Thursday, April 05, 2007

Don't Expect These on Meet the Press

The media have obviously been scrambling to come up with interesting new interview questions for the various presidential contenders. In the spirit of helpfulness, I’d like to suggest the following:

  • The First Amendment forbids the establishment of religion. So how come Congress gets an Easter break?
  • The framers of the Constitution omitted any reference to a supreme being in the document they so carefully crafted. How do the sentiments of those founders justify keeping the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance?
  • How do Jewish and Christian lawmakers reconcile the concept of “eminent domain” with the 10th Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet ... anything that is thy neighbor’s”?
  • A person who believes that the United States is a Christian nation must believe, therefore, that our Constitution is a Christian document. Article VI contains the words “... no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” If this is a true Christian sentiment, aren't Christian voters being unChristian to insist that public servants conform to litmus tests on their religious views?
  • Some politicians assert that their religion is a private matter. So why do they hold a photo op every time they go to church?
  • The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ....” Using a "strict constructionist" analysis of the Constitution, can you explain how the original 18th-century intent of the phrase "make no law" has been interpreted to mean "allow some laws"?
  • A person who went to a fundamentalist Baptist law school presumably claims to follow the Ten Commandments. These include a taboo against bearing false witness. So how can such a person — like Monica Goodling, for example — refuse to answer questions under subpoena because she’s afraid she’ll incriminate herself by lying?
  • Article II of the Constitution requires a president to “swear (or affirm)” that he “will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States.” Would the founders have included the “affirm” option if they expected all future presidents to be practicing mainstream Christians?
  • Imagine a president who advertises that he regularly seeks advice from god about leading the country. Is it possible for such a man to claim honestly that he, as the chief executive of the government, is upholding a Constitution that prohibits the establishment of religion?
  • If people need to have “in God we trust” printed on their money, what do they need that money for?