‘Faith’ and ‘Hope,’ ‘Hope and ‘Faith.’ The words are more than common stage names for strippers. They’re part of the religious political rhetoric permeating the 2008 presidential election. Pandering to the parishes is more than a strategic move to earn our country’s most crucial job. It’s absolutely necessary given the rising influence of the religious Right — but wrongly so. Why was JFK’s Catholicism so historical? Why is Romney’s Mormon beliefs held under such scrutiny? Why are we assuming Huckabee’s experience as a pastor makes him an ethical leader? And why are debates riddled with questions of The Bible? Any U.S. citizen can file a suit against an employer — including government — that questions their faith throughout the hiring/interview process. It’s time the application process for president follow that philosophy. Additionally, this discussion negates our Constitution’s First Amendment. While America prohibits government endorsement of a specific religion, we force our leaders to discuss a private preference within the public realm. If the separation of church and state garnered the respect it deserves, religious quizzing of presidential candidates would have ceased decades ago.