I was surprised by the recent syndicated commentary piece by Charlotte Allen (“Politics and religion can mix,” Sept. 10). It seemed very one-sided to me.

The amount of name-calling and labeling that occurs on both the political left and right is appalling, but fairly evenly distributed.

For example, liberals who criticize policies of members of the right are frequently labeled anti-Christian or anti-religious.

The implication that one cannot be a dedicated Christian and a liberal is offensive and inaccurate.

Most of us know individuals who live their faith and work diligently to benefit others. Such individuals rarely broadcast their faith as such. Theirs is a personal, private commitment.

The effect of allowing personal religious ideology to direct national policies is not inconsequential.

It results in the impairment of embryonic stem cell research in this country, lack of effective family planning programs for Third World countries receiving U.S. foreign aid, imposition of abstinence-only sex education programs in our schools, and attempts to teach Creationism in science classes. These are but a few examples that come to mind.

I would not disagree, however, with the title of the commentary.

Politics and religion can mix. I would simply pose the question: Should they?