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America May See Its First Openly Pagan Presidential Candidate This Year

The Darryl Cherney for President Exploratory Committee popped up on Facebook earlier this year, and though he hasn’t registered with the FEC, Darryl Cherney says that he is contemplating running for President with the Green Party. If he does, he says that he would be the first openly Pagan presidential candidate.

Why does it matter that Darryl Cherney identifies his religion as Pagan? Cherney says that Paganism is just what the U.S. federal government needs.

darryl cherney pagan for presidentCherney writes, “If I choose to run I may be the first (openly) Pagan Presidential Candidate. And yes it matters. To have a candidate that honors the feminine and Mother Earth as sacred is something we are sorely lacking. For those who say we must not bring religion into the mix, may I remind you that among our greatest activists were Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Desmond Tutu and Ghandi–all who wore their spirituality on their sleeves. There is a difference between the separation of Church and State and letting people know your spiritual practice. And given the hundreds of years of brutality foisted upon pagans, which continues to this day, it’s time someone spoke out in the political arena and besides saying “I am gay,” or “I was a pot smoker” or “I am a socialist;” to say “I am a pagan!” And then to let people know it simply means honoring the female and male as equals in the divine.”

To me, the most important issue isn’t whether a Pagan President is going to make everything better in the USA, but whether Darryl Cherney is just one more in a long line of presidential candidates who assert that their own religion should be the guiding standard for American government. We already have a guiding standard for our country. It’s democratically established and maintained. It’s called the Constitution.

The Constitution makes it clear that there shouldn’t be any religious test for any governmental position in the United States, much less for the position of President. That doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional for Darryl Cherney to campaign on a platform of using the government to implement his religious beliefs. It means it would be unconstitutional for Cherney to follow through on these campaign promises. No law in the USA can be used to establish any religion, whether it’s Christian, Pagan, or something else.

We would be wise to choose our elected leaders on the basis of policy agenda, rather than on the basis of religious identity. We’ve seen many American politicians identify themselves as Christian, yet disagree with each other vigorously about policy. Religion is political, but it provides vague and contradictory ideas about politics, leading to remarkable diversity in interpretation. It’s not the job of the President to be the preacher in chief, whether the preaching is about Jesus or about the Sacred Feminine.

On the political substance, Darryl Cherney seems to be having some trouble getting his policy agenda clear. In April, he announced that he had been working hard on his campaign platform. “It’s almost ready to share,” he said. A couple of weeks ago, when a follower of his exploratory campaign asked if he had finished his platform yet, Cherney wrote, “I’ve got the document in it’s form. Now I’m ironing out the typos, kinks, errors, and so on.”

Still, months after Cherney began his exploratory presidential campaign, he still hasn’t been able to say what he would do if he gets elected. The Cherney for President platform remains unfinished.

It appears to be much easier for Cherney to simply say that he would be the first openly Pagan president than to explain why that matters.

2 thoughts on “America May See Its First Openly Pagan Presidential Candidate This Year”

  1. Darryl Cherney says:

    Darryl Cherney here. A few corrections, if you don’t mind. I published my platform a two and a half months after I announced my exploratory operation. Before that there were a number of short posts with hard positions on the issues. That doesn’t seem a very long time. Given that your blog post was made only a month or so after I announced my exploration, it seems odd for the writer to proclaim how long it’s taken me to issue a document that addresses many of the entire worlds’ problems.

    Given that all presidential candidates pretty much state their religion, I feel that it is, in fact, not just necessary but helpful to state my spirituality. Like it or not, people govern from their spiritually held systems, even if it’s atheism.

    It is not unconstitutional to pass or veto bills based on one’s spiritual beliefs. That happens right up to the supreme court’s rulings. What is unconstitutional is to pass laws that dictate that you follow or not follow a religion. So a Congressperson can vote on a law such as abortion practices based on their religious beliefs as happens all the time. They just can’t make the law a religious law saying it is because the Bible says so.

    So I will veto bills that cause pollution because it is a desecration of our Mother Earth. I just can’t make anyone “worship” the Earth. Obviously, pollution is much more than a spiritual concern. That is all up front. Entire wars are fought on religious grounds, so the notion that religion plays no role in governing is pure fantasy. The First Amendment is clear and it is not what you think it is, not could it be.

    Here it is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    So it’s a good thing that a candidate states their religion because that way you know what you’re getting. There is nothing that says you can’t vote based on your spiritual perspective.

    My platform has been up for months, three youtubes of my positions are up and it’s all there for all to see. Perhaps you think a month and a half equals “months.” Perhaps that math is part of your religion to exaggerate. How unconstitutional! Here’s the link to all you say isn’t there:

  2. Darryl Cherney says:

    P.S. The reason I feel it’s important to state my spirituality is a matter or reducing bigotry against those who honor mother Earth, which has been going on since at least the Inquisition. We just had our first African American President. We’ve never had a woman for President or Vice President, nor have we ever had a Jew in this position. We’ve had one Catholic President.

    So stating my spirituality (not religion) is a matter for discourse and for the nation opening up it’s eyes to the fact that the world is not Judeo/Christian/Islam. So since the country is relectuant to elect anyone but a Protestant male, I’m making a move to cross that particular glass ceiling.

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