My take is no. Ted Cruz said this at a rally in New Hampshire the other day and it really disturbed me. I am appalled by this, but I don’t want this to be a pit thread or even a thread about Mr. Cruz. I want this to be a debate about whether this is an acceptable stance for a candidate to our highest office. There are several immediate questions it raises for me.
The first, and most obvious, question is whether Mr. Cruz’s religion has some favored status that is not available to those of us that are not evangelical Christians. If JFK has said he was a Catholic first and an American second would he have become President? If Romney had said he was a Mormon first and a an American second, would he have gotten the nomination? What about Joe Lieberman? The examples go on.
And if, as I believe, Mr. Cruz’ religion does have some special dispensation among the electorate, the question becomes why? According to Wikipedia only 51.3% of the US population was categorized as Protestant in 2004. Don’t get me wrong; I am perfectly happy to have a protestant as President of country. I was raised a Protestant, my family is Protestant. I don’t consider myself a Protestant, but I am certainly at home in this demographic. Why though would it be a good idea for me, or for those 48.7% of the population to have a leader that considers himself a Protestant (Christian) first and an American second?
The second, also obvious, question is whether having a primarily Christian President and Commander of the US military is a good idea with the current upheavals in the Middle East. I think that the majority of American’s would agree with me that it is in our interest to restore stability to the Middle East and to reduce our military interaction there if possible. Will a commander in chief that is first and foremost a Christian above all else be capable of doing that? Doesn’t his professed faith, above all politics and nationality, make him more likely to engage the hyper religious rhetoric put forward by Isis and Iran?
Finally, I like many American’s view the imposition of religious law, like Sharia, as anathema to the values with which I was raised. I have a hard time distinguishing between the tenets of Sharia law and the those laws proposed by Christian fundamentalists. Does this fear have any merit for an American? Isn’t our embrace of secularism and English common law a good thing or would it be a step forward to embrace biblical law (similar in many respects to Sharia)?
What says the dope?
Mods, if you feel this is more suited to the Pit or Elections, feel free to move it, but I really do have a hope of have a debate on what type of candidates are good for our multicultural country.