Sunday, July 17, 2011

GOP Hopefuls Hyping Religious Views

Herman Cain supports the people living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee as they protest the building of an Islamic center in the community.

“Our constitution guarantees separation of church and state,” said Cain, a contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “Islam combines church and state. They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in the community and people in the community don’t like it. They disagree with it. Sharia law is what they are trying to infuse.”

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO made the comments while on Fox News Sunday. Residents in Murfreesboro have been protesting the building of the worship center planned by the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Cain says he has the residents’ back.

Is this kind of pandering necessary to win the Presidential primary or does Cain truly believe this is the right move? It would appear that the man has the lines of separation between church and state a bit blurred. I understand a desire to show support for a community but at the Presidential candidate's level? It seems unnecessary to bring this can of worms into his campaign.

Another example of veiled political pandering via religious avenue is the upcoming event in Houston sponsored by Governor Perry. Calling for a day of prayer and fasting, he invites Christians to gather at Reliant Stadium.

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Call upon Jesus? That is a bit of a narrow inclusion there, Governor Perry. Here in Houston, in our nation's fourth largest city, we are quite proud of our religious diversity, along with racial and ethnic diversity. Throwing the Jesus card is not so cool. Prayer is a practice utilized in most religions, not just Christianity.

And, from the Texas Constitution:

Article 1, Section 6
"All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship."

It is an unnecessary battle to bring for a politician, who is sworn to govern all of the citizens, not just Christians. Reliant Stadium is a public building. If the Governor wants to spotlight his faith, why not attend a service at a mega-church and encourage others to follow his example?

1 comment:

Jolene said...

Not everyone believes in the separation of church & state, including Mr. Cain. Was shocked to see you were though.