Bishop E.W. Jackson, the GOP nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, sat down with Bryan Fischer yesterday and shared his concerns about how he is being “marginalized” and “persecuted” for his “biblical world view.” Jackson, who has said gays and lesbians are “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally,” now believes the Constitution does not allow for a “religious test” for office, and therefore his comments made as a religious figure should not be used by the people of Virginia when deciding how to vote.
“But look, it’s an attack ultimately on every church-going, Bible-believing Christian out there who holds to a traditional worldview,” Bishop Jackson told Fischer, the voice and face of the anti-gay hate group, American Family Association. Jackson added, “frankly, I think one of my goals is to champion their right to hold their views without being persecuted for it.”
“Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test and yet that’s what we’re seeing today,” Jackson, misinterpreting the Constitution, complained. “We’re seeing people apply a religious test and they’re saying anything you believed or said as a minister disqualifies you from serving as Lt. Governor because you hold to these Biblical views.”
Of course, Jackson is plain wrong. No one is saying he is “disqualified” from serving as Lt. Governor. But what the majority of good Americans believe is persecuting a population, like the LGBT community, or African-Americans, or, other protected classes, is wrong. The people have every right — in fact, every responsibility — to vet their candidates for elected office and take the person’s views into account. It’s called making an informed decision.
“For some reason,” Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch writes, “Fischer did not disabuse Jackson of this notion.”
Mantyla then (brilliantly) quotes Fischer back to Jackson, from a World Net Daiy op-ed Fischer wrote in 2011, “Voters: Use Any Religious Test You Want To.” Here’s an excerpt from Fischer’s op-ed:
While the federal government cannot use a religious test to screen candidates for public office, the people who go to the polls certainly can. The federal government cannot use a religious test, but voters can – and they should.
Let’s be done with the nonsense that asking questions about a candidate’s faith is inappropriate. It certainly is not. In fact, in some ways, the faith questions are the most important, because they go right to the issue of a man’s most deeply held convictions and values.
We need to know what those values are, because we are prepared to hand over to him enormous power to implement policies that will impact virtually every detail of of our lives, including policies on abortion, marriage and sexuality in the military. We need to know what value system is driving him at the deepest level. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to seek to know all we can about a candidate’s moral and religious values.
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