Tuesday, August 19, 2008
One way it’s tough to evaluate candidates for office as a voter is from looking at their personal religious beliefs. Thanks to the First Amendment, we have a secular civil government. That may be right or wrong, and I know some readers here would argue for wrong, but that's the way the Founding Fathers set up the system of checks and balances, and that's the way the system has worked most of the time during last two centuries.
Personally, I don't think a person's religious beliefs are part of the equation unless they choose to make them so. I prefer to look at their proposed policies, and the conclusions about politics and law they reach as a result of those beliefs. A candidate's experience in implementing policies, and success in competently managing programs, are more important to me than his or her source of inner strength in reaching those accomplishments.
I don't think the topic is off limits though. It can be very interesting, and telling, to see the labels a candidate can slap on himself in an effort to ingratiate to a specific voting block. From my perspective, the contortionist act generally backfires. The more a person's claimed devoutness becomes the central part of their proffered character, the tougher it becomes to see past personal deviations from that claimed faith, like infidelity, eating shrimp , and wearing white after Labor Day.
Alma from San Diego
August 22, 2008 at 12:38 AM
I don't know that any politician inspired by the Flying Spaghetti Monster could be taken seriously in modern politics, no matter how sound his or her judgment in policy or managerial experience is. I do think it's interesting that our government is presumed under the First Amend. to be secular, but the contortionists, as you put it, persist to fit into a recognizable mold. I wonder how many politicians have transferred a true belief in another deity, like the FSM, and just changed the name so as not to be shunned? Freedom of Religion may or may not apply to those in the public eye, but I wish more politicians would stop waving the banner of religion so wildly and just practice what they preach.