Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Politics as usual?

I was going to write about my weekend today, now that I've recovered from it. No, nothing bad happened, it was just a fun, busy weekend. But after reading my usual news outlets, I changed my mind about what I need to say today.

And what I need to say today is that I'm really getting tired of listening to the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination trying to read each other, President Obama, and a lot of other people out of Christianity because they don't agree on their Christian theology. We have the evangelicals in the group insisting that Mitt Romney isn't really a Christian because he's Mormon. We've got the evangelicals bickering amongst themselves about which one is the "real" Christian. And we've got Rick Santorum, who seems to have some very peculiar hang-ups, being exposed as making a statement in 2008 that liberals cannot be Christians and saying, separately, that not drilling for oil and gas goes against Biblical principles because the Bible says that humans "have dominion" over the Earth.

I'm not trying to rob any of these people of their religious beliefs. However, I'm pretty annoyed that they seem to think they have the right to impose their various theologies on the rest of us. Which, by the way, Santorum is not even denying, with his statements that his religious views would impact the decisions he would make as president. Some of the candidates have been making some pretty strong statements about how they think President Obama is stomping on the religious rights of Christians, but they don't seem to have any compunction about privileging their religious beliefs over the religious beliefs of those who don't agree with them.

This all makes me kind of cranky, to be honest. Not that I expect any politician to exercise any sort of intellectual honesty, but I have to say it is pretty damn hypocritical for these guys (yes, it is back down to just guys now) to complain about having religious ideas they don't like imposed on them, while having no compunctions about imposing their religious ideas on others.

Then again, I don't think that candidates for secular office - and the Presidency is a secular office - should even be talking about religion, theirs or anyone else's. Whether they like it or not, the First Amendment clauses on religion, both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause, are still in effect. This means that anyone is free to believe and behave according to their religious beliefs, but the government is not free to establish any particular flavor of those beliefs so that those who don't hold them have to live by them anyway.

Yeah. I'm ranting. To be totally honest, I think I've done very well to last this far into the primary season without a good rant about it all. And to be even more honest, while I don't love everything Mr. Obama has done during his term of office, he does not scare the crap out of me like the candidates for the Republican nomination do. This is not to say that I would never vote for a Republican for president, although that would be difficult for me to do while the Republican party is as far to the right as it is now, institutionally speaking. But I sure as hell would not vote for any of these Republicans.