And This Is Why I Will Never Run For Office...

I was having a conversation with my father at lunch yesterday, complaining about politics, and he suggested that if I have such an issue with things, I should myself run for office. I laughed and told him, in the present political climate, I'm absolutely unelectable. I'm an out bisexual pagan who has openly had multiple polyamorous relationships. He continued to encourage me - "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," as Gandhi said - and I even started to consider it.

And then I read something today that reminded me why I was right the first time about my electability potential, or rather, the lack thereof. (via)

One of the Republican primary candidates in the Alabama gubernatorial race has come under fire by his opponents for his religious beliefs...specifically, for not being a Biblical literalist. He was quoted in the Mobile Press-Register as saying he believed "there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be literally true and parts that are not." Get me to a fainting couch and fetch the smelling salts! How could a man who does not believe in the literal, word-for-word truth of the holy book of the One Twue Amurikan Religion possibly think himself fit for public office? He has since claimed that he was misquoted (they all say that, don't they?) and in a recent press conference affirmed "I believe the Bible is true. Every word of it." Wait, what was that about a religious test for public office, again? I could have sworn I remembered hearing about that back in grade school...

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

- US Constitution; Article VI, Section 3

Now, this doesn't strictly qualify under that requirement. That refers to a religious test administered by the government, and cannot be held to be binding individual voters from determining their votes based on religion. People can vote for a candidate because they like the color of his socks, if they want, or for any other equally stupid reason as this one. I'm sure we all remember how many teabagger-type conservatives refused to vote for Obama not because he was a Democrat, or any reason of politics, but "because he's a Muslim." (Or a Muslin, depending on the spelling capabilities of the conservadouche in question.)

However, if a candidate for office must not only be a member of the most-populous religion in the country, but also of a particularly narrow subset of literalists of that religion, in order to get the votes needed to gain office...one could infer from that that there is a de facto religious test for office, imposed by the voters. And if a Christian candidate is having to defend himself from accusations that he's not Christian ENOUGH for daring to perceive parts of the Bible as metaphorical...gods know, an outspoken and open Witch is sure as fuck never going to get elected.


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