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Religious Tests at the New York Times

Bill Keller drags the New York Times to ever-new lows by submitting a series of mocking questions on religion (he follows up here) to the Republican presidential candidates. I can't begin to convey the hypocrisy of Keller's insistence that Republicans answer his derogatory questions, whereas Obama's radical faith was of no concern to these same news organs of the Democratic party.

Stanley Kurtz responds beautifully at NRO with a series of unanswered questions on faith for Obama. They are just as timely and relevant now as they were when Kurtz first asked them in 2008. Scott Johnson jumps on the bandwagon with a list of questions for his long-time whipping-boy, "Louis Farrakhan's first congressman" Keith Ellison. John Hinderaker notes that Keller's obsession with outing Michele Bachmann as a "dominionist" is akin to the media's previous breathless pandering to leftist prejudice in their biased and unwarranted coverage of the rapture.

While I object to the condescending tone of Keller's questions - his article is obviously a hit piece, intended to smear religious conservatives by indirectly identifying them as out-of-the-mainstream extremists - I don't see anything amiss about questioning candidates on their faith. Religion is the most important factor in many - if not most - American's lives. Voters have an interest in knowing their leaders' opinions on the matters that are most important to them.

But the New York Times isn't attempting to answer voters' lingering questions. They are an outlet of hypocrisy and bigotry. If they showed the same determination to educate the public on candidates' religious views, Obama might not be the president today.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 4 Comments

From Keller's obnoxious piece:

But I do want to know if a candidate places fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon (the text, not the Broadway musical) or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country.

This standard would exclude Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as many of the most important reformers of American history, from consideration for public office.

During law school, I was asked if I would stand with the Vatican or U.S. if they went to war. I said, if standing true to their respective beliefs, the Vatican. My liberal friends were appalled. I explained that, whereas the Vatican's principles were God's, America's democratic principles could be construed (wrongly, I think) to allow slavery, for example.

But it was a nice change to hear liberals finally in favor of America and the Constitution. The secret: set America and the Constitution against the Vatican and Christianity. Liberals hate the latter far more the the former.

I will swear "fealty" to whatever lord transfers to me a nice chunk of land via livery of seisen. No 40 acres, No Mule, No Fealty!

I suppose that is one answer Justin, another answer would involve a blank and incredulous look, followed by a question that inquired of the questioneer just how it would work out logistically for the Vatican to go to war with the U.S.

On the one hand it is more or less the Italians who have an army, but I am not sure it is the case that the Vatican can be said to go to war if Italy goes to war.

At best the Vatican has the swiss guard, which in my opinion would easily be destroyed by the somewhat comparable Secret Service. Interestingly enough the Vatican via the italians are allowed to mint some small quantity of euro's...and if the swiss guard were in charge of preventing counterfiting, then they would be quite similar to the secret service. Vatican coins of course are hardly ever circulated since they are worth more to collectors than the euro face value they represent.

If the Vatican ever did go to war with the U.S. I would be in favor of air dropping Brittish world war 2 pamphlets upon Vatican city.

Also a complete blocade of the Vatican where we air dropped mana would be interesting.

No president would be down for anything so creative, we might however cancel access to the US from vatican passports. If catholics from the vatican wanted into the US they would have to get here the same way the other catholics did, sneaking over the mexican border?

Doubtful that you could get a congressional resolution in favor of war against the vatican, or that any US president would respond with military force. As a result you might end up with a new branch of "anglican"-like, american churches.

Also a "war" between the vatican and the U.S. if it did come to raising the question of loyalty would immediately raises ethnic/latino questions of loyalty.

So "liberals" might hate the vatican, but they hate the "racists anti-immigration" folks more...also recognizing demographic destiny, they would side with the latino catholic loyalists.

It would basically be a non-historical event with tons of media angles, pandering and strange rhetoric.

Essentially the question of response to a war between the vatican and the U.S. involves answering as Jesus might, with a question.

What do you do if a five year old kicks you in the shin?
If you answer kick him back, you failed.
(the pamphlets or "mana" answer also represent failures, as a form of taunting, like stiff arming a five year old and laughing while he kicks and swings at air.) Obviously you look around for his parents or guardians and return him to their care, which in this case would be the italians.

Also some liberals would have a ton of fun with the free excercise clause. A proper legal question would be if the vatican declared war on the US, could a president constitutionaly revoke the passports of bishops who travel overseas? How far could the U.S. go without running afoul of the free excercise clause? What about surveillance? Could the government bug confessionals? track priests? Almost certainly the ACLU would be filling a lot of briefs. Even if the Vatican declared war on the US could the US prevent, snoop or disrupt the communication of church hierarchy? To what extent? Within the U.S?

Most liberals would have too much fun siding with the catholics/latino's against provisions of the "Patriot Act".

"Religious Tests at the New York Times"

That is as funny as Al Gore monitoring his heating and air conditioning usage at his 4 oversized homes.

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