Now in many respects, they both make fine politicians. They are both able to look stern and authoritative, to stare down the camera with a flinty gaze, and read the carefully crafted words from the magical teleprompter machine in front of them. Most importantly for Republicans everywhere, both politicians wholly oppose Obama – heaven forbid that they actually agree with his evil, anarchist, money-grabbing socialist regime. However, if these two political ‘titans’ are the best that the Republican Party can produce, then America is in crisis. From a philosophical, ethical, moral and even common-sensical perspective, the beliefs that these men each hold are truly disturbing. Both of them have the possibility of becoming the most powerful men in the world despite their frankly insane beliefs. So why are they so successful? The answer lies with one dreaded C-word: Christian.
What’s wrong with the word Christian, you may ask? Well for one, it represents probably one of the most determining factor in a Presidential race – a strange thing for a Country whose Constitution is founded upon the separation of Church and State. Every four years, at some point in the race, there is a monumental struggle, for Republicans at least, to be identified as ‘the most Christian.’ Well, this year, we have witnessed perhaps the scariest and wackiest set of philosophies and religious beliefs ever. In the name of the almighty ‘Christianity’ it seems as if each politician has been fighting to be more offensive and downright moronic than the other. The gusty Palin-clone that is Michelle Bachmann kicked off the blunder-spree with her near blasphemous claim that both hurricane Irene and the Japanese earthquake were a message from God in order to ‘get the attention’ of the American politicians. Now, even the most cynical of religious believers would have to question the idea of a God who would use natural disasters as part of a Republican publicity campaign. Surely the poor Japanese have nothing to do with the Presidential election? Leave them out of it!
Romney himself is a Mormon, a religion so far removed from mainstream Protestantism, as well as from sanity, that even the American people can feel the tenuous strain, as he announces himself as ‘Christian.’ Despite Romney’s belief in a literal account of the bible (yes, that includes unicorns, talking snakes and 900-year old men), Romney’s practices have recently been under scrutiny for entirely different reasons. Latest reports, not denied by Romney either, have suggested that he has been in the habit of baptising dead people, and converting them to the Mormon religion. Yes, that’s right – DEAD PEOPLE. His most prominent victims have been his deceased atheist father-in-law and several Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Of course, this monstrously offensive and degrading act has been justified in the name of ‘Christianity’ – so what about the other frontrunner, Rick Santorum? Well, just like any good American, he too, believes in ‘good Christian family values.’ Since this term ‘Christian’ is starting to become a bit ambiguous, what does that actually mean? For Santorum, this means the complete and total persecution of homosexuals, blacks and Muslims of course! Rick Santorum’s senseless prejudice makes the Ku Klux Klan look that bit more like an all-loving hippie group. His infamous line; “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them someone else’s money,” was bad enough. His claim that Muslims should be profiled at airports made things even worse. However, his constant attempt to persecute and oppress homosexuals is what is truly disturbing.
His ambition to ban gay marriage, stop homosexuals from serving in the military, and even to ban sodomy outright are, quite frankly, insane. He has equated “homosexual acts,” to polygamy, adultery and even incest. Yet, the defence of such beliefs lies with the apparent ‘fact’ that homosexuality threatens the traditional concept of family, and that it will ‘corrupt’ America’s children. Pardon me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember the last time homosexual men went out indoctrinating young boys to like Broadway musicals and wear flamboyant clothing. The main problem with Rick Santorum, as with many American politicians, is that his policies are too influenced by religion. How can a man lead the world’s most powerful nation, fighting for freedom of speech and equality, when he has the church whispering in his ear, telling him to discriminate and oppress? Furthermore, if each candidate is supposedly ‘chosen’ by God to lead America, as many of them so often claim, where is the culpability? Who will hold them responsible for creating a nation of fear and persecution, when apparently it was ‘God’ that told them to do so?
It all comes down to this word ‘Christian.’ You wouldn’t have heard this word being used in a presidential race even 40 years ago. Just as the evangelicals are different to the Baptists, who are different to the Catholics, who are different to the Mormons – Romney, Obama, Santorum all believe in different things. Yet, it is this umbrella-term ‘Christian’ – which only started to be used in the anti-abortion campaigns of the 70’s – that shields their beliefs from scrutiny. As God-fearing people, the Americans would not dare vote for anyone that wasn’t Christian – even if the ‘Christian’ candidate had radically different ethical and religious beliefs. Before the word ‘Christian’ started to be bandied about, Presidents would not dare to be overtly religious in a Presidential election, because as we all know, the Catholics are scared of the Pentecostals, who are scared of the Evangelicals etc etc. By expressing their religious beliefs, politicians would be excluding a vast number of other religious believers. Unfortunately, today, politicians need only declare themselves Christian. No more questions asked.
The question is; why not scrutinise the beliefs of these Politicians? Why not assess their beliefs on logical and ethical grounds? The world should tremble at the idea that someone who believes in Dragons and Unicorns might yet have the nuclear codes. Why should someone whose faith demands a type of prejudice and aggressive persecution be allowed to make foreign policy, or to make war? It is high time that America removed the word ‘Christian’ from its vocabulary. In fact, it is high time that America caught up with the rest of the world, and removed religion from its Governmental processes entirely. Logically, morally politically, it is the right thing to do. In the meantime, all we can do is pray.
Contributed by Louis Mercier