Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Religion and Politics: Thank you Dr. Krauthammer (update)
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 14, 2007

Because he says what I and others have been saying for some time now - enough with the religious tests and enough with religious talk:
Mitt Romney declares, "Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." Barack Obama opens his speech at his South Carolina Oprah rally with "Giving all praise and honor to God. Look at the day that the Lord has made." Mike Huckabee explains his surge in the polls thus: "There's only one explanation for it, and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people."

This campaign is knee-deep in religion, and it's only going to get worse. I'd thought that the limits of professed public piety had already been achieved during the Republican CNN/YouTube debate when some squirrelly looking guy held up a Bible and asked, "Do you believe every word of this book?" — and not one candidate dared reply: None of your damn business.

Instead, Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee bent a knee and tried appeasement with various interpretations of scriptural literalism. The right answer, the only answer, is that the very question is offensive. The Constitution prohibits any religious test for office. And while that proscribes only government action, the law is also meant to be a teacher.

In the same way that civil rights laws established not just the legal but also the moral norm that one simply does not discriminate on the basis of race — changing the practice of one generation and the consciousness of the next — so the constitutional injunction against religious tests is meant to make citizens understand that such tests are profoundly un-American.

Now, there's nothing wrong with having a spirited debate on the place of religion in politics. But the candidates are confusing two arguments.
Got that? If you're a politician, I don't care what your religion is. I don't care if you are religious. What I care about is your character, your ethics, your public record and your ideas. And while I understand your religion could have a certain level of effect on the development of all of those things, that isn't the point.

As Krauthammer further points out, on the one hand:
A certain kind of liberal argues that having a religious underpinning for any public policy is disqualifying because it is an imposition of religion on others. Thus, if your opposition to embryonic stem cell research comes from a religious belief in the ensoulment of life at conception, you're somehow violating the separation of church and state by making other people bend to your religion.

This is absurd. Abolitionism, civil rights, temperance, opposition to the death penalty — a host of policies, even political movements, have been rooted for many people in religious teaching or interpretation. It's ridiculous to say that therefore abolitionism, civil rights, etc., constitute an imposition of religion on others.

Imposing religion means the mandating of religious practice. It does not mean the mandating of social policy that some people may have come to support for religious reasons.
That argument is made more times than we can count, and it is an absurd argument. We all come from different religious and philosophical backgrounds and we are creatures of those backgrounds. Those raised in a religious households who demand public policy reflect their beliefs are no more imposing their religion on anyone than are atheists brought up in secular households demanding their beliefs become public policy.

However:
But a certain kind of conservative is not content to argue that a religious underpinning for a policy is not disqualifying. He insists that it is uniquely qualifying, indeed that it confers some special status.

Romney has been faulted for not throwing at least one bone of acknowledgment to nonbelievers in his big religion speech last week. But he couldn't, because the theme of the speech was that there was something special about having your values drawn from religious faith. Indeed, faith is politically indispensable. "Freedom requires religion," Romney declared, "just as religion requires freedom."

But this is nonsense — as Romney then proceeded to demonstrate in that very same speech. He spoke of the empty cathedrals in Europe. He's right about that: Postwar Europe has experienced the most precipitous decline in religious belief in the history of the West. Yet Europe is one of the freest precincts on the planet. It is an open, vibrant, tolerant community of more than two dozen disparate nations living in a pan-continental harmony and freedom unseen in all previous European history.
This is equally frustrating and tiresome. Leave religion where it belongs - a personal belief system. It isn't a unique qualifier nor should it be introduced into the political discourse as one. If you believe it to be so, then act on it personally in the voting booth. But for heaven sake, you can't have it both ways. You can't claim that your religious faith is a unique qualifier and then whine about the fact that a religious test is then, even unofficially, applied by the electorate.

Religion and faith have a place in every society. But that place isn't in the public political arena. And while I think some zealots go absurdly overboard with their "separation of church and state" opposition, for the most part, it serves us well to keep religion at arm's length and at a personal level when talking about politics. As Krauthammer concludes:
It's two centuries since the passage of the First Amendment and our presidential candidates still cannot distinguish establishment from free exercise.
Unfortunately neither has the media or the electorate.

UPDATE: Peggy Noonan is on the same theme:
What is happening in Iowa is no longer boring but big, and may prove huge.

The Republican race looks—at the moment—to be determined primarily by one thing, the question of religious faith. In my lifetime faith has been a significant issue in presidential politics, but not the sole determinative one. Is that changing? If it is, it is not progress.
If Republicans want to ensure a loss in '08, they'll allow this framing of their side of the nomination process to go unchallenged. And they will get trounced if they do.

