Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Posed by Russert in the Democratic debate.

Here's mine: no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public Trust under the United States.

Whatever I was originally going to write about tonight, I can't even remember it. What an outrageously inappropriate question to ask. The questions assumes that all the candidates are religious, that questions on religion are appropriate, and that the Christian religion is the only religion worth asking about. It enforces the expectation that anyone even running for office is Christian.

It doesn't matter if all the candidates actually are Christian, the entire premise of the question is inane. It would be one thing to ask "all of you have professed to being Christians -- how do you view other religions such as Islam and how will you deal with the leaders of Islamic nations?" At least that has some political point and is not a question solely for the benefit of the Christians in the audience.

The question he posed is simultaneously a softball of no value and an incredible insult to what public office is supposed to be about. If the candidates want to bring up religious beliefs on their own that is one thing, but for a moderator to pose that as if it is a very important and relevant question is crazy.

Why not just turn around and spit on every Jew, Muslim and atheist in the audience? Especially when we are currently saddled with a delusional true-believer who can justify torture, detainment and war with God's will.

Now Chris Matthews is on TV saying that it is "interesting" that some candidates could not quote exact verses. "Interesting" how exactly Chris? Are they somehow defective, lesser candidates because they don't attend weekly Bible study?

The arrogance of that question is astounding. Again, it assumes that the candidates should know the Bible well enough to quote it, as if there is something wrong with them if they can't. Asking questions aimed at testing which candidates are most devoted to Christianity is entirely counter to the no-religious-test spirit of the Constitution.

No comments: