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. The first, which conservatives are winning, is defending the legitimacy of religion in the public square. The second, which conservatives are bound to lose, is proclaiming the privileged status of religion in political life.
Apparently even the folks on the right are getting irritated with the candidates interjecting religion into everything!
5. You say "even the folks on the right are getting irritated..."
More to the point:
Why didn't folks on the right get irritated back when it was only the Republicans interjecting religion into everything? I suspect that Charles Krauthammer didn't write a column like this back in 2000 when George W. Bush said his favorite political philosopher is Jesus.
Only now that Democrats have learned to play this cynical yet effective game, you find conservatives like Krauthammer complaining about it.
I think they were using that wing of the party to get elected. They did not anticipate that the fundies would become the dominant wing of the party. Of course it did not help that they screwed up with iraq and iran. The neo-cons have had no interest whatsoever and have even said so (KKKRove said this directly about a year ago).
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.
Where "a certain kind of liberal" equals "My imaginary one."
Liberals have great arguments in favor of stem cell research, and when they argue with stupid Fundies who believe in "ensoulment", they don't have to bother trekking to the First Amendment's Establishment clause.
Seriously, I've never heard anyone go there. Not ever.
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.