Instead, they need to take Krauthammer's advice and start saying "none of your damned business" when the press and political opponents start pressing the 'faith' button.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
"... a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people"

Although I am only ordained in the Universal Life Church, my understanding of the scripture is that JC was a little too old to be characterized as "a little boy" when he fed the multitude.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Seemingly strong, yet a wimpy note — where is the mention of Roe vs. Wade?

The most fervent pro-life people are believers (perhaps mirrored by the pro-abortion people who are "religiously" atheist?).

Until the legislatures make the law about when Human Rights are conferred upon living human organisms, the abortion debate will remain the key culture-war issue. And probably even after, but with less feelings of political injustice.


Let us also remember the hypocrisy of such anti-Christian Media institutes such as the New York Times, or Columbia University, where "piss-Christ" and any offensive anti-Christian message is "religiously" protected freedom of speech, but criticism of Muslims, or even showing 12 cartoons of Mohammed, are considered hate speech and thus censored.

The ascendancy of anti-Christian PC "Hate speechers" makes explicit professions of Christian faith more required to get a Church going Christian’s vote. The exorcism of big-gov’t pro-lifers out of the Dem Party has allowed them to ally with small-gov’t pro-liberty folk in winning elections for the Reps, but it’s not an easy alliance.


The currently powerful anti-Christian ACLU is successfully eliminating Christian emblems on state flags and insignia, the Mass. SC court is declaring gay-marriage as equal (thus setting up “hate speech” liability for any Christian who calls gay-sex sinful, as a Swedish preacher has already been prosecuted, though not convicted).

The changes in society over the last 25 years have primarily been anti-Christian. The pro-life movement has been the whispering “we’re not going to take it.” Current political “proclamations of faith” are the first statements of the backlash against an elitist anti-Christianity in media and academia.

In Slovakia the Constitutional Court just made a ruling essentially allowing abortions on demand for the first 12 weeks, after a campaign against that ruling which included large pictures of mutilated human fetuses. (The Slovak Constitution protects the right to life even before birth.)


It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe it will degenerate into a Palestinian-Israeli kind of generational grievances. From my own pro-life small-gov’t viewpoint, the bigger victims forced to live against their consciences have been the pro-life Christians. And as long as most social & political changes are making life more uncomfortable for devout Christians, they will be looking more closely for politicians promising less discomfort.

Not unlike other special interest minorities.
 
Written By: Tom Grey
URL: http://tomgrey.motime.com
I knew of course that Romney had made a big speech about his religion but I hadn’t listened to it — because I’m either withholding all my interest and excitement until the race is narrowed or else I’m already burned completely out on the whole blasted thing. I’m not sure. But having just learned this now, I’m quite concerned that a guy who seems to stand some sort of chance at nomination would say that "freedom requires religion." That’s as nonsensical as can be and I’m glad Krauthammer said so.

And, Tim, lacking even your credentials (no offense), I had to go through Wikipedia to find this: John 6:5-15. JC and his disciples are scrambling for a plan and Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, noticeth and saith:
9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
But even granting a nonhuman power that can make such scant resources satisfy the multitude’s appetite, I’m willing to bet it won’t do more than merely whet Huckabee’s.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
"(no offense),"

I am too holy to hold grudges, immersed unto mine eyeteeth in the Spirit.


"I’m willing to bet it won’t do more than merely whet Huckabee’s."

He doth have that lean and hungry look, and I don’t think it is all due to his dieting.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Postwar Europe has experienced the most precipitous decline in religious belief in the history of the West.
Having spent part of my early life in "postwar Europe", I have had a somewhat unique experience that puts this phenomenon in perspective.

At the end of the war, the "occupiers" start to rebuilt the "continent" from the ash heap. Much of this was paid for by taxes in the rebuilding counties. Many of the old churches and cathedrals in Europe were considered "priceless" and efforts were made to restore these "treasures". Many of the "locals" considered this priority out of line with the immediate needs of many of these destroyed communities, and resentment grew against the churches which festered itself into what we have today.

By today’s standards, this would be considered "Truman’s failure" to administer the occupation properly.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
let me preface these remarks by saying that I am not happy about Mike Huckabee’s candidacy. That said;

You’ve got this one pretty close, Bruce.

