I’d thought that the limits of professed public piety had already been achieved during the Republican CNN/YouTube debate when some squirrelly looking guy held up a Bible and asked, “Do you believe every word of this book?” — and not one candidate dared reply: None of your damn business.
I do wish Krauthammer had focused on the one candidate who has at least somewhat resisted this campaign sidebar that is threatening to become the main theme, Fred Thompson:
Asked about his religious beliefs during an appearance before about 500 Republicans in South Carolina yesterday, Fred Thompson said he attends church when he visits his mother in Tennessee but does not belong to a church or attend regularly at his home in McLean, Va., just outside Washington. The actor and former senator, who was baptized in the Church of Christ, said he gained his values from “sitting around the kitchen table” and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. “I know that I’m right with God and the people I love,” he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. It’s “just the way I am not to talk about some of these things.”
From Byron York:
If you’re going to ask Fred Thompson to participate in a grade-school show of hands, or demand that he sign a pledge, or insist that he speak emotionally and at length about how much his religious faith means to him, well, you can just forget it. He’s not gonna do it.
I loved the refusal to answer a question on Global warming by raising his hand. I generally hate the debates, but if the candidates, in this case Thompson, decide to stop playing the silly games the media and political operatives want them to, then maybe they will be worth watching after all:
The more I listen to Fred, as opposed to the whining about him bucking campaigning conventions, the more I like him. In fact, I like that he is doing it differently, aqnd I hope it is successful if for no other reason than I am sick of what we have come to expect out of campaigns and the people who run for President. Cue David Brody:
I think it’s pretty clear by now that Thompson is running his campaign the way he said he would. He’s not worried about the media, pundits or the traditional political game as we know it. He’s going to do things his way and talk about substantive issues. Look, he’s a serious guy and these are serious times.
Make extensive speeches and comments about policy and political philosophy? How dare he! Doesn’t he know it is all about biography and empty, hypocritical symbolism?
Meanwhile James Dobson is making sure he stands squarely at the heart of the problem:
“We were pleased to learn from his spokesperson that Sen. Thompson professes to be a believer,” said Nima Reza, a Dobson spokesman. “Thompson hasn’t clearly communicated his religious faith, and many evangelical Christians might find this a barrier to supporting him.”
Krauthammer does a good job of dissecting the problems and nuances of faith in our political arena, and McQ fills in the gaps. I highly recommend reading them both.
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