Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s religious views. I won’t be doing so because I believe that Bachmann’s views on religion matter. Instead, I’ll be writing on the subject because Michele Bachmann herself has declared that her religious beliefs are a core portion of her qualifications to elected President of the United States next year.
The Bachmann for President campaign has released a list of religious leaders who endorse her campaign for President, and along with it, a statement declaring, “Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann announced today the endorsement of more than 100 Iowa pastors and faith leaders. Many of the evangelical leaders offered support after hearing her testimony and witnessing how her faith guides her strong leadership…”
Normally, I would say that a candidate’s religious beliefs should not be a part of any consideration of the candidate’s suitability for public office. The Constitution, after all, declares that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Michele Bachmann, however, is using her list of religious endorsements to promote the idea that she ought to be elected President because of her Christian religious identity, or “her faith”, as she puts it. She’s making an implicit promise to be a theocrat, pushing her particular religious beliefs into public laws that apply to everyone.
We aren’t trying to make a religious test that Michele Bachmann has to pass to qualify for public office. Michele Bachmann is – and she’s working to apply that religious test to everyone else. It’s in order to defend the separation of church and state that we need to examine the religious agenda that Michele Bachmann has insisted on making a part of the 2012 presidential election contest.