So. I get an email from Hillary telling me how she has picked Tim Kaine to be her VP. As a Virginian I’m happy, though I had hoped she’d pick Elizabeth Warren. But something has been irking me. She made a point of telling me how he and his had joined a church and built a home centered around faith. And this annoys me why? Because I do not think his faith has anything to do with his ability to govern, unless I’m missing something and churches ARE now teaching classes. (Given the current political atmosphere, I fully expect that some Evangelical churches probably are doing that very thing.) I long for the day when a political candidate does not feel obliged to take a faith-based litmus test in order to run for public office in the US, as if being a good Christian automatically confers greater executive, legislative, or judicial skills. I say “good Christian” because, despite there being Jewish and even a few Muslim elected officials, we all know that Christianity is the religion that rules the land. Witness the RNC. And let agnostics and atheists beware! For a individual to come out publicly as a nonbeliever is the kiss of death. No-one currently serving in the Senate or House of Representatives admits to being atheist or even agnostic. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), the only openly avowed atheist, left office in 2013; Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) only came out as atheist after he had left office. No-one atheist has ever been elected to the Supreme Court. There are still states where it is AGAINST THE LAW for an atheist to hold public office.
One of the many things I liked about Bernie was that I DIDN’T hear him talk about his faith. I never heard him say anything about how he belonged to this or that synagogue, how much god meant to him, etc. etc. Of course, he IS Jewish, and we tend to talk and think about religion differently than Christians. And, to give Hillary her due, she doesn’t beat you over the head with a religious schtick (pun intended), either. I think she mentions it about as much as she has to. She might have her personal beliefs, but I’m pretty confident that the government she runs will not be faith-based and that the wall of separation between church and state will be respected. And that, I’m afraid, is about as much as we can ask for, given the current furor and frenzy that seems to sweeping the land.