Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”     John Locke,    Two Treatises of Government, Of Property

July 22, 2007

America: More Likely To Elect A Gay, Muslim, Former Drug User Than An Athiest

by Doug Mataconis

That is the somewhat interesting result of a recent New York Times poll:

THE probing about his Mormon beliefs has by now become familiar to the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But when Mary Van Steenis, a teacher at a local Christian school, took the microphone at a recent “Ask Mitt Anything” forum in Pella, Iowa, to ask her question, it still felt as if some sort of unspoken boundary of social etiquette had been breached.

Mrs. Van Steenis wanted Mr. Romney to say where the Book of Mormon would figure in his decision making as president.

“Where would the Bible be?” she asked. “Would it be above the Book of the Mormon, or would it be beneath it?”

Although the Constitution bars any religious test for office, if polls are to be believed, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, faces a serious obstacle to winning the presidency because of his faith. Surveys show a substantial percentage of Americans would be less likely to vote for a Mormon, or for that matter a Muslim or an atheist. But how rigid is that sentiment?

Just take a look at the numbers and it seems pretty rigid.

This is why candidates appearing at churches and Presidents invoking God are part of the public religion of the United States. The voters expect it, heck in some parts of the country I’d go so far as to say they demand it. This is hardly surprising, since the United States has always been a far more openly religious country than most of the West.

And repression has often been part of the package.

The Puritans, for example, didn’t come to the New World for religious freedom so much as they came so that they’d be able to impose their own brand of religious tyranny free from interference by the Church of England. And it happened in other colonies as well, with the exception of Quaker dominated Pennsylvania. That’s why we have a First Amendment and that’s why the Constitution specifically provides that there is no religious test for holding office.

But Constitutional amendments can only go so far. Toleration for other’s beliefs is not something that can be imposed, it must be learned. And it would seem we still have a long way to go.

H/T: Althouse

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1 Comment

  1. Well, yes. When a religious nutjob goes on a murderous rampage, for example, they choose to interpret his deranged sermons as “railing against Christianity.” We’re probably the number one most slandered group of people in the entire country. They’d be willing to vote for an atheist, though. They just don’t know it yet. We’re just that cool. Pwn.

    Comment by Griff — July 22, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

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