But now lets take a look at one of the most insidious of the lot: the religious "credentials" of elected officials.
Now, when I was in school in the 60s and 70s, they taught us very carefully that there was no religious test for office. In fact, if you actually read the US Constitution, in Article VI, the last paragraph states:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (emphasis mine)Now, this carries two relatively loaded concepts:
1) All elected, executive and judicial officers of the federal and state government are to be bound by oath or affirmation to uphold the Constitution.
2) No religious test is required to be passed to fill any elected or appointed office (or presumably any civil service post.)
How then, does this square with the outrage that the Christianists spewed forth over the election of a Muslim Representative, Keith Ellison, and his desire to use the Koran for his swearing in pictures? How does this settle with the comments by the blowhard Dominionist wingnut James Dobson that former Senator Fred Thompson is "not Christian enough" to be elected to the presidency, that were subsequently given airtime by the mainstream media outlets? Why in the hell is even Barack Obama, a Democrat, holding forth frequently about his faith? Is that supposed to make Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics, Atheists and Pagans want to vote for him?
It's getting to the point where if a politician wears his or her faith on their sleeve, I am less inclined to vote for them. If they feel that the best place for a photo op is in front of a megachurch, then I doubt they care enough about people like me to earn my vote.
Even Jesus said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". The secular stays secular, the laws of the land are not gods laws, and vice-versa!
The fact that for the last 10 years the mainstream madia has been like flies on shit for every little pronouncement from evangelical "leaders" like Robertson, Dobson, Haggard, Falwell, and their cohorts fills me with disgust and apprehension. Why does a secular government and media put so much weight on the blatherings of a bunch of religious power seekers that already have their own media outlets? Is it always that slow of a news day, or are the owners and editors of these giant media corporations going and drinking the Christianist Flav-R-Aid?
Essentially, these Religious Right wingnuts are turning their reach and media aided influence into a defacto religious test for office, and non Judeo-Christian(-Islamic) people automatically flunk, and the rest are graded on how well they mouth the bogus morals of the Christianist party.
BTW, if you need a religious book or preacher to tell you what is right and wrong, under the threat of hell if you don't obey, then to me you are mortally defective, and possibly a sociopath. The person who does right because it is right, not because a book or church says to, or because they expect some sort of reward in an unknown afterlife, is the truly moral person.