Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kathleen Parker Is Confused About SOCAS

Wasn't there a smart woman that the WaPo could have added to its op-ed roster?
At the risk of heresy, let it be said that setting up the two presidential candidates for religious interrogation by an evangelical minister -- no matter how beloved -- is supremely wrong.

It is also un-American.
Oh, really? And why? Would it have been un-American if the interrogation had been about race by a black preacher at the NAACP convention? Or by a labor leader at an AFL-CIO forum?

Last time I checked, neither the Establishment Clause nor the Free Exercise Clause implied that religion was shut out of the public square. But no governmental unit may give one religion a leg up over another, or give religion itself an advantage over nonreligion.

And in the case of Rick Warren's candidate forum at the Saddleback Church, no government was playing any role at all. So from the First Amendment perspective, game on.

After some rambling, Parker reveals her concern: that every candidate will have to pledge fealty to the likes of Warren:
What's next? Interrogations by rabbis, priests and imams? What candidate would dare decline on the basis of mere principle?
Getting a little hysterical, aren't we? I mean, the reason why this forum happened at all was that both candidates very much want to appeal to voters who are more than nominally Christian, and Warren was trusted enough by both that they were willing to take a chance on his asking reasonable questions, which he did. A rabbi, a priest and an imam may try to walk into host a candidate forum, but it's hard to see wh

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