that it takes away the freedom to have a religion. I firmly believe that to be truly open and free in our religion (or lack thereof for some), we must allow others to have theirs. If not, aren’t we just as bad and dogmatic as those who would force their religion upon us?