James Mitchell (Your Views, Oct. 17) contends that religion and politics don't mix. President George Washington said, “Of all the habits and dispositions that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” In contrast, Karl Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses.” I agree with Washington, and my conviction is supported by the decline in American character brought about by liberalism over the past 50 years. A religious faith can't be “imposed upon” a people who can think for themselves. The First Amendment clearly grants the rights to free speech and religious exercise with no exception to venue or audience. No twist of those rights includes a right to silence those for whom some hold contempt.