IMV, politics, and the governments and laws resulting from politics are supposed to be reflections of our deepest values, and both the cultural and a personal level. This is why morality and law are so often linked. Indeed, I have made the point that they are inexorably linked. So, too, is religion linked. That’s because religion, is supposed to be DRIVING our deepest values.

If we understand (as I have argued for years) that the purpose of government is to codify and enforce the values of the culture that gave it life, and also to hopefully extend the influence of that culture within the world… then the influence of religious values in our government will be a product of the degree to which religion is a part of the culture itself. This is not mandating religion; it is simply reacting to, and holding respect for the culture, as government should; this is the proper relationship.

The problem comes along as to where exactly to draw the line between a proper expression of cultural values and where those values come from in each of the candidates, and an excessive "religious test" in the election process. in the end, that’s the choice is going to have to be made by the individual candidates as they look over history and see what’s happened to politicians who have tread those paths previously. The government, nor for that matter the press, has no place in making those choices.

In truth, any limitation on references to religion in the electoral process, is going to run directly afoul of the First Amendment. In my view, it will also run directly afoul of the concept of "no religious test for high office." what the candidates do before they get into office and the decision-making process by which the American people execute their right to vote, isn’t anyone else’s business.

If someone’s religion is what they want to run on, (and clearly in the case of both Romney and Huckabee, that’s a choice they’ve made, to varying degrees) then the voters will have to decide the matter. And trust me, so they will.

Personally, I expect over reliance on the subject will cost them votes, not win votes. But by all means let them run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. It’s their political life.... or death.

As you suggest, Bruce, that does not constitute a government based test for religion for high elective office. What that constitutes in my view is an attempt by the person running for that office to tap a previously untapped segment of the electorate. whether or not, then attempt succeeds depends entirely on how accurately they’re reading the electorate. Personally, I must say, they’re well off base. That is, if they are reading the whole of the country to be in the same mold as Iowa.

Tim seems a fair enough example of this; he doesn’t seem exactly steeped in the Gospels, and thereby doesn’t have much of a context for the messages that Huckabee has been sending. I would suggest that Tim is not alone there, either. (By the way, Linda has the story correct.)

And there is the other thing I have to say; I think Peggy Noonan overstates the case rather dramatically when she questions whether or not this one issue is going to be the sole determining factor in the presidential election. I think it’s a serious factor in the breadbasket states, but notice that in the New England states, New Hampshire, particularly, not so much. I think in those states in the Northeast in particular, there are a number of people who remember a certain president from the state of Georgia who lays claim to being among the most moral of the Presidents, and certainly a likable individual on a personal basis, but proved to be a complete disaster in his presidency, that being Jimmy Carter.

Be that as it may, I think what we have here is Huckabee playing to the audience he has in Iowa,(and playing the one strength he has, in my view) and Romney playing along so as not to get too far off the winning position in that one state. The rest of the determining factors are going to show up as time goes on, and we move toward super Tuesday. Further, the lay of the political argument is going to be dramatically different once we get past the nomination process.(can you imagine a discussion about religion between Huckabee and Hillary Clinton, let’s say? Yikes!)

In the end, I don’t see this as anything but a diversion. We’ve already discussed several times about how this fixation on Huckabee, is well overblown. I wonder if this fixation on religion in politics isn’t overblown as well, given that his religiosity is his sole strong point.

finally, there is this; there has always been an anti-religious spin in the mainstream media. As long as I’ve been alive. Back in the day it was demonstrated rather handily with with regards to JFK and his (rather loosely held) Catholicism. Back about the same time, we heard arguments about Romney’s father, who was also a Mormon. And of course we see daily examples of fundamentalist Christians, evangelicals, being cast as complete idiots at every opportunity. I have to wonder in all honesty, if what we’re seeing here isn’t the mainstream media giving Huckabee enough rope to hang himself with the majority of the electorate.

it’s true, the left can’t seem to agree on lunch lately, much less some kind of a political plan of attack, but that it’s working so effectively in Huckabee’s case, it seems logical to raise the possibility.


PS:
By today’s standards, this would be considered "Truman’s failure" to administer the occupation properly.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
oops... smaller resolution foule dme up... I hit the button while trying to select that last line.
Let’s try again:

PS:
By today’s standards, this would be considered "Truman’s failure" to administer the occupation properly.
Mostly that’s because people of today, he failed to understand what a central part of the culture. The church was and for many people remains. On many levels. It is the hub of the community.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Unsurprisingly, I think Bithead has it exactly right.

