I just want to highlight one aspect of the Republican Presidential-candidate debate that I missed—because I missed the whole thing. (Really, they’re such a pack of morons that I have zero interest in hearing them go at each other.) But what is a Republic debate without the candidates trying to out-God each other, proving that their faith is stronger, and their pipeline to Jesus straighter, than anyone else’s?
So here’s the God-Off: Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly submitted to the candidates a question that came from one Chase Norton, who put it on his Facebook page:
“I want to know if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.”
To us atheists, we know that such a question will be followed by lots of laughs, but it’s sad for our country that a). such a question would be asked and b). the pervasive religiosity of this question demands answers that pander to the faithful.
I’ve embedded the whole debate, but started it at the point near the debate’s end when the moderator asks the question:
Here’s the summary of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:
Enter U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
“Well, I am blessed to receive a word from God every day in receiving the scriptures and reading the scriptures. And God speaks through the Bible,” he announced. [JAC: Note the loud audience applause.]
Cruz never hesitates to brandish his evangelical bona fides, and didn’t deviate from habit last night. He embarked on a lengthy discussion of his father’s conversion to Christianity, and added, “I would also note that the scripture tells us, ‘You shall know them by their fruit.’ We see lots of ‘campaign conservatives.’ But if we’re going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative, someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative.”
“There are real differences among the candidates on issues like amnesty, like Obamacare, like religious liberty, like life and marriage. And I have been proud to fight and stand for religious liberty, to stand against Planned Parenthood, to defend life for my entire career,” he finished.
Gov. Scott Walker (Wisc.) said, “I’m certainly an imperfect man. And it’s only by the blood of Jesus Christ that I’ve been redeemed from my sins. So I know that God doesn’t call me to do a specific thing, God hasn’t given me a list, a Ten Commandments, if you will, of things to act on the first day.
“What God calls us to do is follow his will. And ultimately that’s what I’m going to try to do,” he added.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida stated that he thinks God “blessed” the U.S.
“This country has been extraordinarily blessed. And we have honored that blessing, and that’s why God has continued to bless us,” he said. “And he has blessed us with young men and women willing to risk their lives and sometimes die in uniform for the safety and security of our people.”
(The families of those young men and women may quarrel with Rubio’s definition of “blessing.”)
Other candidates were slightly more restrained. Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich limited himself to some boilerplate on the importance of family and hard work, and surgeon Ben Carson talked about using faith to bridge racial divides.
The God question came near the end, and time expired before every candidate could weigh in. Business magnate Donald Trump, who leads evangelicals in the polls despite his relative lack of visible religious commitment, didn’t get a chance to answer. In fact, Trump didn’t mention faith at all at any point in the debate.
And that’s the only good thing about Trump.
Can you imagine such a thing taking place in European or Canadian politics?
h/t: Diane G