Santorum Proves Unfitness for Presidency with Bible Attack

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum effectively disqualified himself from the office of the presidency today. Speaking in Ohio, Santorum revealed his inability to govern a pluralistic society. The truth emerged in the context of an attack on President Barack Obama, whose agenda he claimed is "about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology," according to the Associated Press.

For a man running for president to suggest governmental policy should be based on the Bible raises a red flag that proves his unfitness for the job. Santorum calling non-Bible-based religion phony tells voters he will only represent Christians. The U.S. is not a theologically defined society but one governed by a Constitution, whose First Amendment precludes government establishment of religion. The government cannot base public policy on the Christian Bible without running afoul of this governing principle.

While Christianity is the dominant religion practiced by Americans, according to a Pew Forum report, there is no single Bible to which even they subscribe. The 78.4 percent of Americans calling themselves Christian are comprised of evangelical Protestants, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Orthodox sect members. Other religions practiced in this diverse country include Judiasm, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism; some citizens subscribe to New Age and Native American belief systems. A substantial minority of Americans, 16.1 percent, have no religious affiliation whatsoever.

Bible-based laws and public policy have no place in America. Wasn't that the fear Americans addressed and resolved during the 1960 election when candidate John F. Kennedy assured voters he would not be beholden to the Pope if elected to run the country? Today, the country is even more diverse than in 1960. Except for a fringe right seeking to impose its will on everyone else, there's no support for changing our governmental form to a theocracy.

When Santorum embarrassed himself recently -- and diminished his presidential chances -- by disparaging blacks, he quickly backpedaled, saying he didn't say "blacks." Video proof indicates otherwise. It was Santorum who chose to rail about blacks on welfare; the question he replied to involved another topic altogether, foreign influence.

Will Santorum lie tomorrow to distance himself from his disqualifying religious remarks? And if he does, is there any reason in this world why voters should listen?

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