We’ve had a bit of Email discussion, more or less centered on my most recent post about Mitt Romney. Specifically, the topic ends up being whether not there is a religious test for high office. As a basis for the ongoing discussion, let me quote one paragraph from the previous post:

We dig further into the patronizing nonsense, when Romney starts invoking the will of the framers, as regards a religious test for high office. It seems a little out of place to be talking about whether or not Americans should you’d be talking about such things, when the question at hand is not whether or not run the is to be president, but whether or not the republican party of these United States should be nominating him to run for that office. Those two situations represent rather dramatically different things. Certainly, there is no governmental tests for running for high office. The question of whether not there should be a test within the minds of each of the voters, is left unaddressed by the framers, however. It is therefore presumptuous on the part of Mr. Romney to try and recast the argument, now.

A good deal of the discussion that we are engaged in with this currently, has to do with some confusion over the line I’m drawing here. I am by no means suggesting that the government should have a religious test attached to it. That said, the question of whether or not individual voters should consider the matter as they vote, is something else again. There is still more of a difference involved, when the question is not whether or not an individual should be elected to high office, but whether not a particular political party should nominate this person to run for that office.

I will grant, that individual voters who add religion to their list of variables, are most likely engaged in identity politics. There is much in the way of history to discourage us from doing that. However, reality exists. (Wow… reality…. what a concept!) Unless you’re going to get into policing thought, which I consider even more distasteful, you’re never going to overcome that. Nor, I think, should you.

Government entering that equation is the only thing that can truly be controlled to any extent. The framers saw wisely that it is the only place where such control should be attempted.

And what about frothing nutcases like Lawrence O’Donnell who showed up on McLaughlin over the weekend? I make the assumption that such people will out themselves as O’Donnel did handily, in the process making Pat Buchanan of all folks seem utterly reasonable. you see, when such yardsticks are used in a reasonable fashion, they can be useful. Although, O’Donnell’s measurement, certainly, is not one of these. When such unreasonable sentiments are exposed thus, they do tend to make a large number of other people reconsider their own positions, to something more reasonable. After all, people generally tend to try to avoid being associated with unreasonable positions. The allowance, therefore, for such concerns about religion on the part of the individual voter, tends to be self regulating, and self controlling. THere are no such limits on a government mandated religious test for high office.

At this stage, there are a number of other concerns about Romney which should be concentrated on. HIs religion simply isn’t high on that list of concerns.

All that said, what apparently started O’Donnell’s tirade was Romney’s comment..”Freedom requires religion”. Odd that O’Donnell… and so much of the left, over the weekend, should be wasting so much spit on this point. Perhaps they’ve forgotten John Adams point on the matter:

Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.

Seems to me by bringing up that point, Romney is putting himself in some pretty important company… and it also seems to me that O’Donnell exposes soemthing of himself that he’d rather we not see… Religious bigotry of the first order… as well as a lack of a sense of history on the matter.

Addendum:  (David L)

Rats, Bit stole by thunder.   They say that a mind is terrible thing to waste.   Yet I think it the case of Larry O’Donnell the waste is a rather small one.   The video of the exchange is priceless

Hat tip:  Allah Pundit, Hot Air.

The Constitution restricts the power of the state.  As such the state has no authority to administer any religous test for office.   The Coistitution does not restrict the power of the individual.   As such the citizen has every right to impose any religous test for office as he alone may see fit.

What I suggest is appropriate to determine of a canidate is if he can distingish between theology and public duty.    I see no indication that Mitt Romney has any such problem.

On the other hand, Mike Huckabee does not even see the need for such dsitinctions.    Huckabee fails my religous test for any office not part of the Southern Baptist church.   What say you?

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