ACLU Claims Religious Test ‘Proposed as a Necessary Qualification’ for President


By: Warner Todd Huston

If you can’t win your issue by the strength of your argument… then lie. Apparently that is the tactic of the ACLU if a recent “ACLU’s Diary” entry on the DailyKos by T. Jeremy Gunn is any indication. With all the talk of religion surrounding the various candidates for the GOP nomination for president lately it has obviously been driving our ACLU Director of Freedom of Religion and Belief out of his gourd. (Though, one is excused for thinking that his title is a bit misleading for it should probably be a Freedom from Religion and Belief, but be that as it may…) Gunn goes off half cocked over the supposed forced imposition of religion on the campaign for president.

The lie concerns Mr. Gunn’s shot at Romney claiming that he and others have created a new “religious test” as a qualification for a candidate in contravention to the Constitution.

Belief in monotheism has now been proposed as a necessary qualification for someone who wants to be president. So if you are a believer in the Dalai Lama’s religion, Buddhism, this country was not meant for you. If you are a follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s religion, Hinduism, – just check your American dream at the door.

Naturally, Gunn’s claim is an outright lie. His overly emotional blather is easily falsified by merely asking for his claim to be backed up with proof. Unfortunately, Gunn missed his target, because there is no one anywhere who has seriously made up such a proposal. No religious organization, no Party, no city, town, State, or Federal government proposal has been introduced anywhere in this country that a religious test be proposed to act as a qualification to run for president. Heck, not even a single candidate has uttered such nonsense.

But, Gunn sets his sights on Romney because of Romney’s recent religion speech and Gunn is loaded for bear to defeat what he sees as Romney’s illicitly imposing religion on the campaign. Gunn breaks out the big…er… guns and even goes so far as to quote the Reverend Mr. Shute, a member of the Massachusetts constitutional ratification convention of 1788, on matters of religious tests. To which, Gunn pops off with:

Exactly the point. We should be electing candidates who are honorable, honest, and principled, not those who manipulate religious language to get themselves elected.

So, pretending your religion doesn’t matter, keeping it under wraps and refusing to meet with religious groups, or discuss religion… that would be more “honest and principled,” Mr. Gunn? Who could be surprised that the ACLU’s definition of “honest” doesn’t jive well with everyone else’s definition. I guess it all depends on what the definition of “is” is?

Then, in a laughably hypocritical move, after setting up his own “straw man” of a “Belief in monotheism” that has been “proposed as a necessary qualification” to become president,” Gunn then claims that everyone ELSE is using “straw man” arguments against his efforts to eliminate religion from the public square! He spends half the piece arguing that religion should be removed from presidential campaigns, then Gunn missfires over his pique that his cause of forcing political candidates to stay mum about their religious beliefs is unfairly portrayed by “some political leaders.”

Gunn wants it both ways. He wants his issue to be treated with respect and made an important aspect of the political debate, but wants everyone else’s to be swept away and to be forcibly hidden from that very same public. So much for his claimed interest in “free speech,” I guess.

Gunn aims at brevity to sum up his argument.

Which part of “no” in “no religious test” is difficult to understand? And why are some candidates arguing with straw men?

Of course, it shows how poor his marksmanship is to so easily turn his brevity back on him:

Which part of no one has made a “religious test” for president is difficult to understand, Mr Gunn?

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