Here in America, the land of the free, we freely pass laws designed to showcase our detestation for those unlike the majority (for example, my former home state of Oklahoma passed legislation banning Sharia Law⎯as if it were a real threat to the Sooner State, or as if the legislators even knew what it was they were outlawing). The same with sanctimoniously titled and thinly disguised legislation like the “Defense of Marriage Act.”
It is ironic that America, alone among Western nations, rivals the more fervently Muslim countries for intermixing religion with politics. Candidates for president must continually affirm and reaffirm their faith in (a Christian) God, attest to the importance of prayer in their decision-making process, and even, at times, profess their willingness to impose their piety and strictures upon others.
Ronald Reagan, Jr., who is a pretty sharp guy, was once asked if he had ever considered running for political office. With that moniker, some allowed, he’d be a shoo-in. The question alone displayed the asker’s ignorance that the younger Reagan is an ardent progressive, but that aside, Reagan offered a wry and wise answer: “I could never run for public office in America,” he said. “I’m an atheist.”