The Jesus Litmus Test

…[F]or many Republicans, ideology doesn’t just mean lower taxation and higher military spending. It also means Christianity (or at least Judeo-Christianity). In the United States today, and in particular in the GOP, racial barriers may be falling, but religious barriers are alive and well.

Jindal was raised Hindu and converted to Catholicism; Haley [was] a Sikh who became evangelical. There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversions. But both also seem aware that maintaining the non-Western religious traditions of their birth would have imperiled their political careers. In 2007, when Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognizing the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali, Jindal abstained. Before running for governor, Haley noted that her family attended a Sikh Temple as well as a Methodist Church, but today she studiously avoids any reference to being born Sikh and as the campaign has progressed, her website has been updated to stress in increasingly emphatic terms her devotion to Jesus Christ. That’s hardly surprising given that the co-chairman of one of her Republican gubernatorial rivals circulated an email claiming that Haley “can’t seem to make up her mind about her faith.”

America was indeed founded on Judeo-christian principles. These principles serve people of other faiths and athiests to very well.

The Daily Beast???

No, America was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment did not come about independent from the Judeo-Christian soil that nurtured it. It is doubtful too whether these principles can be sustained outside of a culture with a basic belief in the Judeo-Christian worldview.

The Enlightenment rejected religion in favor of the power of human reason. It had no Judeo-Christian components.

Did any of the thinkers of the enlightenment teach in universities?

The President, like Haley, has had to deal with rumors that he was not a Chrisian-rumors that first surfaced during the primaries. It appears this issue tracends Party’s.

This is a misleading statement. The New England colonies in particular were peopled by religious dissidents who’s theological views promoted independence. See Patricia Bonami’s Under the Cope of Heaven, or Isaac Rhys’s The Transformation of Virginia if you want to understand the importance of Judeo-Christian values in the formation of out nation.

It would seem ludicrous to even argue that America is not at its core founded on a basis of Christian religion along with Hebrew scripture. It is so obvious, but it would be like making the case that the sky is blue to a blind man. How do you make the case, when just calling out “Look up!” will no longer suffice.

I really like what Prager does here in presenting his case for the continuance of Judeo-Christian values in American life.

Obama’s church was very much in the mold of Black Liberation theology. It is based in the Gospel according to Karl.

No lesser an intellect than Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, are on record in denouncing such theologies as demonic.

Indeed. However, that doesn’t take away from the writer’s point that non-Christian politicians face an uphill battle in the US, at least in many parts of the country.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, facing electoral defeat, tried to tap into this in 2008 with last minute TV ad suggesting that her Democrat opponent was somehow in league with “godless” interests.

As Estesbob noted, the bias against non-Christians isn’t limited to just Republicans. However, I think such bias is more pronounced in certain strains of conservativism, and thus might be more influential within the Republican party.

Yes, that was my first reaction, too. Its not a source I would use (and have avoided in the past.)

However, the author is an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York. And his article has been picked up by a print magazine, which I have never heard of, but which is published in the US, UK and Australia.

^For the above: The Church doesn’t recognize Mormon baptisms, and Mormons can’t exactly say the Creed without some twisting (i.e. they can’t say “…the only son of God” because Satan is Jesus’ brother), so I don’t think they’re Christians. I don’t remember if the Church has come out and sad as such, though.

That being said, America has already had its first non-Christian president, Thomas Jefferson, a deist, and that didn’t turn out so badly.

Lincoln also denied being a Christian.

“My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.”

“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.”

Lincoln never belonged to any church and never claimed to be a Christian.

Is deism a religion, or just a different way of understanding God that was in vogue during that era?

I wanna see Lincoln’s birth-certificate. Was he really an American?

Nonsense. The very idea of human rights, the intrinsic worth and value of people, comes from Christianity, in Jesus dying for and from His love for all people. If Christianity hadn’t been the foundational mindset of Europe for 1500 years then there wouldn’t have been anything for the Enlightenment to build upon.

Atheists (and agnostics) have a hard time coming up with a convincing argument for human rights.


What is relevant is that both Lincoln and Jefferson too were very much steeped in the Judeo-Christian system of values.

I don’t’ think that claim could be made on behalf of a Barrack Obama though. The combination of being raised with his mother’s leftist secularism combined with the Black Liberation theology that he learned from his spiritual mentor Wright is in many ways the exact opposite of those values.

His value do reflect the values of the left side of American politics in general though. This really does reflect a change in the values that have defined the America of Jefferson and Lincoln. The Christian form of Obama’s (and the left’s) religion is still there. The substance is not the same at all.

You mean you want to see her birth certificate. “Abraham” Lincoln was actually a woman named Abigail. She suffered from Marfan’s syndrome which is why she was unusually tall and gangling. And yes, her birth certificate was found.


She was also a vampire hunter!

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