In the Constitution, there is a small reminder that religion has no place in the government and it is different than the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. In Article 6, paragraph 3, the Founding Fathers reiterated the Separation Clause with a prohibition on a politician’s faith as part of a requirement to serve in any capacity in the Federal or state government. The Constitution says, “All executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The Framers knew that if left unchecked, at some juncture a religious fanatic could use a candidate’s faith as a weapon against them or as a blessing to promote a particular agenda that is not in the best interest of the country. A fanatical religious candidate could cause serious problems if they were extreme enough or had mental problems that may lead them to carry out a biblical prophecy.
In America, mental illness has become a serious problem and in extreme cases can lead to bad outcomes if untreated or undiagnosed. There are numerous examples of mental defect and disorder in the Republican Party and there is no Republican suffering delusion and schizophrenia more than dysfunctional Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and any number of evangelical Christian conservatives serving in our government. Crazy people hardly ever show outward expressions of their mental disorders and it is often surprising to discover that a seemingly normal human being is loony, and if they are in a position of power they can be downright dangerous.
One of the primary indicators of severe mental illness is when a person hears a voice in their head that gives them instructions or suggestions that they act on. It does not matter if the voices tell them to commit a crime or paint a butterfly, if they hear voices, they are most likely schizophrenic. A fair description of schizophrenia is; a psychiatric illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions or disorganized talking and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.” Now if a religious person claims that god has told them to do something, most people just shake their head and smile, but it is nothing to smile about if the individual is a presidential candidate or serves in any capacity of governance. The current crop of Republican candidates and many governors use religion to garner support from Christian fundamentalists, but as noted above, according to the Constitution there is not supposed to be a religious test to serve.
The Republicans who pander to the Religious Right and evangelical extremists by constantly referring to their credentials as Christians are ignoring the Constitution (no surprise there), but the real danger is that they claim to have heard god tell them it is time to run for the presidency of a secular nation. It is frightening that the majority of Republican candidates are either hearing a voice in their head, or calling on supporters to pray to assuage droughts, natural disaster, or to stave off hunger.
Michele Bachmann has suggested to people starving that they should have faith in god and pray for food and shelter instead of using government programs that are in place to help the least fortunate. It is beyond insane to tell starving Americans to pray that god will provide shelter and drop food on their tables, but that is exactly what Bachmann told an audience in South Carolina earlier this month. It is certain that a huge percentage of the millions of Americans living in poverty are devout Christians who pray for food and shelter, and yet they are still destitute. Morons like Bachmann tell the poor to pray for food and shelter because it allows her to vote to slash government programs with a clear conscience, but it absolutely does nothing to help hungry Americans. Bachmann may believe that god will provide food and shelter, but it is more likely that she uses calls for prayer to excuse her inhumane opposition to government food programs. If praying for food and shelter worked, there would not be one starving child in America and there would not be a need for government assistance, but with the poverty rate at 13 percent (2008) and 16.7 million children hungry, it is obvious prayer is not working. However, crazy politicians hear voices that tell them to vote against food programs for children because it is easier to tell the poor to pray than deprive the wealthy and corporations of their entitlements.
It is not just Bachmann who is insane. In Texas, Governor Rick Perry held a three day prayer session to break a stifling drought and although three praying days did not work, Perry organized another prayer session to help the country’s economy. The economy is still in distress and as usual, Perry’s call for prayer accomplished nothing except to demonstrate to evangelical voters that he is a devout Christian and worthy of support to be president. One of Perry’s cohorts in Oklahoma, Republican Governor, Mary Fallin asked her constituents to pray for rain to extinguish 140 wildfires that ravaged the state. Of course the gang prayers did nothing to bring rain, but it showed Oklahomans their governor had faith in god and for many voters, that is all they need. It is just too bad that while they were praying, fires were destroying farmers’ crops that could feed millions and provide their income for a year. Apparently for evangelical Christians, it is more important to have leaders who hear voices and call for mass prayers than effective administrators who take care of their constituencies.
The Constitution is quite clear that religion has no place in government but Republicans have not recognized the Constitution’s rules for over ten years. Even though it specifically says there can be no religious test for serving, every politician must declare their faith in god or face the wrath of voters on election day. It is a bad sign when the first thing out of a politician’s mouth is, “my name is (insert Republican name) and I’m a conservative Christian.” It is ultimately more distressing when candidates declare that god has told them to run for the presidency. Is it that they couldn’t make the decision for themselves or did they really hear a voice in their head? Either way, it should be a warning to voters that a candidate is hearing voices. Politicians professing their Christianity has become so commonplace that many Americans truly believe being a Christian is a requirement to run for office.
Most people could care less about a candidate’s religion because what they need is effective legislators and not some whack-job fundamentalist who will pray for the economy to improve instead of finding viable solutions. The government has become so dysfunctional that instead of addressing the needs of the people pragmatically, our leaders are praying that god will intervene and magically wipe away our hunger, debt crisis, and poverty. Even the president has prayed for a solution to the debt crisis, and although he knows that it will take compromise and hard work, he must prove his religiosity to Americans or face a hostile electorate in the 2012 elections.
The Republicans who hear the voice of god tell them to run for political office are dangerous because there is no telling what god will tell them if they are elected. They are also ineffective legislators because if they are trusting in god instead of working on the country’s problems, nothing will ever be accomplished. Republicans have christened America god’s chosen country, but if that is true, why are so many Americans starving and why are our brave soldiers dying in Afghanistan? The simple truth is that no fantasy being is watching over America. They pray for rain and droughts continue. They hear god tell them to run for office and they lose elections. Bachmann’s husband prays homosexuality away but it doesn’t work and his two-bit wife tells poor starving Americans to have more faith and pray, but the people are still hungry. One would think that after thousands of years of prayer-failure, the fundamentalists would get a clue that their air-fairy is just not listening or interested.
At a time when America is facing so many problems, instead of praying, Republicans should fulfill their campaign promises and help the economy and create jobs instead of destroying the middle-class and safety nets seniors and the poor depend on. However, schizophrenics like Michele Bachmann who hears voices telling her to run for the presidency find it easier to damage the American people as long as she claims god approves. The Americans who believe god is whispering in Bachmann’s ear are a lost cause and are just as mentally defective as she is; and they have the starving children to prove it. Hopefully there are more intelligent Americans than superstitious twits who think god will give them their daily food because it is what Bachmann said. It is sad that in 2011, politicians have resorted to using god to get elected and to put out wildfires with magical prayer-rain, but that is what America is becoming; a superstitious bunch of schizophrenics who hear voices in their heads; and they are starving.