GOP Senatorial Candidate Dismisses Non-Christians; They Don’t Know Any Better

One of the greatest threats to the United States comes not from Islamic terrorists but from our leaders who have little appreciation of that which makes us truly free. Another threat is the absence of shock and outrage when a political leader from the right takes a position that is diametrically opposed to the principles of this country. This is a problem that far exceeds the abilities or inadequacies of one individual candidate for office.

A while ago, Katherine Harris, a Florida Republican who yearns to be a United States Senator, with all of the “perks”: nifty license plates, trips paid by lobbyists, fancy dinners, paid trips to wherever and so on, made a speech to a religious convention, demonstrating her unfamiliarity with the Constitution which she would be expected to support, protect and defend.

Among other things, Ms Harris said, “if you’re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin. . .Whenever we legislate sin . . .then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, [are being led] astray and it’s wrong.”

These comments are neither unexpected nor unique. Ms Harris will never be selected to bring dessert to a Mensa picnic. Bryan Rudnik, Ms Harris’ main apologist-campaign manager, tried to “explain”.

“[She] is a passionate supporter of Israel, the Jewish people. . . [S]he encourages people of all faiths to engage in government so that our country can continue to thrive on the principles set forth by our Founding Fathers âÂ?¦.”

Sure she does.

The Constitution, Article VI, which Ms Harris would be expected uphold, provides: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

When the wording of the new constitution began to be published and read by the public, a conflict arose over what some perceived as a rejection of religion. They saw the “no religious test” clause and the lack of any references to God, Jesus, Christianity, etc. as dangerous, a threat to what many felt was a necessary union between government and religion.

Justice Joseph Story, in 1803, foresaw the present climate in which Ms Harris feels comfortable. – “The framers of the constitution knew, that bigotry was unceasingly vigilant in its stratagems, to secure to itself an exclusive ascendancy over the human mind; and that intolerance was ever ready to arm itself with all the terrors of the civil power to exterminate those, who doubted its dogmas, or resisted its infallibility.”

There have been the usual and expected protestations of outrage from Democrat office holders and contenders; the liberal to moderate “talking heads” on television have added their voices of protest.

What is absent is a similar wave of protest from conservative Republicans to whom this maliciousness should be offensive. Where are the protests and expressed revulsion by Christian clergy? How can any rational person become an apologist for these views? The conservative right has, according to themselves, a reverence for the Constitution and the principles of American freedom. But not all of the time.

The issue is not the parochial views of Katherine Harris. If she is elected to the Unites States Senate then, as in all such cases, tghe people of Florida will, once again, get the government it deserves. The real threat to the nation comes from the inability or refusal by the right to give up political partisanship for the common good.

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