Last Thursday evening's three-hour-plus GOP debate was nothing short of a pander fest. And before anyone takes umbrage, I know, I know... Dems pander all the time as well; it's what politicians do. But pandering for something that is counter to the spirit and, quite literally, the letter of the US Constitution is another thing entirely.
If the GOP's candidates weren't consuming CNN airtime praising Ronald Reagan, slamming Planned Parenthood, or showing just how much they loved Israel, they were trying to show their potential voters just how Christian they were, and very little could matter less in real terms.
In a recent Politico story, Donald Trump was said to be actively courting the evangelical vote in order to bolster his sagging poll numbers, even after he has publicly stated he doesn't read the bible or ask God's forgiveness for much of anything. Former Governor Huckabee, one of the many GOP candidates and a former Baptist pastor, is telling his followers that, if necessary, he'll ignore man's laws in order to adhere to God's laws, even as he decries the supposed rise of Sharia law in the USA. (Apparently the word theocracy has more than one meaning for the Huckster.) Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz, who's also running, launched his campaign at Liberty University (to a captive audience, quite literally), which was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Cruz recently crashed Huckabee's pander party at the rally for Kim Davis without much success. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's Governor and yet another GOPer on the campaign trail, has recently mimicked Rick Perry's "Response" rally with one of his own.
And the list of candidates attempting to show their close and personal connection to Jesus goes on and on. But even as these same candidates admonish voters to follow the constitution über alles, they, and the folks who support them and tacitly require them to proclaim their Christianity, all seem to ignore an important part of that very same constitution, which they all claim to love so, so dearly: Article VI.
Next time you hear or read something about someone questioning whether
any political candidate or office-holder is Christian, or Jewish, or
Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Zoroastrian, or WhatEVERist, feel
completely free to remind him or her of the following: "...no religious Test shall ever be required
as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United
And as you remind them, know that their doing otherwise is simply pandering.
Updates, 10/27/15: Don Gump is now saying, "I don't know about that" when it comes to Dr. Ben Carson's religious beliefs, which happen to be founded in Seventh-Day Adventism. In other words, Don is impugning Ben (and pandering to his base, and please remember that "base" has more than one meaning) simply by pointing out Ben's religion and, thereby, calling it into question y way of a rhetorical statement. For a guy who professes to be so smart and know so much, it's difficult to believe he doesn't truly know about this.
Meanwhile, Jeb! just met with Pat Robertson in a blatant pander to secure the evangelical vote in Bush's run for nomination. It. Just. Does. Not. Matter. Why? Because Article VI says so. Would that the same folks who constantly wail about the need to adhere to the constitution actually adhered to the constitution.
I don't give a rip who believes what, but this sort of practice and behavior represents
exactly the type of mealy-mouthed garbage that Article VI of the US Constitution was intended to preclude. If you're running for office in the USA, it just doesn't matter what you