Here it is December 19. Christmas is a week away. It is hard to go anywhere in the country and not see symbols of this most holy of Christian holidays. The celebration of the birth of Christ, the savior. To save us, from ourselves!
I think it interesting that the political discourse over the religion of the candidates seems to be reaching it's peak at this particular time.
For years now, the commercialisation of Christmas has been bemoaned. It has lost its meaning. It has become a season of excesses. Including political excess. It seems somewhere along the line it has been forgotten that one of the primary tenants in the founding of this country was freedom of and from religion if you so choose. From the first amendment...Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... There should be no religious litmus test for those seeking public office.
I decided to see what religion the candidates profess to follow. The one most confused seems to be McCain. On the CNN candidate site he is listed as an Episcopalian. It seems back in September, however, he stated he had been a Baptist for some fifteen years. Does it matter?
Here's the break down - Baptist 2 (3?), Catholic 5, Episcopalian (1?), Methodists 2, Mormon 1, Presbyterian 1, Protestant 2, Unitarian 1 and United Church of Christ 1. Five Catholics! Imagine! How times have changed. Actually it seems like a pretty good cross section. We've had a Jewish Vice Presidential candidate and we have at least one Muslim serving in Congress. We have Wiccens serving in the military. An even broader cross section.
The pundits tell us Mike Huckabee's current ad wishing us a Merry Christmas is a brilliant political ploy. Perhaps it is. It is also warm, heartfelt and in keeping with this Christian season.
Wouldn't this be a great time to put religion back where it belongs, with the practitioners of it? And let politics move forward based on the strength of the candidates' ideas and abilities?
And a Merry Christmas to you and yours too, Mr. Huckabee. And, also, to all the rest of you from whom I've heard not a whisper of the sentiment.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and may the best candidate win.