In the most recent Republican presidential debate the candidates were asked about the role of religion in political debate, in the aftermath of Perry surrogates attacking Romney for being a Mormon and saying that no Christian should vote for a non-Christian. Their answers were variously ridiculous and amusing. Gingrich pretty much rules any non-believer out of consideration for public office:
GINGRICH: Well, I think if the question is, does faith matter? Absolutely. How can you have a country which is founded on truths which begins we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights? How can you have the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which says religion, morality and knowledge being important, education matters. That’s the order: religion, morality and knowledge.
Now, I happen to think that none of us should rush in judgment of others in the way in which they approach God. And I think that all of us up here I believe would agree….
But I think all of us would also agree that there’s a very central part of your faith in how you approach public life. And I, frankly, would be really worried if somebody assured me that nothing in their faith would affect their judgments, because then I’d wonder, where’s your judgment — how can you have judgment if you have no faith? And how can I trust you with power if you don’t pray?…
Who you pray to, how you pray, how you come close to God is between you and God. But the notion that you’re endowed by your creator sets a certain boundary on what we mean by America.
See, it’s okay if you believe in God — any God will do (except Muslims, of course). But if you don’t pray, you can’t be president. If you don’t ask imaginary beings for help, he can’t trust you. Because Newt is so trustworthy himself. Just ask all his ex-wives.