I found this short article interesting.
My friend and former colleague Gordon Silverstein has noted that Samuel Alito would be the 11th Roman Catholic ever appointed to the Supreme Court — and the 5th on this court. Catholicism used to be considered a political liability, but those tensions have appropriately subsided.
That said, I find the comment by Vanderbilt’s Suzanna Sherry provocatively accurate about the new realities of religion and politics:
The political fault lines are no longer based on what religion you are, but on how religious you are.
That statement rings true to me — unless one is a Muslim perhaps. Too bad President Bush did not find a strong judicial voice who was a Muslim to nominate to the Supreme Court. That might have been a bold and inspired move during these complicated times.
Just for the record, I’m a super devout, passionate, Constitution-belting secularist.
The blurring of faith and secularism domestically and in our international ventures did not start with George W. Bush, but it certainly has been dramatically intensified during this administration.
I am not anti-religious — quite the opposite actually. I just believe in the clear separation of church and state.
I spent a good chunk of Sunday with some Christian folks in rural Western Maryland. They were holding a benefit to send some of their children in their church to Bolivia to volunteer in the building of an orphanage and other activities. These were great folks doing creative things — and they simply did not have any interest in religiously inspired political zealotry.
It was nice to be reminded that religion in our nation’s communities is usually NOT tilted towards political pretensions.
— Steve Clemons