What do Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, especially Ron Paul, and even Newt Gingrich have in common relating to if, then how much and in what ways and pertaining to what, their own religious beliefs will influence what they say and do either regarding or concerning public policy?
According to a rather intensive analysis of a significant number of YouTube videoclip excerpts of those presidential candidates, and what voters have heard them say via the media during debates and interviews, the candidates all succinctly state that "their own personal religious beliefs will in no way effect how they rule and would rule pertaining to governmental public policy."
Why do they say that? Will they - in fact - actually do such? If not, why not? If so, why then? Will they change their minds at times, or over time, and if so, why?
Do voters really believe that a candidate's personal religious beliefs will not, at least in some ways to some extents in fact influence how they would rule if elected? Why would a candidate even want to be elected by and rule a majority who he is quite sure will not be concordant with those parts of his denominationally-sectarian religion, and definitions of unlawful-vs-lawful evil-vs-good executive orders, proclamations, and statutes originating out of that which he holds precious and dear?
Do most politicians sense that the potentially ruled ones will so dislike his particular religious dogma, doctrine, beliefs (and policy applications thereof) to even impeach him . . . and so he must assert that he intends to do for those who elect him exactly what he personally does not want nor like to do, and that he is pseudo-happily consigning himself to the lamentable and pathetic situation of deceiving sooner-than-later rebellious, disobedient, and accusatorily fault-finding voters as to how he will actually rule if he gets into power?
Looking back into recent and ancient history, was it always that way with politicians, who turned into government officials - whether civil judges, legislators, presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, kings, emporers, or premiers?
say the same things of: "What I propose personally I will not actually publicly promote as governmental policy nor make you to end up doing?" And, if so, why?
As has been the case in nations and countries before America came on the scene, apprehensive or naive politicians (making it through various types and severities of investigations and interrogations) who campaign and advertise themselves in competitively-wearisome campaigning (some of them fulfilling their unique craving of then coming into politically-accessed governmental authority and ruling by the will of the aggregate ruled), actually adhere as much as they can and "get away with" to various and diverse denominational and sectarian dogma and doctrines of their chosen particular religion (be it Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Shinto, Hindu, Voodoo, Satanic, Wiccan, Pragmatic Humanism, and many other types).
There is even divergence and disparity as to what and what does not constitute "common public morality vs immorality" which not only the ruler of a particular group of ruled considers sacred and/or legal, as also do the voluntarily ones ruled by that ruler.
Let's consider various types of government (along with related rulers and ruled) in the past and present.
As recorded in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Holy Bible, the earliest form of government was a familial-unit trinity of husband Adam, his wife Eve, and eventually their named three sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth).
Out of those came the notable Abraham and his tribe, with his geneological procession of sons Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel who produced the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and so forth . . . leading up to the Messiah, Redeemer, and Lord Jesus Christ.
That was only one lineage of humanity, and although it was the most reliably recorded in rather precise and trustworthy detail, that of the Phoenicians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Chinese, Incas, Aztecs, and a host of others also came about and lived on planet Earth.
As the reader is probably well aware, Hebrews under the strict control of not merely Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob but especially under Moses and Joshua had a theocratic type of government in which the divinely-inspired holy religious writings from the LORD became the Law of the Land in every aspect of Israelite life, 24/7.
Such was, in no way, a multi-religious pluralistic society, or at least was never meant to be, by The LORD who was THE authoritarian Ruler directing His monotheistic rulers Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David, Solomon, etc.
When those of Judah and Israel deviated and aligned themselves with foreign idolatry, they were physically dispersed and scattered into territories not originally designated for them and confined under the auspices and control of foreign nationals.
Eventually, after Noah's Worldwide Flood, and the Tower of Babel Multi-Lingual Incident, the Greeks (drifting further and further away from Mosaic Law) had their own type of government associated with mythical gods, and the Romans (imitating the Greeks) had a militarily-structured government of successive emperors and senators who espoused their own conglomeration of various gods.
Following them were the barbaric Huns, Turks, Mongols, Scandinavians, Brits, American Indians, and others having their assortment of idolatrous paganisms and superstition-based deities.
The Founding Fathers of America came out of an England already permeated with a full heritage of Anglo-Episcopalian European, Jewish, and Roman-Catholic-based religion transferred through the Middle Ages and into the Reformation.
Those founding fathers were familiar with not only the religious ideologies and denominationalisms of King George and the restrictive Church of England, but also governmental structures of the British Isles which they emigrated from - as were sundry immigrants from various Scandinavian, Russian, African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and European countries.
The men of early America decided that it was not realistic to ignore the existence and influence of religion per se, but they did not want a monopolistic denominationalism which they considered detestable in the country they sailed away from.
So although they all agreed to admit in a written Bill of Rights to a Creator who endowed them with certain inalienable rights, they formed a First Amendment to their Constitution which expressly stated that their Congress would not establish any particular denominational or sectarian religion, but Congress would also not prohibit the free exercise of whatever denominational or sectarian religion which individual members thereof liked and chose to practice.
Here it is crucial to acknowledge that although they allowed for pluralistic religious expressions and practices, the ruling majority of them just happened to mutually concur that definitions of "morality" and "immorality" (regarding and concerning what would be legal compared to illegal, acceptable speech and actions in contrast to non-acceptable speech and actions, what would be enthusiastically welcomed or at least tolerated compared to what would be vehemently disdained or not at all tolerated) - were based on quite similar translations of the Judeo-Christian ("Old"-and-"New-Testaments") Holy Bible which they had possessed in England gotten from various places in Europe.
Shortly after America was founded, other governments formed across the globe which had only portions of Judeo-Christian Scripture as The Standard for Determining What is Moral and What is Immoral.
