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A Presidential Litmus Test

October 12, 2015

Recently a Presidential candidate commented, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslin in charge of this country.”  In explaining his comments, the candidate said that a person is not qualified for the office of the President if they adhere to a system “whose faith might interfere with carrying the duties of the Constitution.”  He wasn’t advocating banning someone based on their religion. 

The Constitution makes two statements about litmus tests, the “oath” and “no religious test.”
The President’s oath says, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” This imposes the responsibility to perform all duties demanded by the Constitution including defending it and protecting the rights of all citizens even when doing so may conflict with his/her views.

Article Six Section Three states “no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

The idea of litmus tests is not new.  When accused of being a Deist, Lincoln responded, “I do not think I could myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.. . . I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live.”

Both examples are personal, not governmental, “litmus tests.” Can ones adherence to a religious philosophy so foreign to Presidential responsibilities leave an individual unqualified?  Yes, but that decision remains -- and wisely so -- personal. 

What test fits?  Perhaps this phase best describes the type of individuals needed in government, honest and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good and wise men should be sought out. 

Candidates who possess three attributes define “good and wise men.”  George Washington speaking from his experience, said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”  Understanding and humbly seeking the help of the God of this Land is paramount.

Second, possessing a willingness to respect the limited nature of the Federal role and work to focus its powers within those bounds will eventually open/leave open the doors of freedom.  An all-powerful central government leads only to complete tyranny. 

Lastly, a candidate whose proven life experiences being filled with examples of integrity, honesty, and courage, ought to be sought and supported.

These attributes provide “The President” with power to perform the single most important role to defend and foster the ideals of true freedom on the World’s stage.

Ponder these thoughts as you consider whom you will support in the Presidential Primary!

Mark, Billl and John
















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