I read this earlier, and I saw Sic Semper Tyrannis had posted part of it, but it bears repeating.
In a column today, Peggy Noonan talks about how a candidate's faith has risen to such levels of importance to some voters.
Christian conservatives have been rising, most recently, for 30 years in national politics, since they helped elect Jimmy Carter. They care about the religious faith of their leaders, and their interest is legitimate. Faith is a shaping force. Lincoln got grilled on it. But there is a sense in Iowa now that faith has been heightened as a determining factor in how to vote, that such things as executive ability, professional history, temperament, character, political philosophy and professed stands are secondary, tertiary.
But they are not, and cannot be. They are central. Things seem to be getting out of kilter, with the emphasis shifting too far.
She also asks the question of if Reagan would survive in today's GOP climate...
I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough.
You know, this actually hits at the heart of what I've been saying for a long time. It's always a good thing when someone has strong morals and has their own religious beliefs, and it's even better when they're generally accepting of others beliefs or non-beliefs, as Reagan was. The belief that someone has to reach a certain level of Christian purity to be President is a bit much, in my honest opinion.
There are much more important things going on in this nation that require more than just a particular religious faith that falls within a narrow definition for a specific bloc of voters.