Thursday, February 4, 2016

Marcomentum Assaults the Constitution

Next January 20th the president-elect will swear the following oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Does anyone see a conflict with the following statement?:

“We are clearly called, in the Bible, to adhere to our civil authorities, but that conflicts with also a requirement to adhere to God’s rules. When those two come in conflict, God’s rules always win (emphasis added). In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin, violate God’s law and sin, if we’re ordered to stop preaching the gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that. We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

Pundits are calling his surge in the polls “marcomentum,” but, to my way of thinking, with that statement, handsome and wholesome-looking Marco Rubio has disqualified himself from being president by asserting that God’s laws—if there is a God—supersede man’s. That might hold true in a theocracy like Iran or the ISIS caliphate but here in the United States we have always valued separation of church and state. 

Until now, apparently. Besides, who’s to say who gets to interpret God’s law? Catholics? Jews? Muslims? Protestants? Hindus? Shintos? Mormons? Which of their respective sects gets to adjudicate what God meant, which of the laws must still be followed? The Bible and Koran condoned slavery, prohibited the eating of pork, permitted multiple wives and admonished believers to live according to rules modern cultures consider barbaric. 

The Framers of the Constitution were quite clear in creating a separation between church and state. No pope, no ayatollah, no cleric would be supreme above the law. Neither would a president. 

Sadly, Rubio is not alone among Republicans who would place their religion above executing the law. Among candidates still in the race, include Ted Cruz. And through his comments on restricting Muslims from entering the country, even U.S. citizens, count Donald Trump among those who would violate the Constitution. 

Also sadly, acceptance of religious diversity is fading in our land. During his visit to a Baltimore mosque Wednesday, President Obama appealed for tolerance. But derision greeted his visit from quarters that have reviled almost all of his actions during the first seven years of his presidency. How could it not when almost three out of 10 Americans (43% of Republicans) think he is secretly a Muslim, according to a CNN/ORC poll last September? 

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