The U.S. May Not Have a Religious Test for Holding Public Office, But Perhaps Scotland Does
By Ken K. Gourdin
A member of the Scottish Parliament who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come under increasing public scrutiny because of the Church’s stance on gay marriage and because of its historical denial of its priesthood to African Blacks or to most of their descendants.* For rather slanted, biased, unfair coverage of the MP’s election and of his views, as well as the positions of the Church of Jesus Christ on these issues, see here (last accessed July 14, 2017):
In response to commentary on the controversy at BYU Associate Professor of Arabic and of Islamic Studies Dan Peterson’s blog, I posted the following.
One can believe as one wishes, and one can teach as one wishes. (A heartfelt “thank-you” to the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court which decided Obergefell v. Hodges for that magnanimous narrowing of the scope of the privilege(s) granted by the Free Exercise clause of the U.S. Constitution!) And one is perfectly welcome to “exercise” one’s religion “freely” … within the walls of one’s holy place on one’s holy day.
What one must never do is allow one’s religion to guide what one actually does or what one actually says publicly, including how one votes. (Did you vote for President Barack Obama because you think he’s a Prized Hunk of Man Flesh, or because he would make for an entertaining skit on Saturday Night Live or an entertaining segment on Steven Colbert? A-OK! But no one better have voted against him because s/he was worried about, e.g., his stance on gay marriage!)
Gays are welcome outside the closet. Mormons and other people of faith? Not so much. That whole “let-your-light-so-shine-before-men-that-they-may-see-your-good-works-and-glorify-your-Father-which-is-in-heaven” thing? Yeah, um, God was just kiddin’! That whole “Men-don’t-light-a-candle-and-put-it-under-a-bushel-but-on-a-candlestick-and-it-giveth-light-unto-all-who-are-in-the-house” thing? Same.
Sit the heck down and shut the heck up, religious people. (And when the irreligious, the areligious, and the religiously apathetic and antipathetic are done remaking society in their own image, they will find, much to even their dismay, that the “culture baby” has been thrown out with the “religious bathwater.”)
*The policy was changed in 1978, and there were exceptions, rare though they may have been. That makes it very difficult to conclude, summarily, that the policy was the result of simple, stark racism.