Is there a religious test in politics?

April 15th, 2008 - 11:54am by Slye Fox

Not that long ago, internet friend, Annette Marie Hyder posed that question to me via email asking for a response she could publish in INTHEFRAY Magazine.

The article has now been published and Annette collected a great set of opinions to her query. Here's my response:

The religious views (or lack thereof) should be no more relevant to their office than their sex or the color of their skin. The drafters of our Constitution understood this and bothered to state exactly that quite clearly. Many voters, however, are happy to be comforted with the knowledge that someone thinks as they do beyond the pertinent issues. In order to gain sway with this group, a candidate will advertise their religious beliefs. This has become the norm in elections of late. So much so that a growing number of people think the Constitution should be altered to make faith in a god necessary. I think that's as silly as the desire to teach "creationism" in public schools. You're free to have faith in whatever you choose. So am I. And so is anyone running for a public office.

Read more on "God in Politics" on Annette's myspace blog or go directly to the rest of the "Is there a religious test in politics?" responses.

April 15, 2008 - 9:32pm
Bryn says:

Couldn't agree with you more. I'll have to read the rest of the article, now that I'm thoroughly intrigued.

April 20, 2008 - 9:16pm
Slye Fox says:

And this is brilliantly relevant...

Click the play button below after turning on your speakers to make the dude speak.

April 20, 2008 - 9:54pm
Slye Fox says:

And if you missed that, here's the transcription:

Religion and politics
Often make some people
Lose all perspective and
Give way to ranting and raving and
Carrying on like emotional children.
They either refuse to discuss it with reason,
Or else they prefer argumentum ad hominum,
Which is a hell of a way to conduct a discussion.

Well, anyhow, not long ago,
I was talking about the elections,
And how the campaigns were ignoring the issues,
And sticking instead to invective and personal crap
That had nothing to do with the substantive problems of running a government,
Which is all true, as you know
If you followed the speeches and so-called debates of the candidates.

Anyhow, one of the guys I was talking with
Said not a word in the whole conversation
Except at the end when he suddenly chuckled
And said we were all full of shit,
And why didn't we go live in Russia or China
If that was the way we all hated the United States Of America.

Next thing you know the whole blooming discussion
Was more like a brawl,
And the epithets flew thick and fast,
And the noise was incredible.
Someone said "son of a bitch",
And I think he said "bastard".
I couldn't be sure, it was all so confusing.

Well, anyhow, I was attempting
To get it all back on a rational level.
I tried, for example, to talk to the one who had started it all,
And I asked him just what did he mean we were all full of shit.
Was he making a statement of fact as he knew it,
And where was his documentation to back up his claim?
I think Socrates would've been proud of the way I refuted his argument.
That is, I tried to refute it,
But all he could offer by way of rebuttal was more of the same
About how we were all full of shit.
But he wouldn't say why,
He just kept on repeating it,
That and the part about Russia and China
And communist dupes, and I'll have to confess
That I got a bit angry and told him to stuff his ideas up his ass,
Which you don't have to tell me is hardly a way
To convince anyone in an argument.

Then he got salty and threatened to give me
A punch in the mouth if I didn't shut up,
And I really got hot,
And the others did too,
And we all beat the shit out of mister conservative.
And, after all, he had only himself to be blamed.
This is still a free country,
And anyone telling a fellow like me,
"Brother, you're full of shit",
Better be good and ready
To answer politely
When asked if he'd care to say why.

by Scott Beach

  • available on: original 45 on Captain Records SAC-160, 1976
  • Dr. Demento's Dementia Royale, Rhino RNLP 010, 1980