“God chose me for that moment!” she thrills . . .
Following up after the GOP debate controversy around asking Rep. Bachmann about the implications of her bible-based wifely submission beliefs should she become President:
This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public life — and to get over them. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.
Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a “cult” and that many others think is just weird. (Huntsman says he is not “overly religious.”) Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are both affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity — and Rick Santorum comes out of the most conservative wing of Catholicism — which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.
And let’s not skip too quickly over the new shiny thing, Rick Perry. More shocking by far than the right reverend, right-reviled Jeremiah Wright, are Perry’s chosen religious rally-mates.
Does it matter or more realistically, when and how much does it matter, to us — as “we the people” constituting this supposedly secular, democratic republic?
I honestly don’t care if Mitt Romney wears Mormon undergarments beneath his Gap skinny jeans. . . Every faith has its baggage, and every faith holds beliefs that will seem bizarre to outsiders. I grew up believing that a priest could turn a bread wafer into the actual flesh of Christ.
But I do want to know if a candidate places fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon (the text, not the Broadway musical) or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country. It matters to me whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history — in short, belongs to what an official in a previous administration once scornfully described as “the reality-based community.” I do care if religious doctrine becomes an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises.
And I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed.
Ah, well, for all his reasonable tone lately, I guess that’s why JEB is smart enough to know this is not his time. Too many of us still do care about such things, and remember Terri Schiavo.
Surely you as as a US senator for the past quarter century staking a claim to the presidency of this country you say you stand so proudly for, are not now calling upon your party’s extremists to fight against the government itself, become an actual “insurgency” against our duly constituted American government and constitution, civil war?
So Sarah Palin says god wants the oil pipeline funded and the war in Iraq. Let’s say you now believe that’s a fine quality in an American president, to lead secular American democracy based on divining and implementing god’s will.
But wait — when your contributor and supporter John Hagee damns your veep pick’s husband to hell as an infidel, is that god’s will too? Is this all fair game now for American political discourse, debating whose god will make whom do what, and punish us for which sins?
Here’s the problem: we know what the questions are but we’ve been effectively manipulated into thinking it serves democracy NOT to ask, rather than to ask.
Sharlet’s book describes The Family as a kind of shadow multi-national government, operating in secret through small prayer groups called “cells” and modeled after the organization of mafia and terrorist groups. Doug Coe, the leader of the group, frequently refers to the leadership lessons of Hitler and the example of the mafia as a model for how the group operates.
How far-reaching is The Family’s influence? David Kuo, a high-ranking official in the Bush administration who oversaw the White House’s office of faith-based initiatives, wrote in a recent book: “The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp.”