[I]n this particular election I think (Republican pundit) Peggy Noonan said it best “people are literally being given a doctrinal frisk, a pat down, about their (religion).” Candidates are being asked whether other candidates are going to heaven. That’s something really unique.
That was Reed Dickens, of the Newport Beach corporate communications firm Outside Eyes. He had been an assistant press secretary for President George W. Bush, and he’s now part a bi-partisan team of producers behind a new documentary about faith in politics: “Article VI.” The title refers to a clause in the Constitution prohibiting a “religious test” of political candidates, as that article declares that candidates should not have to ascribe to a particular religious doctrine to qualify for high office.
But even though it’s unconstitutional to subject candidates to a religious test, are we still doing it anyways? After all, look at all the scrutiny that Mitt Romney is receiving because of his Mormon faith. Look at all the wildly false rumors being spread about Barack Obama, just because his father was raised as a Muslim. Look at how Mike Huckabee is using his past as a evangelical Baptist minister to tout himself as a “Christian Leader”. Are we now violating Article VI by discussing the religious beliefs (or rumors of religious beliefs) of the candidates at such great length that we may be making religion into a big factor in the election?
What do you think about the role of religion in presidential politics? Is is fair? Is it consititutional? Or is it really more minimal than folks like Reed Dickens are making it out to be?
I want to hear what you have to say. Have you seen the disgusting emails throwing wild accusations about Barack Obama, casting doubt on his Christian faith? Have you seen some Christian fundamentalists question whether Mitt Romney is really a Christian because he’s a Mormon? And what do you think about all this hoopla over religion in politics.
Go ahead and have your say.