On what grounds do you and Dr. Krauthammer get to just rule religion ’off limits’ as a discussion topic? Pretty high handed for Livid Terriers, isn’t it? :p

Why not just let people decide for themselves. We’re not as dumb as some people seem to think, and somehow I really don’t think we need to be afraid old Romney is going to whip out the old Comfy Chair.

But then no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition... do they?

Sheesh.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
On what grounds do you and Dr. Krauthammer get to just rule religion ’off limits’ as a discussion topic?
I don’t think either one of us are saying it is "off limits". Again, look his conclusion:
It’s two centuries since the passage of the First Amendment and our presidential candidates still cannot distinguish establishment from free exercise.
They’re welcome to talk about how religion has and does play a part in their lives and their principles. Just don’t start straying into the "establishment" direction when talking about your policies. And, for the media and electorate, figure it out - the Constitution isn’t at all vague about this - there shall be no religious test for any office. Period.

Candidates should be judged on character, ethics, record and ideas, no matter what their foundation.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You cannot, must not, separate the two.
Politics without religion to inform and lead it, is blind!
Religion without politics to carry and strengthen it, is lame!
The problem is that American politicians all too often seek for personal advantage by wearing God on their sleeve!
If ever we saw a process where many are called but only one will be chosen, it is THIS American election!
But one thing I guarantee you: Only God knows who will be the anointed one!
As Rabbi Akiva said "All is known and yet Free Will is given!"
 
Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://
They’re welcome to talk about how religion has and does play a part in their lives and their principles. Just don’t start straying into the "establishment" direction when talking about your policies. And, for the media and electorate, figure it out - the Constitution isn’t at all vague about this - there shall be no religious test for any office. Period.
Or, at the least, if you’re going to propose a policy, at least have a secular reason for proposing it. I bring that up, because it appears to me that the leave worded it believes is in danger of rejecting a policy simply because it happens to parallel somebody’s religious views.

Also;

Bruce, there is a major difference... a very bright line... between the various party primaries, discussing religion, and discussing religion within the halls of government itself, and using governmental action to control it. The Constitution limits the actions of government, not of the various political parties. you are treading very dangerous ground here, when you start telling us what should and should not be discussed as a part of the election process. Those limitations, to be enforced, require control. Governmental control. Somehow I don’t think that’s what you want.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
you are treading very dangerous ground here, when you start telling us what should and should not be discussed as a part of the election process.
Show me where I’ve suggested they shouldn’t discuss religion.

It’s about how they discuss something, not what they discuss. As Krauthammer says, the difference between establishment and free exercise.

And I’ve also made the point that the intention of the founders, as reflected in the Constitution, was that there would be no religious test for any office.

That leaves you with assessing their qualifications on other grounds than religious ones. And their reasoning again went to the difference between establishment and free exercise.

If there’s a religious test, you violate the establishment ban. If they talk about how their religion has helped them form their principles, that, at least to me, falls under the free exercise portion. If they claim that the US is a Christian nation and a policy that all wives must submit to their husbands as a matter of law (yes, a silly but obvious example), then we’re back to establishment, etc.

That’s the differentiation being made here. And no one is even hinting that anyone control anything. What’s being suggested is the candidates, media and voters take a moment and figure out the difference and recognize that one is fine and something we want and the other isn’t and we should resist it and point it out to those who may wander into that particular area with their political rhetoric.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I don’t see either establishment or free exercise here.

I think this is kind of silly, Bruce (not that you are silly, because you’re obviously not - just that the idea is silly). We are all free to think whatever we want, for whatever reasons, God-given or otherwise. It’s when we act on our thoughts in contravention of law that we get into trouble :p

If a candidate claims the US is a Christian nation and believes that all wives must submit to their husbands as a matter of law, then he is incapable of taking the oath of office, isn’t he? Because his personal beliefs conflict with US law and he cannot faithfully uphold and execute the laws of the United States.

It’s a moot point, as Romney so elegantly put it in his speech - that’s the only question that need be asked of a person of faith: can you faithfully uphold the laws of this country? YES OR NO?

But Krauthammer is suggesting that it is somehow improper to ask about religion. But people are people, and they are curious, especially about a subject like Mormonism. It is important to them, and it is not up to him to decide what they will ask about, nor is it up to him how candidates should answer. And it is time for people to stop being squeamish about religion and treat it like any other subject - stop the posturing, stop the grandstanding. Wouldn’t it be nice if (one day) it just because like any other biographical detail because we didn’t make such a big deal about it?
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://villainouscompany.com/vcblog
you are treading very dangerous ground here, when you start telling us what should and should not be discussed as a part of the election process.
Show me where I’ve suggested they shouldn’t discuss religion.
You’re suggesting, (And so is Doctor Krauthammer) that they’ve crossed a line somewhere. That kind of assertion usually ends up in calls for governmental action on the matter.

