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A Republican Christianist heckles a Mormon candidate in Florida. Romney responds as follows:

We need to have a person of faith lead the country.

How is that not a religious test for the presidency? The anti-Mormon bigotry displayed is ugly and wrong - but it will come up again. Bush and Rove have built a Republican party on a sectarian base - and Romnney is of the wrong sect. But instead of standing up to this sectarianism, and affirming the right of anyone of any faith or none to be president, Romney panders to religious bias. It seems to me that it is equally bigoted to say that a Mormon should not be president as it is to say that an atheist should not be president. Romney has chosen to fight bigotry with bigotry. We are finding out that he will say anything - anything - to get elected. That is not the mark of a person of faith. It is the mark of a person shot through with cynicism.

(Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty.)