If you are in the least bit interested in a secular government that doesn’t cheerlead for any religion, that upholds the 1st amendment, and acknowledges that nonbelievers are citizens too, then you might be slightly upset that in yet another election cycle the candidates are pandering to the religious. Being upset is fine but seculars also should know we aren’t a majority yet. We can only keep demanding better from our candidates and elected officials.
The pandering of course comes from the right:
On Friday, presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at the annual Values Voter Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, an organization which has been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. During his address, Donald Trump pledged that if elected, he would repeal the Johnson Amendment and enact a school choice program which would make billions of taxpayer dollars available for religious schools.
Donald Trump, promising in a speech in Philadelphia on Wednesday to return prosperity and security to the U.S., vowed to create “one American nation” that will be “under one God.”
“We will be one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” Trump declared from a podium in front of a half dozen American flags.
And it also comes from the left:
America needs a president who will “pray with you” and “walk humbly with our God,” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told the largest historically African-American religious convention in the country.
Clinton gave the speech before the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. on Thursday afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri wherein she spoke of the importance of the president being a “praying person.”
In a transcript of the speech provided to The Christian Post by the Hillary Clinton campaign, the former secretary of state explained that the United States needs a president who understands faith, personally and publicly.
Even the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson loves him some school vouchers that are used to direct tax money to religious schools under the false idea of school choice. They are bad for public education but the ultimate wet-dream of religious conservatives.
If you are a nonbeliever and/or support a secular government and you hear these statements, you kind of want to slam your fist through a wall. It’s okay to be upset.
Honestly, both Trump and Clinton don’t come across as very religious. They don’t seem to hold religion on their sleeve. I imagine they are religious on the high holy days like Christmas or Easter but then rarely mention it. That’s why it is easy to spot they are both pandering to the religious to get votes.
It isn’t any different than if a candidate tells a story about their father working in a steel mill while speaking to a labor group even though the candidate has never gotten their hands dirty in a mill. It is an attempt to make a personal connection. Candidates do this because it tends to work.
Seculars do need to push back when we hear candidates and elected officials pander to the religious or show a lack of concern with those who aren’t religious or justify their laws are based on religion. There is suppose to be no religious tests for elected office.
The fact is Seculars aren’t in the majority so we have to work with what we have. We have to try to state our case in a reasonable way.
We have to acknowledge that most people are religious.
We have to appeal to a candidate’s civic responsibility and the long history or equal rights in this country.