It is illustrative to watch Romney and Huckabee being challenged on their religious beliefs.
I have no brief with the obscure rituals of anybody's religion. Long ago, as a 10 year old alter boy, I lost my fascination with religious rituals when the bishop visited our small church. He wore a tall headdress (the mitre) for celebrating mass, and a skullcap, for delivering the sermon. Sweating as I was, among 50 heathen alter boys conscripted for the service, I remember thinking , " I got it. The big hat is to make him look taller and the beanie is to cover his bald spot." To this day, I still believe that my analysis covers all religious headgear, be it bishops' beanies, yarmulkas or Indian feathers. It's all about male vanity. Height and bald spots. Funny, though, most organized religions pressured women to cover their assets. Hmnnn, men are such hypocrites.
All of that said, I don't care if your religion requires you to wear a red rubber nose. I will fight for your right to wear it, but laugh in your face if you claim it makes you pious.
Which brings me back to Romney and Huckabee, two Republican candidates.
It's easy to question the religious rights in terms of their fitness for presidential office. But what would we do if members of other religions sought the same job? How would the media questions go? Some examples.
A Sikh Candidate.
Question: Sir , we know that the 5 symbols of your religion are (1) uncut hair (2) a turban (3) an iron bracelet (4) a dagger (5) loose underwear symbolizing chaste behavior. Sir, my question is, we have video of you riding a motorcycle while wearing tight jeans and we would like to know if your tight jeans nullified the loose underwear rule.
A Hindu Candidate.
Question. Ma'am, we know your religion holds that elephants are gods and many millions of your religions adherents believe that a ceramic statue of your elephant god, Ganesh, can actually produce milk fit for human consumption. My question Ma'am, is " will you be praying to an elephant when you are President and will you have a ceramic elephant to produce milk in the Whitehouse kitchen.
Question: Sir, we read in the Koran that Mohammed had a horse called Baraq. We also read that this horse had wings and the face of a woman. Most interestingly, we read in the Koran that Mohammed road Baraq 700 miles over night, that's 80 miles an hour, to Jerusalem, dismounted and ascended to Heaven to chat with God. My question sir, is if you are elected President, given our energy crisis, can you help us get some of these horses? And sir, will they look like Angelina Jolie or Margaret Thatcher?
I could go on. Since I was that 10 year old alter boy, I have been fascinated by the monumental idiocy of organized religion. But I still believe that the red nose religionists need all of our protection.
My major point is no journalist would ever ask these kind of questions of other religions because they know they would be shot dead before they reached the parking lot.
So for now, Christians of any stripe make for an easy, spineless media target.
But that can change. The IRA proved that. I bet there weren't a lot of sardonic, dismissive spoofs on Catholicism on Belfast television in the 1970s.