For example, Lenin in Russia replaced the Czar (with the will of a majority of people, both in activist communistic ideological assent and with weapons of force for empowerment), and the dictates of Lenin and Stalin who followed became both an addition and a substitute to whatever canonical dogma and decrees of the Russian Orthodox Church there had been relating to Catholic Christianity.
Similarly, in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler - again, with the enthusiastic fervor or at least mild or reluctant compliance of German people as a whole - altered the definitions of what is "moral" contrasted to what is "immoral" not merely according to his arbitrarily-chosen pick-and-choose selections from the German Judeo-Christian Holy Bible, but other sources, including his own, which he called: Mein Kampf.
Intriguingly, it is not simply the will of the consensual majority of ruled ones that a ruler gets into and stays in authority over the ruled, but providential circumstances of happenstance befall the ruler coming into power, and thus are ultimately under divine auspices, which is why rulers are respected, feared, admired, and to be both honored and protected as long as they maintain social stability and restrain chaotic anarchy.
The influences of those and demonically wrong-headed sources has been and continues to become more and more prevalent within America which more and more of the populace therein have concocted, allowed themselves to be brainwashed by, and both prejudicially and dogmatically embrace a confusing assortment of both traditional orthodoxy and apostate religious heresies.
Because of that, those living in the United States have beset themselves with and relegated themselves to much internal conflict resulting manifested in sometimes violent non-cooperative dissension and disagreement, frequently resulting in opposite and contradictory definitions of what is moral in stark contrast to what is immoral - a pitiful destablizer reflected in increasing criminal activities of all sorts, joblessness, unemployment, debt and deficit, excesses of sexual lust with other-extreme chauvenistically-sexist frigidity, diseases and disabilities, a weakened and wasted military, assaultive aggression against sovereign nationals, and more.
Amidst all that, waffling and windsniffing politicians try to appeal to all that contradictory and conflicting diversity in their campaigns to convince enough opinion leaders and followers to vote and elect them into government-office authority.
As with the voters they try to appease, the politicians frequently will say one thing to one group of people, while saying the contradictory opposite to a different group of people with completely opposite attitudes to the first group of people.
However, it has become and is becoming more and more difficult for politicians to keep their contradictory speech-content separate from and between various differing groups, because of the increasing presence of interdependent and universal nationwide/global-network radio and television broadcasts, internet portals and information-access facilitators of various types, interstate cellphones connections, and social-media networking.
One recourse for politicians who want to please as many potential voters as they can is to give practically everyone non-flagrant vague rhetoric using bland or double-meaning semantics to give the impression that the politician patronizingly identifies with the voters he is attempting to persuade while promising something pleasant and useful for everyone, including himself of course, without blatantly or even subtly hinting at anything repulsive or abhorrent.
Diversion caused by the politician criticizing or condemning his opponent is another means or technique a politician uses to direct voter attention away from controversial-to-mention and dangerous-to-elaborate-upon hot-button social issues.
That being the case, the presidential-candidate politicians mentioned at the beginning of this piece have mutually agreed that - as the U.S. Constitution indicates - denominational and sectarian religious plurality must be tolerated, up to but not always including the point of proclaiming contradictory-to-each-other definitions of what those conflicting religions deem to be moral or immoral, acceptable or non-acceptable, legal or illegal.
Differentiation among the aforementioned candidates as to contradictory and conflicting views on details of various aspects of controversial social issues is difficult, because - as previously stated - the candidates have stated that their own particular denominational or section religious belief [supposedly] will not influence their government public-policy decisions and rulings.
But such a promise is - of necessity - "tongue-in-cheek," because the fluid and fickle common-denominator overpowering majority of public opinion - not simply on a state but a national federal level - will in fact not only shape and even temporary or permanently alter the religious denominational and sectarian beliefs and actions of the presidential candidates themselves, but affects how they will express and implement those denominationally-sectarian religious beliefs and actions (as to defining what, according to laws and statutes applicable to everyone, is moral or immoral, acceptable or non-acceptable, legal or illegal) of the voters who elect them to office.
Those candidates who do not adhere to or convincingly accommodate to aggregate diversive religious beliefs and actions of the majority they are trying to get votes from, but adhere more or less (in words and actions) exclusively to a specific particular or limited religious conviction at odds with the majority electorate, will not find accord with those voters they seek to vote them into governmental authority - which voters will become frightened or fearful against such disparate politicians, and that mistrust will give way to disassociation and ultimate rejection, with or without accompanying respect for the too-radical too-controversial outsider.
Keep in mind that what both the ruler and the ruled consider moral or immoral, right or wrong, good or evil, is always in flux and changing, and such variation occurs pertaining to both the general aggregate of the majority, and individual persons comprising that aggregate majority.
Indeed, innovators and reformists everywhere of all presumptions, assumptions, beliefs, and superstitions (particularly religious ones both theoretical and practical) are constantly causing slight-to-significant adjustment of what the population as a whole considers legal or illegal, beneficial or non-beneficial, acceptable or non-acceptable.
Each person comprising either an ideological minority or a majority has and is continuously changing not only his or her own condition of morality or immorality for the better or for the worse depending upon who and what they encounter outside of themselves, but consequentially is then also influencing others (whether comprised of a majority or minority) around them who agree or disagree, who are or are not like-minded.
Ultimately, only one presidential candidate wins majority votes, and the minority who - for whatever cause(s) - do not like the candidate elected by a majority opposed to them, are usually not at all static by giving in and acquiescing to who they neither wanted as ruler nor voted by him not being in agreement with concerning one or more vital-enough-to-them issues.