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Church-State Separation? Not for Presidential Candidates

I’ve been preoccupied with the Cyprus disaster — that’s where my family is from, where I was traveling last month — and some stories I’m working on, so please excuse the blogging delays.

There’s been plenty of headlines lately concerning the beliefs of our Republican presidential contenders. I always find this trend ironic, given the American concept of separation of church and state — sure, it’s not in the U.S. Constitution as such (although religious freedom could be interpreted that way), but it’s a principle that dates back to our founding fathers and has represented us around the world. Even the Dalai Lama has gotten on board!


But, it seems that you can’t be a viable presidential candidate without the right Christian bonafides — who can forget all the coverage of Obama’s faith, first regarding his relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, then on whether he’s some kind of secret Muslim, and eternally which church he drops by on Sundays and holidays? Now his 2012 opponents, and their families, are under the microscope:


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted July 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Highly religious people seem to make the same mistakes over and over. GWB made the right religious noises and was elected almost entirely by the strongly religious and he was the worst president we’ve probably ever had. He and his Republican cronies left the giant messes the Democrats have been trying to cure. And now the strongly religious again demand the right religious noises from their candidates rather than morality or common sense.

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posted July 14, 2011 at 6:30 am

Presidential candidates know they must declare or present their position on faith. It can be every bit as important as their stance on issues.
Most, unfortunately not all, care about a candidates faith and equate that with having a moral compass in decision making. Unfortunately, some political candidates just use a profession of faith as another tool to pander to voters. Then, after taking office, their faith or moral belief system basically changes with the wind to aid their position on current issues. I prefer a person of faith in office, real faith, not convenient faith for election purposes. The gross misconception of the separation of church and state only feeds the base of the radical secular left. Faith is inconvenient and uncomfortable when they are supporting immoral issues. So yes, God bless America!

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posted July 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

See what I mean? And Bob doesn’t say how he’ll find his person of “real faith” since his god hasn’t seen fit to identify them. How easy it would be for a god of power and concern to hang a halo over the heads of those of real faith.

But shouldn’t we elect people of morals and knowledge and intelligence and with a history of working successfully with people of other opinions? Our nation is facing a credibility crisis because of a bunch of idiots who won’t compromise with people trying to save the USA.

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posted July 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

We are what we eat.

We are also what we read, listen to, watch, and play. If religious traditions feed our spirits, then they help shape our perceptions, choices, and decisions. Therefore there is some viability to knowing what a candidates religious orientation may be. In the case of GWB – the Scarecrow – he was simply pandering to a group the Tinman (Cheney) thought would – and did – support him. It became clear he had no idea for what they they stood or believed – as long as they stood with and believed in him while they were in the voting booth. The Tinman made no profession of belief, which tells you something right there (he clearly believes in himself and little else – reducing him further to the role of Oz, the little man pulling levers and manipulating his voice and the people)

HOWEVER, I do not believe that any person’s religious affiliation neither qualifies nor disqualifies them for elected office any more than preferring Harry Potter over Moby Dick is a point of qualification. It is simply a point of information that should, if properly represented, become one of many considerations.

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posted July 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

Highly religious people seem to make the same mistakes over and over

Even Muslims, nnmns?

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posted July 18, 2011 at 1:18 am

GWB made the right religious noises and was elected almost entirely by the strongly religious and he was the worst president we’ve probably ever had. He and his Republican cronies

Wow. Three years out of office and Bush is still living under your bed. It must be tough to keep carrying that boogeyman around all day and night.

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