Are You Alarmed?
The heightened emphasis on Christianity in the current election cycle is alarming. A constant declaration by political candidates about their religious beliefs and its place in politics is a red flag.
People running for political office have the right under the Constitution of the United States of America to express their views, including religious ones.
The problem with the emphasis on religion by political candidates Cruz, Rubio, Trump, and Carson et al, is that the emphasis on Christianity is coming across as superior and exclusionary – a moral test leading to fear of those with differing beliefs.
Constantly announcing one’s credentials of religious faith is no verification that a politician is fair, compassionate, and tolerant. The opposite is evident in statements that Muslims should be barred entry into the U.S., a Muslim can’t be President of the United States and that under his presidency we’ll make the sand in Syria and Iraq glow…because we will carpet bomb “them.”
The placement of Christianity in a central position of this political process is antithetical to Article six of the U.S. Constitution.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The modern concept of a wholly secular government is sometimes credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase “separation of church and state” in this context is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.
History shows us that when religion and politics are married the birth child is a monster of exclusion, oppression and an attitude of superiority. The irony is that religion talks about promoting love, compassion, fairness, and justice; but more often than not, the talk and actions of these politicians focus on hate-filled anger of the “other.” This attitude is one example of Fascism.
Perhaps we can agree on one thing. This election is a contest of moral values. Will we as the electorate allow a politician to turn us away from our secular foundation and toward a Theocracy?