Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has vowed to repeal a federal law that bars houses of worship (and other tax-exempt non-profits) from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.
In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American.
Election season is still in its early stages, but eyes are already on Iowa. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have already declared their candidacy for the presidency; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are also expected to declare shortly to compete for the GOP nomination. (And let’s not forget Ben Carson, another favorite of social conservatives.)
Here’s what the country doesn’t need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.
Yet that’s what the country is getting.
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a new report yesterday outlining the things the Republican Party must do to improve its performance at the polls.
Priebus said Republicans have to reach out to women, Hispanics and other minorities and change their “narrow-minded” and “out of touch” image. One of the to-do items was to alter the GOP approach to social issues such as equality for gay people.
We’re just a few months removed from the 2012 elections, and the Religious Right is already hard at work trying to lure churches into partisan politics for the 2014 elections.
This week, Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel, which is affiliated with Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University, said it is gearing up to help fundamentalists take “dominion” over the United States and make us a “Christian nation.”