Normally, a person's religion would be out of bounds when the U.S. Senate considers the qualifications of presidential nominations to high government offices.Waco, you must understand, is the home of Baylor University, an historically Baptist university. So this ain't San Francisco; although Baptists have, historically, been staunch defenders of the separation of church and state. That attitude may even be resurgent, is this is any indication (and, of course, if Mr. Nethaway is a Baptist!):
That's not the case with President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For likely the first time in American history, a president has made religion a central reason for nominating a candidate for the Supreme Court, or for any other office for that matter.
When it first appeared that John G. Roberts Jr. might be questioned about his Catholicism, both the candidate and conservative supporters quickly separated his faith from his judiciary duties.Can't say for sure, but I think Karl is starting to lose the "homeland."
That's the way it should be. In the case of Roberts, the promise to separate church and state meant Americans did not have to worry about the Vatican casting votes on the U.S. Supreme Court. No religion should be in a position to dictate U.S. policies.
What Bush has done with Miers' nomination is just the opposite. Rather than make an effort to separate Miers' evangelical, born-again religion from her duties on the Supreme Court, Bush has emphasized her religion and used it as a qualification for ability to perform her duties to the approval of other conservatives.
Bush apparently sees no irony in urging people to ignore Roberts' religion as having no impact on his Supreme Court duties and then turning around and urging people to consider Miers' religion as justification of her suitability to serve on the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, Bush said it was altogether appropriate for the White House to emphasize Miers' religion when trying to convince conservatives that they will not be disappointed in her service on the Supreme Court.
Bush is not exactly a Navajo wind talker when it comes to sending messages in code. He's telling conservative critics of Miers' nomination to back off because he knows that her Christian evangelical faith will give them the decisions they have been looking for on the Supreme Court.
There should never be a religious litmus test to serve in government. Atheists, agnostics and people of all faiths should have an equal chance to serve their government.
Miers should be given the opportunity to do what Kennedy did, to say she does not speak for her religion on public matters and that her religion does not speak for her.
(Link courtesy of janeboatler)
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