I’ve previously made known my stance on how the religion of a major election candidate should be treated. My goal now is to document where each major candidate stands on religion in the upcoming presidential election. This is not an exercise in reading between the lines. I am not talking about stances on abortion or gay marriage, strictly about religion. Hopefully there will be an election in my lifetime where this isn’t required knowledge before voting, but in today’s political (and religious) climate, it is required knowledge.
The following is Part 7 of a multi-part series on each candidates religious views, and how they fit into politics.
Ron Paul – Protestant (recently said to be a Baptist)
“I think we should read the First Amendment, where it says, “Congress shall write no law.” And we should write a lot less laws regarding this matter. It shouldn’t be a matter of the president or the Congress. It should be local people, local officials–we just don’t need more laws determining religious things or prayer in school. We should allow people at the local level. That’s what the Constitution tells us…”
“Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.”
“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.
The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.”
“Historically, religion always represented a threat to government because it competes for the loyalties of the people. In modern America, however, most religious institutions abandoned their independence long ago, and now serve as cheerleaders for state policies like social services, faith-based welfare, and military aggression in the name of democracy. Few American churches challenge state actions at all, provided their tax-exempt status is maintained. This is why Washington politicians ostensibly celebrate religion – it no longer threatens their supremacy. Government has co-opted religion and family as the primary organizing principle of our society. The federal government is boss, and everybody knows it.”
“I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator.”
More on Paul and religion:
Ron Paul is a non-apologetic religious man. While I will not hold anyone’s religious beliefs against them, my job is to tell you how it may impact their potential presidency. Paul claims to be a strict Constitutionalist, and is really a Libertarian not a Republican, which is why his complete misinterpretation of the Constitution is alarming and surprising.
Take these quotes, for instance:
“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.”
“Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.”
“The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America…”
These quotes unfortunately are just factually wrong. First, the notion of the separation fo church and state is taken directly from Thomas Jefferson’s writings. To say that the notion has no basis in the Constitution is more accurate, but still not accurate. The First Amendment was created to be the wall of separation that Jefferson speaks of.
Second, to say that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are both replete with references to God is silly. There is not a single mention of the word God in the Constitution. That’s far from “replete with references.” The Declaration of Independence mentions God, but is not an official policy document of the United States. And considering Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration, and an outspoken Deist, it’s hard to believe that Jefferson’s writings on anything can be evidence of this nation being a religious state.
And lastly, the Founding Fathers did not envision a robustly Christian nation, they envisioned a nation in which all religions were tolerated and had equal freedoms. They went out of their way to create a government in which no religion had any more power or influence than another, and they were all to be kept separate from the government.
Paul falls into the same trap as Fred Thompson, in that he is letting his lack of historical knowledge dictate his beliefs and possibly future plans.
Paul is a religious man, and doesn’t seem to do it for political purposes, as he refuses to toe the party line on any other issues. I believe his religious views are truly from the heart, but nevertheless potentially dangerous for those of us that want the separation of church and state honored and maintained.
This page will be continuously updated with new quotes, or news items to provide the most accurate portrait of Paul’s religious viewpoints.