For a nation focused on separation of church and state, there’s an inordinate amount of church in this race to run the state.
Over the past week, presidential candidates have made religion a forefront issue for the presidency.
Democratic strategists suggest the Republican contenders are looking for another way to attack President Barack Obama since the economy is starting to turn around (The Department of Labor said that the private sector created nearly a quarter of a million jobs in January).
That being said, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has said Obama’s policies are based on a “some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible.” Romney said those same policies are part of a “secular agenda.”
Drudge Report also recently found a speech Santorum gave at Ave Maria University in 2008, where he said, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.”
“I‘m a person of faith,” Santorum said recently in response. “I believe in good and evil. I think if somehow or another because you’re a person of faith you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president.”
But religion has entered the presidential race in other ways. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, wished Obama had had a better Christian education, claiming he was raised as a Muslim.
“The Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries,” Grahm said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also took flack from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who asked Romney to intervene on the Mormon church’s baptism of dead Jews.
If that wasn’t enough, the 20th presidential debate was on Ash Wednesday, raising questions as to whether Santorum and Gingrich, both Catholics, would don ashes for the debate in Arizona. Turns out, they didn’t, nor did they necessarily have to.
But where ashes were missing, the fire still burned. CNN moderator John King’s question on birth control prompted mass disapproval from the audience. The question came in the wake of the recent Obama administration’s compromise over health insurance coverage for contraception, prompting a nationwide discussion on the place of federal government.
The candidates, particularly Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, went on to argue that use of birth control was a matter of morality.
“We have to have individuals who will stand up for religious conscience, and I did, and I will as president,” Romney said.
As a prize for finishing this blog post, you get to see this. Taken out of context, it’s hilarious. Gotta love awkward sexual moments on the campaign trail.