Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry are currently in strong positions for the Republican nomination for the 2012 election. Both are loud Christians. Bachmann, I think, is a genuine fire-breathing fundamentalist, while Perry is a fraudulent huckster trying to win the Bible-vote.
But both are talking in explicitly pro-Christian terms and have religious agendas and Biblical justifications. (Bachmann in particular has advocated 'dominionism' (the right for Christians to put their religious beliefs over all mankind.)
Are these two nominees behaving too religiously for the secular job of President. Should they be disqualified?
It will be difficult for you gain an objective point of view on an issue like this. The presidency has reached a point far beyond what we had hoped a two-party system would offer the United States. Originally, the two-party system seemed it would offer compromise and checks and balances. Unfortunately it has come to mean polarization. We are either extremely liberal in our policies or extremely conservative in this 21st century. What this country needs is an opportunity to return to a system that works together, not tears us apart. I would love to see a candidate on either side that works from the center.
Although I do think that often matters of faith spur presidents to do the right thing in the best interest of the country, I understand that people of varying faiths are distracted by the faith that a sitting president may have.
It's interesting that our Consititution, Declaration of Independence and even our currency give allusions to the God that both Bachmann and Perry claim to serve. Are they really that far off? Or have many of the rest of us gone somewhere else?
In reply to post #2 - the "mechanism for booting nominees out of the election process" is called becoming involved in campaigning to give the nomination to a different candidate. Become active in your local political system - work for a different Republican candidate to win the nomination, work for the Republican candidate you feel has the best chance of coming out ahead of Bachmann and Perry, work for Pres. Obama's campaign to win more votes than whoever the Republicans nominate, work for an independent candidate
Being outspokenly religious has not often hurt conservatives in past elections, as that message appeals directly to Republican strongholds in the Bible Belt South and farming Midwest. What perhaps makes Bachmann and Perry seem more extreme in terms of their religious statements is that they also make some other statements about issues unrelated to religion that add an extreme context to their impression. I believe Perry is more likely to win the nomination, but I think it will be very difficult for him to craft a winning strategy for the general election.
I don't think they should be disqualified; extreme though they may be they meet the constitutional requirement to be President. I don't think we need to tinker with the boilerplate of the Constutition just because we have wierd candidates running. Although I am disturbed by the fire breathing fundamentalism of these two; and frankly think they are both the essence of hypocrisy, I am not concerned about their becoming President. First of all, I have confidence in the good sense of the electorate of this country to reject idiots such as these two. Quite frankly, every Democrat in the country should vote for one of them in the Republican primaries as this will virtually assure that President Obama is elected.
However, assuming the God-awful worst, that one of them is elected, I don't see their overt religiousity as creating problems. First, they will take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States. Surely as the holiest of holy Christians that they claim to be, they would not violate their oath of office. Secondly, Congress itself would probably slow down any of their more overt actions. So, worst case scenario, if either were to win the Presidency, we would have four years of stale mate. But, as I said, I doubt we need to worry about it.
Their ultra-conservative religious views not withstanding, both of these Republican candidates sport incompetence and inexperience that far exceed their leanings about the church. Bachmann is particularly disturbing, and I hope that her good looks don't draw male votes in the same way JFK lured many female voters in 1960.
Historically, religion has occasionally been an issue in elections. Most presidents have been Protestant Christians. As long as the candidates fit into that category, they are all right. Former presidents such as Bush played their religions as needed, gaining support when they could.
The culture of America practically demands that presidential candidates wear their religion on their sleeves. I would not put too much stock in the idea that either of these two candidates is trying to create some sort of a theocracy.
I think that liberal/secular Americans worry too much about people of faith, just as people of faith demonize and worry about the secular people. I think that both sides fail to realize that the other side is simply trying to do things that they think will improve the nation. However, both sides are so worried about the other's religion or lack thereof that they see conspiracies and creeping theocracy (or a concerted effort to destroy all religion).
Read this and see what you think...
I really am disturbed about the potential fallout if either of these candidates were by some stroke of lunacy successful in becoming president. Isn't Bachmann's husband famed for running a gay conversion centre or something like that? Both candidates need to recognise that whilst America definitely does have Christian roots, being a president involves representing the entire population and note just a minority.
The growing march of these intolerant Christians keeps me awake at night. They seem determined to eradicate all the modern infrastructure of the American administration and replace it with one extremely intolerant interpretation of a 3000 year old book. They seem ecstatic about the idea of dragging us back to the 16th century.
To me they seem almost identical to the Taliban in the stubborn deafness to other peoples' views and beliefs. If they get into power it will sink America. I would love to see Bachmann banned. She is a wanna-be dictator with plans to sweep away all moderate values. I genuinely think she's crazy and very dangerous.
Is there a mechanism for booting nominees out of the election process? I've never heard of one.