Thursday, October 13, 2011

The religious test-clause

I recount this simply to remind us that religious liberty depends on religious tolerance, and injecting sectarianism into politics has an ugly history. There are certain civic wounds that one doesn’t want to reopen.

This is a popular sentiment. It sounds better in the abstract. But to take one counterexample, suppose a zealous Muslim ran for POTUS. Should American voters not take his religious outlook into consideration?

One of the basic problems which this article ignores is a suppressed premise. For tolerance is, or ought to be, a two-way street. It’s counterproductive for American voters to be tolerant of other religions if other religious don’t reciprocate their tolerance. It’s silly to say a voter shouldn’t allow his religious outlook to affect his politics if the candidate’s religious outlook will affect his politics.

Of course, Mormonism isn’t Islam. But that’s the point. We need to be able to draw reasonable distinction where there really are significant differences, rather than treating all religious alike even though different religious are unalike in various ways.

We also have Romney attempting to quash legitimate discussion over the nature of Mormonism, as if that’s simply off-limits. This is the same rhetoric of intimidation that the homosexual lobby uses, as well as the Muslim lobby. That, itself, is one less reason to vote for Romney. 


  1. For me, I hide behind the Promise of God made to Abraham in Genesis and the wisdom of Job when it comes to understanding the role of voter and the elected leader of a government of the United States of America.

    The haunt is "if you remove the foundations, what can the Righteous do?"

    Here's some verses worth contemplating:

    Gen 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,
    Gen 17:2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly."
    Gen 17:3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him,
    Gen 17:4 "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
    Gen 17:5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
    Gen 17:6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
    Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.


    Job 12:13 "With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
    Job 12:14 If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
    Job 12:15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
    Job 12:16 With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his.
    Job 12:17 He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools.
    Job 12:18 He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
    Job 12:19 He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty.
    Job 12:20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders.
    Job 12:21 He pours contempt on princes and loosens the belt of the strong.
    Job 12:22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.
    Job 12:23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
    Job 12:24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
    Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

    When I put it all together, in light of what Job said above: "...Job 12:16 With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. ...". and I realize I am still learning obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints, it paralyzes me.


    Because it does appear that this country, the USA, has lost her way from her original underpinnings? It appears as though the role of the Righteousness found in the Gospel does not seem to be the motivator for the present group of politicians and businessmen vying for the nomination to run their ticket to beat the present President?

    I have to say that my heart did leaped a bit when I heard President Obama quote Psalm 46 recently when addressing the masses!

    Where then does one flee but to the Lord of Glory to be guided as to who to vote for in the coming election? He is the One who has promised to be with His Elect "in" their trouble?

    Psa 46:1 To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

  2. "But to take one counterexample, suppose a zealous Muslim ran for POTUS. Should American voters not take his religious outlook into consideration?"

    I think you still miss the point. It's not one's religious beliefs but rather the extent that person will allow those beliefs to inform public policy and if those particular values will take precedence over the Constitution and the rights guaranteed to all.

    A fundamentalist Catholic who believes contraception is a mortal sin may nevertheless acknowledge that banning its sale to married couples would be a violation of the right to privacy, for example.

    The problem with the modern religious and political ideologue is that Constitutional considerations always seem to take a back seat to imposing one's religious values on the populace. This happens on both the Left and the Right...

  3. I'm hardly missing the point when you draw distinctions that Romney didn't draw.