Since the Bush administration has no problem with religion being part and parcel of public policy, it’s strange that Republicans don’t want John Roberts to be questioned about his Roman Catholic faith during his confirmation hearings.
Hey, you can’t have it both ways. If the right-wing wants politicians and judges to be free to express their personal religious beliefs in the course of their official duties, then those beliefs should be considered when assessing their competence to perform those duties.
In Roberts’ case, he’s a devout member of a religion that doesn’t let an elected official (such as John Kerry) take communion if he or she supports abortion rights. It wouldn’t be surprising if a Catholic was more concerned about keeping his immortal soul out of hell-fire than with judging a case involving abortion on purely secular legal criteria.
So, yes, it is absolutely appropriate that Senators question Roberts about how strong his allegiance is to Catholic dogma. I’ve argued before that religious values have no place in politics. No place on the Supreme Court either.
If there’s a good chance that Roberts will judge a case on the basis of his Catholicism rather than the Constitution, he shouldn’t be confirmed.
The United States is pressing Iraq to keep Islam from dominating that nation’s constitution. I just wish the Bush administration was equally concerned about keeping the United States constitution free of Christianity.