John McCain's "Christian Nation" Nonsense

29 September 2007

Beliefnet recently conducted an interview with presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ), in which he made some rather revealing remarks.

On non-Christian religions:

"I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it... But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith."

On the most important presidential qualifications:
"I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?' "

On the Constitution:
"The Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles."

Oh, well thank you for allowing us heathens into your Christian Nation, Mr. McCain. That's very big of you. But perhaps next time you can be more specific as to what governmental qualifications non-Christians and "the Islam" are lacking.

Anyway, here are a few more quotes:
" religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
- United States Constitution, Article VI, section 3
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
- United States Constitution, First Amendment
"the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion"
-Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (1796)

UPDATE: I think that this guy really hits the nail on the head:
Beliefnet columnist David Kuo said McCain was "pandering to what he thinks the Christian conservative community wants to hear" and predicted he "will have a lot of explaining to do about this interview."

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