In polite American company, it is considered impolitic to declare that a presidential candidate should be disqualified by his or her religion. Perhaps this is why we have a British newsmagazine asking the tough questions about Michele Bachmann’s beliefs:
[Bachmann] recommends Christian books and films that suggest non-Christians are trouble, that the government may be poisoning the water supply, and that America’s civil war was a theological battle that pitted the victimised Christian South against the godless North.
She is a fan of Nancy Pearcey’s book, “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity“, which argues that only systems built on “Biblical truth” are correct.
[Bachman] says she was profoundly affected by Francis Schaeffer’s film series “How Should We Then Live?”, which again promotes the idea that the inerrant bible is the final authority, while also condemning the influence of the Italian Renaissance, the Enlightenment, Darwin, secular humanism, and postmodernism.
This brings to mind Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs, which Slate’s Jacob Weisberg interrogated in this 2006 piece:
By the same token, I wouldn’t vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism. The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni, unearthed a book of golden plates buried in a hillside in Western New York in 1827. The plates were inscribed in “reformed” Egyptian hieroglyphics—a nonexistent version of the ancient language that had yet to be decoded.
If you don’t know the story, it’s worth spending some time with Fawn Brodie’s wonderful biography No Man Knows My History. Smith was able to dictate his “translation” of the Book of Mormon first by looking through diamond-encrusted decoder glasses and then by burying his face in a hat with a brown rock at the bottom of it. He was an obvious con man.
Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don’t want him running the country.
We also have Texas governor Rick Perry telling a New Hampshire boy that evolution is “a theory with some gaps in it,” which is code for “I’m a creationist.” As if on cue, Perry then states that in Texas public schools they teach “both creationism and evolution” (this is surely true, despite being illegal), and Perry figures the boy is smart enough to “figure out which one is true.” Unreal.