For a moment you would think that all those people were interviewing for the position of the Pope, but in fact they were interviewing for the position as the secular head of United States of America. All the candidates, mostly Republican, are desperate for the evangelical vote that the debates are now focusing on the candidates beliefs rather than his vision for the future.
When Rudy Giuliani was seen as the front runner, Mitt Romney started a campaign to show that he (Mitt) was a family values guy with just one marriage thus implying that Giuliani was an adulterer. As Romney started gaining some traction the fact that he was a Mormon came into a play and he was forced to give a speech in which he had to spell out loud that he believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God. Mike Huckabee put some zing into his campaign by running ads (later dropped ) which said that he was a Christian leader. All the candidates are running over each other to make a simple point – they are all believers in no one else but Jesus.
Mitt Romney in his religious speech mentioned that America has a tradition of religious tolerance and said that a person should not be elected due to this faith or rejected because of his faith. He acknowledged all the Abrahamic religions, supported the separation of Church and State, and in the same breath mentioned that secularism has no place in America. Then he came up with the most outrageous statement of the speech, “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.”
If you think Mitt Romney is nuts, all you need is read this statement by Huckabee on why left pastoring and entered politics, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.” In 1998 Huckabee signed a statement which stated that, “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ”. The Taliban wanted to take Afghanistan back to the times of Mohammed and the answer to that would be to take America to the time of Christ.? Even the scholastics would have found Huckabee crazy.
41% of Americans attend Church regularly while those numbers are 15% in France and 10% in United Kingdom. About 80% of Americans believe in God, while that percentage is near 30% in France and 38% in England, and both France and England have strong democracies. Religious tolerance is not tolerating various denominations of the Christian Church and everyone who accepts Jesus as the savior, but also in people who don’t believe in Jesus and who don’t believe in the concept of God. Then you won’t get the Southern Baptist vote if you say that. Also with the last two elections, we seem to be electing the president of a theological school than the President of United States and these candidates want to carry on with that ritual.
United States was not created as a Christian nation and when it was launched did not have an official cult or official religion. In fact that was the only new thing in the American Constitution since federalism, independent judiciary, bicameral legislature, and tripartite administration existed either in theory or practice. The founders of such a nation would be shocked to see the exploitation of religion by their descendants.