I strongly protest politicians advocating an “absolute wall of separation between church and state.” Probably I do not know — nor has it been explicit — what an “absolute wall” means.
The phrase “wall of separation” was in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptists in 1802. Roger Williams in 1644 had advocated a “hedge or wall of separation.” There is a difference between a wall and a hedge — penetrability and visibility. (Once I heard that Jefferson spoke of “a line of separation between church and state,” but I could not find the citation.)
One cannot bifurcate one’s civic self from religious self — and I hope no one tries. As a voter, I value knowing what the candidate is and believes. Such data informs my choices. Candidate John F. Kennedy provided significant understanding, which I expect (almost) all candidates to affirm publicly and personally.
A “line of separation between church and state” for me means there is an institutional separation and a functional interaction between church and state. A “wall” is impossible and prohibitive. And an “absolute wall”?