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Attn Democrats: For Your Love of Country, Please Shut Up Now - Elf M. Sternberg
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Attn Democrats: For Your Love of Country, Please Shut Up Now
All day today, I've read and/or heard left wing pundits whining about the recent event at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. Warren asked question of John McCain and Barack Obama regarding their faith and the way that faith would inform their presidencies, and apparently that's got the entire lefty chattering class up and screaming that it was a "violation of the First Amendment's separation of church and state" (yah, I'm looking at you, Stephanie Miller) and a "violation of the Constitution's ban on religious tests for public office" (you too, Rachel Maddow).

It was nothing of the sort. It was mainstream, ordinary electioneering.

Read the Constitution of the United States. All Article IV, section 3 says is that our government may not forbid someone from holding an office for reasons of that person's religious affiliation. All the First Amendment says, traditionally interpreted, is that our government may not recognize any religion as official, may not fund or otherwise advantage any religion over another, and may not bar or otherwise interfere in a citizen's ordinary practice of his or her religion.

Rick Warren is not our government. The Saddleback Church is not an official state institution. Warren is, from an electoral standpoint, an ordinary citizen (albeit one with a large and influential audience), and ordinary citizens are allowed to ask any questions they want; to interfere in that would be an unwarranted attack on our liberty as citizens and electors. If the government forbade that speech then that would be advantaging a religious viewpoint (or an irreligious one). Warren is free to host election events and if he somehow maintains the appearance of political neutrality he might even benefit from that traditional constitutional violation, tax-exempt status.

Get over it. No laws were broken, not even in spirit, not even in appearance. Not remotely.

A similar idea is that somehow we asked questions of the candidates that we'd be forbidden from asking if they were interviewing for a job. Some pundits even go so far as to claim that the presidency is "a job."

The presidency is a political office. I have no illusions that it's not a daily effort, but it isn't a "job". He doesn't get "hired." Campaigning is vastly different from interviewing for a job, and the role of president is equally different from that of CEO. Presidents, governors, even mayors get powers that are far beyond the financial disadvantaging that a boss may use, and we are (and should be) allowed to ask any questions we want.

If you want to ask questions about whether on not John McCain's too old to be President, you have to let the other side consider if Obama's religious enough. They get to make that decision the same way you do.

Tags:
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Rammstein, Reise, Reise

3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: August 19th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
They can't "shut up", they're not capable of it.

Nor will your argument convience them. Such people have so swallowed EEOC-think and "Penumbra"-"logic" that actual logical and textual argumentation is just random white noise in their minds.
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: August 19th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
The question of "Who likes my invisible friend more?" is a tad less critical than "Is this guy a senile old bastard who's likely to start World War III by picking a fight with Russia?" So while I agree that the particulars of the event are less to complain about, the core function remains ridiculous and borderline psychotic.

In other words, your father's mustache. =};-3
From: qtplatypus Date: August 20th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
While that is true and its quite clear that there is no legalistic restriction on this. I do however believe that the intrusion of religion into the political process is something that should be countered.

The intermingling of political and the religious is not bad because the constitution prohibits it. The the constitution prohibited it because The founding fathers of your great nation saw that it was bad. In this case the constitution acts like a railway buffer stopping a run away legislative train but that doesn't mean that people should apply the brakes before then.
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