A Real Religious Test for Office

Should there be a religion test for high office? The Constitution says no.

But in truth, there is one. And it’s as strong as ever.

Sam Smith says it well:

We are once again being treated to that remarkably self-serving and hypocritical myth that there should be no religious test for high office. For one thing, it’s a lie: if you aren’t religious, you don’t get high office. For another thing, if you are religious, you spend a good deal of your campaign convincing some voters just how faithful you are while trying to fool the rest into thinking that it doesn’t make any difference. In both cases, the unusual aspect of the test is that no one is meant to think it exists.

He proposes a set of questions that would serve as a real religious test for those seeking your vote.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Does the candidate belong to one of the more exotic sects such as Scientology or Mormonism? What does this suggest about the candidate’s ability to deal rationally with real situations and the quality of that candidate’s judgment?
  • Which aspects of the candidate’s religion or its history will that candidate openly condemn?
  • Is faith used by the candidate as a space filler for the absence of facts or is it used as a false replacement for facts?
  • Does faith primarily influence the candidate by providing positive values or by supplying wildly unsupportable information posing as truth?
  • Would the candidate support the end of discrimination against secularists? For example, would the candidate support an atheist opening sessions of the Senate and would the candidate host idea breakfasts as well as prayer breakfasts at the White House?

There are plenty more where those came from.

If those questions were asked of the candidates, it might make the primary debates worth watching.

(via Harold, Daily)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    “idea breakfasts” Just the thought of that in Washington gives me an Atheigasm!

  • Miko

    Does the candidate belong to one of the more exotic sects such as Scientology or Mormonism? What does this suggest about the candidate’s ability to deal rationally with real situations and the quality of that candidate’s judgment?

    I’m confused. Is the implication that the candidates are inherently less rational if their parents belonged to a religion with fewer adherents?

  • http://www.thearizonasingularity.blogspot.com Fumui

    Miko,

    I think that what is meant by that statement is that the so-called “exotic” sects are generally looked upon by mainstream christianity as cults with even stranger beliefs than is generally accepted (as well as a non-members knowledge of a specific sects belief’s is usually lacking). Therefore, the value system of a member of those sects is suspect, and as such their judgement would be questionable.

  • Vincent

    I keep wondering how many openly atheistic candidates for high office there have been who have not made it because of their atheism.
    I know the polls say people won’t vote for an atheist, but has anyone tried?

  • Mriana

    I don’t think anyone has tried. I think what would be interesting is if a person was really an atheist, but faked it until s/he was in office. Thing is, that would be unethical and I can’t imagine someone who really was qualified and an atheist doing that. Wait! Politicians are as bad as use car salesmen, so who am I kidding?

  • Vincent

    Well, some have suggest Dick Cheney did just that.
    He certainly has been quoted as saying some nasty things about the religious nuts he consults with.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X