Well, on what basis have they crossed a line? Certainly not on legal grounds, since there is no legal weight to bring to bear on it. That they’ve offended some folks? Well, certainly that’s true, but that’s the extent of their offense, in my view... which they’ll likely payt for next November.

And I’ve also made the point that the intention of the founders, as reflected in the Constitution, was that there would be no religious test for any office.

That leaves you with assessing their qualifications on other grounds than religious ones. And their reasoning again went to the difference between establishment and free exercise.
No, it doesn’t, and this is a point even Krauthammer grudgingly admits..

The constitution does not restrict the people, but rather the government, only. Therefore, as with all the Constitution, the restriction on tests as to religion is a restriction on the government, not on the voters. I can make my assessments on any damn thing I choose, and so can you. We can even base their voting decisions on the way around the wears his earpiece, or that Giuliani doesn’t.(Which, of course is why I suggested this overt religious lean will hurt Huckabee, Romney and to a lesser degree, Obama.)

So on what basis is Krauthammer suggesting we react?

If they claim that the US is a Christian nation and a policy that all wives must submit to their husbands as a matter of law (yes, a silly but obvious example), then we’re back to establishment, etc.
Hmmm. Well, let’s take your hypothetical one step farther.

First, I would have to say that there would be nothing illegal about a given candidate saying that. Nothing unconstitutional about it; that’s free expression... and don’t tell me about what’s in the Constitution, because the Constitution limits government, not the people.

As to whether or not such a candidate would make it past the electorate.... well, you know pretty well that such a candidate’s chances would be approximately equal to that of Dennis Kucinich. Therefore, the situation is self-limiting. frankly I’ve always considered that the founders had that positioning in mind.

As for the rest of your comments, I would suggest to you that at least part of what we’re seeing here is an intentional overstepping of those boundaries by the press for the purpose of derailing not just a candidacy at a party. Mike Huckabee’s candidacy has already derailed itself, and will cease to be a factor by the time super Tuesday rolls up. That, for all the reasons I’ve already stated.

But watch what happens after that; all Republicans particularly religious ones, are damned by association at that point. A guess, certainly... but such a move would certainly be the next logical step in the progression already established, as regards Huckabee, Romney, et cetera.

and if I were Krauthammer, who I generally have a great deal of respect for, by the way, I would be varied Shari about making allusions to the founders and their belief about such matters:

Romney has been faulted for not throwing at least one bone of acknowledgment to nonbelievers in his big religion speech last week. But he couldn’t, because the theme of the speech was that there was something special about having your values drawn from religious faith. Indeed, faith is politically indispensable. "Freedom requires religion," Romney declared, "just as religion requires freedom."

But this is nonsense — as Romney then proceeded to demonstrate in that very same speech. He spoke of the empty cathedrals in Europe. He’s right about that: Postwar Europe has experienced the most precipitous decline in religious belief in the history of the West. Yet Europe is one of the freest precincts on the planet.
first of all, we notice. Just yesterday, the whole of Europe signing away the sovereignty of the European nations. My guess is, that they’re not going to be free for a long. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Krauthammer Mrs. big time, the historical take on such matters:
Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.

Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts (1798-10-11)

I say again, generally speaking, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Dr. Charles Krauthammer, but in this case, his argument is simply not supported by the historical facts.

He is offended, so are you, apparently and perhaps that is the correct thing to be in this case. But that’s where my sympathy and support ends.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
You’re suggesting, (And so is Doctor Krauthammer) that they’ve crossed a line somewhere. That kind of assertion usually ends up in calls for governmental action on the matter.
Oh BS. First, neither of us is suggesting they’ve crossed any line nor is there even a hint of suggestion that the "government" should take "action" on the matter.

Establishment.

Free exercise.

See if you can wrap your head around those two concepts and understand them before you go making anymore silly assertions.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If a candidate claims the US is a Christian nation and believes that all wives must submit to their husbands as a matter of law, then he is incapable of taking the oath of office, isn’t he? Because his personal beliefs conflict with US law and he cannot faithfully uphold and execute the laws of the United States.
There’s a whole bunch of apple and orange mixing going on here ... and in fact, that’s the point of the post.

