Whether or not any American believes it, there is one aspect of political service that transcends political affiliation, gender, race, or religion. Allegiance to, and support of the nation’s Constitution is a requirement that every public servant swears to before serving as president, congressional representative, police officer, or school teacher, and it should serve as an equalizing force to ensure that all government employees are loyal to the tenets of America’s founding document. Since President Obama took office in 2009, there has been a growing Constitutional originalist movement among conservatives of all stripes as a means to oppose laws that do not fall under the purview of Republican corporatism and morality. However, Republicans have made a mockery of the Constitution as of late and the Republican presidential hopefuls have all promised to disregard the Constitution in their pursuit of religious purity and Dominionism.
There are many examples of Republican presidential aspirants’ disdain for the Constitution that have as their basis religious dogmata. However, the entire concept of bringing a candidates religion into question as a qualification to serve is in itself unconstitutional and yet the candidates who have taken the oath of office in the past have impugned President Obama’s faith as one reason to deny him a second term. In Article 6 of the Constitution it says that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office,” and yet the Republicans have questioned President Obama’s faith continuously. The President says, like Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, he is a Christian but it is apparent he is not the right kind of Christian; a white Christian. But racial bigotry aside, there is no reason the President, or Republican candidates, have to attest to their Christianity or lack thereof to serve according to the Constitution, but since the Republicans reject Article 6, they have made President Obama’s religious qualifications a major campaign issue.
It is no coincidence that Republicans never questioned George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan’s allegiance to the Christian faith despite their policies and agendas that were decidedly anti-Christian; because they were white Christians. Franklin Graham, the money-grubbing evangelist, said he knew Santorum and Gingrich were Christians because they said they were, but he questioned the President’s Christianity even though Obama told Graham he was a Christian. Graham said he could not read the President’s heart, but he could discern Santorum and Gingrich’s dedication to Christianity; because they are white. Disregarding Article 6 is not the worst of the Republicans’ disregard for the Constitution, it is their incessant and dangerous contempt for the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment that is more than troubling.
Yesterday, and in December 2010, Santorum said he does not believe in the separation of church and state regardless of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. In fact, in 2010 he stated categorically that “the idea of strict or absolute separation of church and state is not and never was the American model.” According to Thomas Jefferson, the establishment clause’s sole purpose was “building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Santorum also said the separation of church and state was first introduced in 1947, but that is another lie. A Supreme Court case in 1878, Reynolds v. United States, addressed the issue over a Mormon’s religious duty to engage in bigamy. Maybe Willard Romney could enlighten Santorum on that court case, but the point is the separation of church and state was enacted and explicitly mentioned in 1802 by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson regardless Santorum’s claim to the contrary. Like Santorum, two of the presidential hopefuls have sworn to disregard the separation clause if they win the presidency.
Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney all signed the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pledge that specifically requires them to; pursue a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, nominate U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who are committed to reject gay marriage, defend the Defense of Marriage Act vigorously, and establish a presidential commission to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising rights to organize, speak, donate or vote for marriage and to propose new protections. Signing the NOM pledge is a promise to impose bible edicts on the courts, legislation, and people in direct violation of the Constitution, and establishing a presidential commission to protect proponents of traditional marriage will be, in effect, an Inquisition against same-sex-marriage supporters. It is, indeed, traditional marriage supporters who have harassed and threatened proponents of same-sex marriage around the country and at this author’s home on several occasions.
The point is not same-sex marriage any more than it is contraception coverage or the President’s faith; it is the source of these issues as applicable to the Constitution. Imposing a ban on same-sex marriage, contraception, and questioning the President’s faith are religious issues that have no place in politics or governing. The Constitution is quite clear on the subject and yet the Republicans are determined to administer religious ideology in governing and it is unconstitutional. The basis for these hot-button issues is the Christian bible that is not the Constitution despite what Santorum says, and the framers knew some ambitious theocrat would emerge and attempt to inject religion into the laws of the land which is why they included the establishment and separation clause in the 1st Amendment according to Thomas Jefferson.
Men like Santorum and NOM claim the Constitution’s framers did not give permission for same-sex marriage, and they certainly could not have portended health insurance with contraception coverage. They did, however, make room for rights not explicitly listed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The 9th Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The purpose of the 9th Amendment was to prohibit the government from violating any rights not specifically covered in the Constitution such as the right to marry the person one loves or have access to contraception that are expressly forbidden in the Christian bible.
Each of the frontrunners has campaigned on enforcing the Christian bible’s edict on homosexuality, and Santorum promises to preach about the dangers of contraception. He also believes the states have the right to ban contraception that is governing according to Catholicism. Their Dark Ages mentality notwithstanding, the frightening issue is their rejection of the 1st Amendment and by extension, the entire Constitution that does not conform to the Christian religion Their incessant attacks on President Obama’s faith, contraception, and same-sex marriage are diversions from their failures to offer job creation and economic strategies to improve the economy and with good reason. Their economic policies are Bush’s trickle down scam and besides rewarding the wealthy and punishing lower and middle class wage earners, will explode the nation’s deficit without creating one job.
Americans are not always the smartest people, but they know when they are being scammed after 8 years of Bush and two years of tea party Republicans in the 112th Congress. However, the threat of theocratic legislation under Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich is a real and present danger if any of these men win the White House. Although Romney and Gingrich have signaled their willingness to punish gays by denying them the right to marry, it is Santorum who will impose Inquisition-era edicts on the population. All of the Republicans have taken an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and they have already disregard the “no religious test” clause by questioning President Obama’s faith. It is obvious that if Santorum wanted to vomit over the separation clause in the first amendment, imagine how he will react when he learns the 14th Amendment guarantees equal rights to all Americans. This country requires a President who preserves and protects the Constitution, not a Republican who promises to replace it with the Christian bible.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.