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Letter: Church and state must be separate

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, March 4, 2016, in National Harbor, Md. Credit: AP / Carolyn Kaster

Columnist Lane Filler writes, “Everyone’s missing the problem: It’s not that [Sen. Ted] Cruz said he’s a Christian first. It’s that he’s not, as he said, a Christian first” [“Conflicted about Christianity of Cruz,” Opinion, April 27].

Filler misses an important point in that Cruz and much of the conservative right do not seem to believe in the separation of church and state, one of the founding principles of this great nation. The majority of people in the United States believe in a deity and worship God in many different ways; however, our Founding Fathers were well aware of the downside when religion and government are intertwined.

Time and time again, human rights have suffered when religion and government intermingle. Thomas Jefferson wrote that religious conviction is a private matter, one in which the government has no business. In 1819, James Madison wrote that the civil government functions with success through the separation of church and state.

Filler should be less concerned about how Christian Cruz is and more concerned about his religious beliefs unduly influencing his governmental policy decisions.

Ken Lang, Glen Head