Of course he can and would take the "oath of office" whether he believes it or not (or he wouldn’t be running for the office in the first place). Whether or not he’ll actually execute it or not is an entirely different proposition.

However, if he were a certain type of person and if he thought it would get him a step closer to "establishment", I’m pretty sure he might be able to rationalize his way through the process.

That’s actually one of the points about all of this. It is that sort of rhetoric which should warn voters away from a candidate who would make such statements. He doesn’t know the difference between establishment and free exercise, or if he does, he’s willing to ignore it.

The other point has to do with how we, as citizens, should consider our candidates. It shouldn’t be based solely on their religion. Obviously you will weigh it - I have absolutely no problem with that - but the point of the clause in the Constitution is to remind us that we shouldn’t disqualify any candidate solely for his religion.

Thus the prohibition against any religious test for any office.
It’s a moot point, as Romney so elegantly put it in his speech - that’s the only question that need be asked of a person of faith: can you faithfully uphold the laws of this country? YES OR NO?
I believe that’s basically what I argued Cass:
If you’re a politician, I don’t care what your religion is. I don’t care if you are religious. What I care about is your character, your ethics, your public record and your ideas. And while I understand your religion could have a certain level of effect on the development of all of those things, that isn’t the point.
If a candidate is running, there is simply no reason to run if the answer to your question is "no" is there? So, speaking of moot points, that seems to be one.

And that brings us back to the appropriate role for religion and politics in the US and the point of Krauthammer and my discussion.
But Krauthammer is suggesting that it is somehow improper to ask about religion.
Not as I read his article. He’s saying it has no place in a public policy debate if, as you claim, the most important consideration is whether they can faithfully uphold the laws of this country - one would think by this time, that’s been settled.

Establishment v. free exercise.

You can’t, on the one hand, require no religious test to hold office and then, on the other hand, pretend that a particular religion (the office holder’s) then has an appropriate place at the policy debate table. As an influencer outside the political process? Of course. It always has had that sort of a role. But nothing more.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Oh BS. First, neither of us is suggesting they’ve crossed any line nor is there even a hint of suggestion that the "government" should take "action" on the matter.
Really? How else am I supposed to take...
You can’t, on the one hand, require no religious test to hold office and then, on the other hand, pretend that a particular religion (the office holder’s) then has an appropriate place at the policy debate table. As an influencer outside the political process? Of course. It always has had that sort of a role. But nothing more.
and you constant...
Establishment v. free exercise..
.. other than a line has been crossed? Tell me, who has ventured into establishment territory, and when, specifically?

And as for government action, understand that I include in that statement, judicial action. As the ACLU, they been making a living at it for a few decades... you know as well as I do the nature of government, Bruce, if somebody thinks an action improper, somebody else is going to try to attach a law to it.
That’s actually one of the points about all of this. It is that sort of rhetoric which should warn voters away from a candidate who would make such statements.
And as I’ve suggested, it will. The primary factor there is voter self-interest, of course.

But Krauthammer is suggesting that it is somehow improper to ask about religion.
Not as I read his article. He’s saying it has no place in a public policy debate if, as you claim, the most important consideration is whether they can faithfully uphold the laws of this country
That’s an awfully fine line, you’re drawing, there.... damn near contradictory with itself.

(Shrug) OK... on that basis...

I suppose the question of if or it not it should be part of the public debate, to depend on how one arrives at the understanding of how faithful a candidate will be to that goal of upholding the laws, etc. For some, the question is in large part defined by how seriously he takes his religion, and that as an indication of how well one keeps his word. Why would that be an irrelevant or improper discussion?

As a point of comparison; Consider Bill Clinton wandering out of the church with a huge bible under one arm... one he’s apparently not cracked in years... versus Romney’s "I have a Religion" speech. there are many questions and many answers which are inherent in that comparison. The biggest question that I can think of is, who you would trust more of the two to keep his word about remaining faithful to the laws of the country...

Personally, as little as I like Huckabee, I have to consider that the chances of him, wagging his finger at the news media and saying "I did not have sex with that woman." are rather small. I would also consider the chances of Huckabee, breaking other laws to be similarly smaller, than I would The Clintons.

This would seem a completely reasonable area of discussion, to me. Such discussions to my mind are completely relevant of the mindset of the candidate under scrutiny. Now, it certainly wouldn’t be the only point I would judge a candidate by, and frankly I don’t think that’s going to happen in America in any event, with much of anybody.

I will close with a passing thought;

Identity politics. Is that what’s being engaged in here?



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider