In the run up to the 2012 November election, several Republican contenders for the GOP presidential nomination have highlighted their faith as a marker of strong character. As the field narrows, the spotlight will ultimately turn to President Obama. Since he entered the national stage, our 44th president's personal religious affiliation has been a flash point, and, many say, misconstrued, but is ultimately important to the electorate, says Prof. Randall Balmer of Barnard College and Columbia University. "I think the arena of public discourse would be impoverished without voices of faith," Balmer says. Learn more about Randall Balmer here.