Religion and The Presidency
Religion is a sensitive issue. The US, although founded by Christians, was not founded as a Christian government. It is not nor was it intended to be a theocratic-democracy, as apposed to a strict theocracy. This is clear in the portion of the Constitution that bars the State from establishing or otherwise interfering with the religious practices of it's citizens. Why was this done? Simply put, from those grade school lessons, Christians found themselves oppressing each other over differences in opinion about how to interpret scripture. Furthermore you had a government that was beholden to either the Catholic Church or the Church of England. The founders knew well the dangers of mixing religion and government even if it was thought of in terms of Christianity. However, with the increasingly diverse American population, with people practicing all manner of religions, the choice that the founders made becomes evident as a very smart decision. If there are multiple religions practiced by the citizenry of the country then the government should not be in the practice of taking sides. It should be concerned with public works and national defense.
The NYT has a report showing that 75% of those polled want a president of "strong religious faith." Apparently the message has not gotten through about the importance of the separation between "church" and state.
What is interesting about that report was:
Democrats have a tougher time talking about religion than Republicans because they have also a secular wing to their party," the Pew director, Andrew Kohut, said. "There's much more Republican unity on social issues. Democrats have to tiptoe through the tulips on the social issues because they have a more diverse constituency. They have constituents with differing views about moral questions."
This should be very informational to those sutdying the parties: Clearly if the Democrats have a "more diverse constituency" then apparently the Democrats represent more "America" than the republicans do. And if that is the case then it could be inferred that the Republican Party is fast becoming a large "Christian" party. Which probably explains it's growing ability to fracture black voters who strongly identify with Christianity and so called 'conservatism." In this next election it will be interesting to see if the Republicans can increase their share of the black vote. I think it will happen, since black conservatives have been put on the spot in a manner I have not seen before. Remember that the Republican Party plans to erode the black vote and is not looking to have instant change. It took over 20 years for the black vote to go from Republican to Democrat, it will take at least that long to effect a change of similar magnitude and truth be told the Republicans don't need to make such a change they only need to split off perhaps 30% of the Black vote to effectively castrate Democrats in that market.
Anyway, back to the point. Just as I think it is bad decision making to put people into power who believe that martyring oneself is an effective means to progress, I think that putting Evangelicals in office who are attempting to "hasten the return of Christ" is also a bad decision. Government is about providing services, not playing Pope.