Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Insistent candidates should be quizzed on religious beliefs
clip As I’ve written in the past, a stopping point for fundamentalists may come when their beliefs and documents, such as the Bible or, say, the Book of Mormon, are carefully vetted and scrutinized. As Christian fundamentalists continue to work disingenuously and incrementally to turn the nation into a theocracy, their religion and worldview should become a major interest for everyone.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, for example, was challenged recently at a rally by someone who questioned whether he believed in racist language contained in the Book of Mormon. Romney essentially avoided a direct answer, but later in the rally he did talk about serving as a Mormon pastor for 10 years.

Obviously, a former pastor running for president, who makes his religion a major part of his campaign, deserves to have his beliefs vetted and scrutinized. In fact, all the presidential candidates, including Barack Obama, should be asked hard questions about their religious beliefs given the current political landscape throughout the country. Do they believe in literal interpretations of the Bible’s Old Testament, for example, which condones slavery and female oppression?

As long as right-wing fundamentalists insist on theocracy, no political candidate should be allowed privacy when it comes to religious views.

Given the fundamentalists' push to inscribe their beliefs as science or as government policy, one has to wonder about the point of “faith” or the point of metaphorical readings of the Bible. Ultimately, the fundamentalists damage the credibility and viability of Christianity. Once that becomes clear to more moderate religious folks over the long term, there will be a correction. But, for now, the fight against religious zealotry continues in places like Oklahoma.

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