The Christian Right’s Conveniently Dishonest Definition of a ‘Religious Test’

The Christian Right’s Conveniently Dishonest Definition of a ‘Religious Test’ April 24, 2018

Sen. Cory Booker has been questioning Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo about how his anti-gay religious views would affect American policy on the mistreatment of LGBT people in other countries. Predictly, the Christian right is throwing a tantrum over it, dishonestly and hypocritically accusing him of establishing a religious test for office, which would be forbidden by the Constitution.

Here’s the American Family Association’s inane and dishonest take on it, where the banner at the top has a picture of Pompeo with the text “There shall be no religious test for public office.”

Sen. Booker is saying that Mr. Pompeo’s views on homosexuality “do matter” as an individual, but such a person as Mr. Pompeo cannot hold these religious views and still be a qualified nominee for the U.S. Secretary of State.

Sen. Booker’s lack of concurrence or refusal to vote for Mr. Pompeo on the basis of his religious beliefs is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution clearly provides that there shall be no religious test for any person to public office. It states:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (Emphasis added.)

When Sen. Booker took the oath of office to the U.S. Senate, he swore he would “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution of the United States. Sen. Booker has violated his oath of office, and the Senate should censure or condemn his radical, unconstitutional comments.

Yeah. What you’re smelling there is pure, Grade-A bovine excrement and it’s incredibly hypocritical. They will argue on the one hand that a Christian must have their religious views inform their support for public policy — that is literally their entire reason for existing — and on the other that if anyone takes exception to the policies they support based on their religious beliefs, they’re establishing a religious test for office. Sorry, dumbkopfs, you don’t get to have it both ways.

And need I remind them that their own spokesperson and radio show host, Bryan Fischer, argues that the First Amendment covers only Christians and no one else and that no Muslim should be allowed to serve in Congress?

“So when it says there can be no religious test in Article VI, you can’t have a Christian religious test that everybody has to pass in order to be eligible for federal office,” Fischer said. “It doesn’t say a single solitary thing about Islam because the Congress wasn’t even dealing with the topic of Islam when they were putting the Constitution together.”

“I believe Muslims can and should be excluded from Congress,” Fischer added, “for the same reason that Communists can and should be and legally are, because they believe in a totalitarian system, a totalitarian ideology.”

We know from the statements of the Founding Fathers that they did intend the First Amendment to apply to all religions, and the No Religious Test clause as well (I’ve cited this many times). So who is advocating what is unconstitutional here? The AFA is, along with all the other major anti-gay Christian right groups. As usual, they are standing reality on its head and declaring that black is white and oppression is freedom. Because their goal is theocracy, plain and simple.

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