- United States Constitution
Our nation has been well served by a Constitution that rejects any religious test for public office. No one can be denied a public office by virtue of their religion - or lack of religion.
Someone should read this section of the Constitution to Southern Baptists in Florida.
U.S. Rep. Kathleen Harris, the leading Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate race in Florida (and the former state secretary of state known for throwing the 2000 election to George W. Bush), made news this weekend for answers she gave in an interview to a state-wide Baptist publication. Harris called the separation of church and state a "lie" meant to keep Christians out of public life and said that only Christians should serve in office.
If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don't know better, we are leading them astray and it's wrong. ...
Take a look at the Florida Baptist Witness 2006 Primary Election Special Report and read the questions they asked all the candidates for governor and senate:
What is your personal religious faith?
Are you a part of a local place of worship, a local church?
....at some point in time we're going to stand before God and give an account. When you are in that position are your confident that you're going to spend eternity with God in Heaven?
Someday when you die, if God asks you, "Why should I let you in My Heaven?" What would your answer be?
These sound like religious tests for public office. Clearly, Florida Baptists have a right to judge candidates using any criteria they like. They can even ask questions like the ones above. But what does their candidate survey show?
The Florida Baptist State Convention rejects the values embodied in American constitutional democracy.
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis declined to participate in this survey. Good for him. Florida Baptist Witness did not offer the incumbent U.S. Senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, the opportunity to respond. Read the comments on this post from Street Prophets