The NYT’s Bill Keller has posted a list of religious-themed questions that he sent to the current crop of presidential candidates, ostensibly to see how intertwined their political views are with their religious views, but more likely because it will attract the interest of political observers. (Hat-tip to Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO.) Here are my answers to the questions:
1) Sure it’s fair to question. To demagogue, no.
2) Yes. (I’m sensing an Obama-themed questionnaire thus far.)
3) Yes, America is a Christian nation, not in the sense that our government’s policies are informed by the teachings of Jesus Christ, but in that the majority of Americans are Christian.
4) This question is nonsense. I cannot conceive of a situation where following the Constitution means going against the tenets of Christianity. And if a law was passed that I must worship another God, must commit adultery or must lie, I will probably side with my faith. Doesn’t seem too likely though.
5) I don’t see how this would be relevant, seeing as “What is your religion?” is not a question that is asked of potential federal appointees. “Will you strictly follow and uphold the Constitution?” would suffice for me.
6) No, Mormons are not Christians. No it should not. (See my previous answer.)
7) Its influence is overrated. And to say that only Christians should hold secular positions is unrealistic. A Christian should pray that God would guide every leader in the way that He sees fit.
8) I think the question of whether evolution is true or not is irrelevant. A president has no authority whether it’s taught in schools — that’s a teacher’s purview.
And at this point, it’s useless to argue that evolution should not be taught in schools. It will be regardless. Though it would be nice if it was taught more as the theory that it is than as fact.
9) Yes. The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause only prevents the federal government from establishing a state religion and from prohibiting a person from practicing their religion. By my reading, the First Amendment does not preclude prayer in public schools.