The following gives one an ideas as to how sick we have become as a country:
"The Rev. Rick Warren is so prominent and respected that just being seen with him is a boon for any presidential candidate."
What does the Rev. Warren have to do with anything of importance relative to the governing of the United States of America?
Some would answer that question by claiming Warren represents those wingnuts on the right who believe in Jesus and disbelieve in abortion. So what? What does believing in Jesus and disbelieving in abortion have to do with a person's qualifications for the office of president?
Unfortunately, in our country today, for many people, such beliefs are directly related to a person's qualifications for the office of president. It's not supposed to be that way, but it is.
Tonight at Warren's Saddleback Church in California, Barack Obama and John McCain will appear at a "forum" to answer Mr. Warren's questions. It is expected that Warren, considered by some to be a "moderate" fundamentalist, and who has distanced himself from extreme wingnuttery by his concern for the environment, the poor, as well as HIV/AIDS, will ask the candidates how they plan to deal with such issues.
It is also expected, however, that to remain in good standing with the fundy-duddies like Dobson, he will include questions about personal faith and abortion. "Larry Ross, who represents Warren, said the pastor has been consulting with other clergy and with experts in different fields to develop questions for the candidates about leadership, the Constitution, human rights and 'sin and righteousness issues.'"
Ross goes on to say that Warren will "ask tough questions, fair questions, not gotcha questons."
My question: Why should Warren ask the candidates anything? No matter his concern for social issues, he remains an anti-abortion, dyed-in-the-wool Southern Baptist preacher, once blessed by the notorious W. A. Criswell hisself! Does authorship of a best-selling book about "positive" Christianity give him that privilege? While it is true that he has used his money to establish means and methods of combating a variety of social problems in Africa, that does not drape him with some mantle of politicized religious wisdom and the right to plumb the depths of the religious commitment of McCain or Obama.
Perhaps Warren has not read Article VI of the United States Constitution, which reads, in part: "...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
As a private citizen, Warren, like all the rest of us, has the right to pose legitimate political questions to the candidates. But he's more than a private citizen. He's become one of those Time magazine calls "most influential." He's a symbol of a certain type of Christianity, which gives this forum an unwarranted heavenly benediction.
Furthermore, the moment he moves into the realm of personal faith or religious views, i.e. "sin and righteousness issues", he is abrograting the Constitution of the United States.
Perhaps the only proper response to all this religious mania, is "Holy Crap!"