Eternally Stupid

FOX “News” Channel have their own priest. Since it’s currently time in the US to get the next presidential circus race started, Father Jonathan Morris weighed in on the important question of what quality a presidential candidate must have. One of these qualities, at least according to the priest, is fear of eternal consequences in order to be trustworthy:

[Faith is] a belief in God; a belief that there are eternal consequences for your actions. And I think that a leader that doesn’t have that — a set of core beliefs that help him to make justice an important part of his life and his decisions because he knows that there are eternal consequences — well, it’s somebody that it’s hard to trust.

We should remember that like most TV personnel, it’s Morris’ job to look good, not provide intelligent theological points. We should also disregard the point that although Morris doesn’t mention a specific faith, he obviously means a faith with only a single god; and one that also sports eternal hell. He therefore accidentally excludes all faithful Jews (no Hell), Hindu (multiple Gods), Buddhists and Jainist (neither Gods nor Hell) from his list of trustworthy people. So what was probably meant as a minor attack on atheists turns out to be a disparaging comment against anyone who is not a faithful Christian nor Muslim.

But, probably quite unintentionally, Morris makes an interesting point. What should we think of a person whose decisions are influenced by irrational fears rather than sound ethics?

Put another way: do you really want your government to be lead by a person who

  • spends time contemplating the next life while there is so much left to do in this?
  • might wish to hasten the end of this world in order to enter paradise – while having everything needed to bring about Armageddon?
  • makes decisions based on a millennia old code of conduct that condones slavery, genocide and misogyny and eschews any conflicting modern ethics?
  • may fear that he’ll be punished for being nice to gays?

These questions boil down to this: do you really prefer a leader whose actions are guided by an irrational fear of an invisible dictator in the sky over someone who decides important questions by looking at facts and weighing them according to rigid, ethical principles?

Unfortunately, too many US americans answer that questions with yes.

This is going to be one frightening presidential race.