Some very deeply religious men and women founded the United States of America. Our founders were not fearful of religion. Far from fearing it they embraced religion and endorsed a vigorous practice of one's faith. For too long the First Amendment has been interpreted and promoted as freedom from religion instead of freedom of religion as the amendment clearly states. The fathers of our country were concerned about the establishment of a state religion and the First Amendment addresses this by setting into the very foundation of our Constitution the protection of the practice of and adherence to one's beliefs. There was never any intent to eliminate religion from the public sphere nor was there a desire to remove and compartmentalize religious beliefs from the government. This is evident in our national motto and the pledge of allegiance. Too many in our government have been buffaloed and coerced into behaving as if their religious beliefs were something to keep to themselves and disregard in matters of law making.
In South Dakota we understand how valuable a healthy religious foundation can be in the trials and tribulations we all face. We understand things like praying for the safety of our loved ones, for wisdom in our leaders and even praying for rain. At the same time we practice respect for the beliefs of others and are reticent to infringe on them in the pursuit of our own faith. While serving as South Dakota's Representative I will not set aside my Christian beliefs nor forget what my faith taught me about how I should treat my fellow man. I will use it as a guide in Washington in the same manner as I do now in my daily life.