Andrew Sullivan says "it's going to be a long campaign" if we can't. I'm all for mixing personal remarks in with political analysis, and I agree with Sullivan's implication: The superficial look of things contains meaning that directly relates to the political debate.
But Sullivan is pushing the envelope in trying to legitimate criticizing people because of their religion. He seems to think that putting the word "cultural" in front of the name of a religion makes it acceptable: Once religion crosses the line from the purely religious and becomes part of the motivation for achieving various political goals, we've got to be able to criticize.
I agree that we shouldn't hang back and act respectful simply because it's religion. But anyone who takes the route and brings up religion in a political discussion invites scrutiny. Surely, he has legitimated the subject of whether he is bigoted against a religious group.