Religion has no place in politics

By Parker Happ

At the Reagan Library Republican debates, Herman Cain outlined his plan to promote business in our stagnating markets. Cain argued that in order to get America back on track, government needs to eliminate the current tax code and institute a 9 percent flat tax on income, corporate and capital gains.

“This economy is on life support,” Cain said. “We do not need a solution that trims around the edges.”

While it is unrealistic for me to expect a candidate to explain their entire plan on jobs point by point in a total of one minute, Cain’s logic for his flat tax is less than appealing to me.

“If 10 percent is good enough for God, 9 percent should be for government.”

Religion is a part of America, as evidenced by our currency and pledge of allegiance. However, religion has no place in elections.

Our constitution states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

This means the religious background of an elected official should not be taken into account when running for public office. It’s in our constitution and it’s in our lexicon: separation of church and state.

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann all signed a pledge spearheaded by a group called The Family Leader aimed at “upholding the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, declaring homosexuality is a choice, a form of polygamy, adultery and polyandry.” Additionally, the pledge states that “homosexual acts are a public health risk.”

But the real kicker is coming. GOP hopefuls, by signing The Family Leader pledge, also vow to “ban pornography” because candidates must “support human protection of women in the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy” while protecting them from “seduction into promiscuity” and “other types of coercion or stolen innocence.” Finally, the pledge vows to reject Sharia (Islamic) law.

This makes me sick. Inasmuch as I want to believe there are voters who will look at this pledge and see the insanity, religion and politics are so closely webbed together now that it seems there is no level of logic people will toss aside in exchange for God.

In no way am I condemning religion, the ability for people to openly practice their religious beliefs or how to express them. This is innately what makes America great. What I’m calling for is an acknowledgement of the indisputable fact that debating faith ought to be accepted as irrelevant in politics.

One cannot rationally debate something for which there is no supporting evidence. Faith, though powerful, is immeasurable and, therefore, irrelevant in politics. Period.