Recently, several on the Left, like Chris Hayes of MSNBC, had a cow about this column written by Judge Roy Moore last year.
In it, the likely future U.S. Senator from Alabama explained why he didn’t believe Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim who is also the head of the Democratic National Committee, should be seated in Congress. Moore cited specific Islamic teaching that directly contradicts the U.S. Constitution and wondered how someone with such views could uphold his oath of office:
Sheik Hussein Barre Rage, chairman of the [Somali] Islamic court, stated, “As Muslims, we should practice Islam fully … and that is what our religion enjoins us to do.” In other regions of Somalia, Islamic courts have introduced flogging, public execution and other punishments for those who deny Quranic law or refuse to worship Allah.
Islamic law is simply incompatible with our law. Jaafar Sheikh Idris, founder and chairman of American Open University, a radical Islamic school that has received funding from suspected al-Qaida sources and which supports Islamic law, recently stated that “Islam cannot be separated from the state,” and that no Muslim elected to Congress or the White House can swear to uphold the United States Constitution and still be a Muslim, because the law of Allah as expressed in the Quran is supreme.
In response to Moore, the Left cited our Constitution’s prohibition against a “religious test for office.” Which is ironic when you consider that Judge Roy Moore has the U.S. Constitution committed to memory and the Left has spent the last generation attempting to declare the Constitution all but a dead letter. But for the sake of argument, let’s play along. Because by doing so, we will expose a great hypocrisy, using the Left’s own line of ignorant argument here.
The Constitution was written at a time when most of the 13 colonies, many of them founded or administered by churches, had some form of state-sponsored religion. So how to fuse them into one nation?
For example, Maryland was originally founded by Catholics; its name may derive from the Virgin Mary. But by the time of the American Revolution, it was sponsoring the Protestant Anglican Church, just like Virginia, New York, and several others.
Nevertheless, there was still a prominent Catholic population there. Ditto Pennsylvania, which had no official state religion but had a large Quaker population, which had different views on cultural and political engagement from most other Protestants.
These colonies were carry-overs from the theological disputes and denominational rivalries that resulted from the Protestant Reformation. And some of the divisions were taken so seriously that if you didn’t belong to the state-sponsored church, you couldn’t hold public office. Yet now, all of a sudden they were supposed to set that aside and become these United States. But how?
This is where the Constitution’s call for “no religious test for office” came in.
Each state would agree not to import its religious preference into the federal government, and in return the federal government would not export a religious preference out to the states.
This sort of accommodation exists nowhere within Islam, which has long called for overthrow and insurrection against earthly governments that won’t accept the dominion of Islam. Muhammad himself spent the final two decades of his life as a conquering warlord. Frankly, if you believe that if Muhammad were alive today, he’d just quietly settle for a life of partisan political activism, you are dangerously ignorant of history.
“But why are you singling out Muslims here?” some of you may ask, “Don’t Christians and Jews face the same problem? Isn’t this why we need an exclusively secular government?”
If you look at the history of Judeo-Christian ethics, you find a heavy emphasis on submission to earthly authorities — even pagan, ungodly ones — unless they specifically decree ungodliness (see Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” for an excellent contemporary explanation).
For example, Old Testament Jews were repeatedly told to submit to the reign of pagan empires for the glory of God. An entire book of the Old Testament, Daniel, tells the story of one man doing exactly that, unless the earthly authorities told him to disobey God. In the New Testament, both Paul and Peter stressed the same to first-century Christians, who were often living under constant threat of persecution.
So while Judeo-Christian ethics emphasize submission to earthly authorities, Islam historically has no tolerance whatsoever for earthly authorities that fail to recognize its dominion. In fact, the first war fought by the United States was the result of running smack-dab into Islam’s lack of regard for non-Islamic governments. This is what the line “shores of Tripoli [Libya]” refers to in the U.S. Marines hymn.
This is not to say that just because someone identifies as a Muslim, he should automatically be denied a duly elected public office. After all, several of the Founding Fathers had unorthodox religious views, to say the least. However, at the very least, we should determine whether the people we’re electing are truly loyal to the Constitution they’re pledging an oath to uphold and defend.
If “no religious test for office” meant you can have religious views that put you in opposition to the U.S. Constitution and still hold public office, as the Left seems to believe, then why do we ask our politicians to swear by God to uphold and defend our Constitution?
The Left’s argument here is nonsense, and it’s also hypocritical.
The same people losing their bowels over Judge Roy Moore’s historically prudent concerns about Islam were strangely silent when two high-profile leftists — Senators Diane Feinstein and Bernie Sanders — used their platform in the U.S. Senate recently to apply a religious test for office — against Christians.
Feinstein and Sanders told two different President Trump nominees that their sincere belief in the tenets of Christianity made them unfit for public office. When I repeatedly asked Hayes via our Twitter exchange where was his concern for a religious test for office during those recent episodes, I received no response in return.
And in this case, the silence spoke volumes of hypocrisy.
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”