Monday, September 06, 2004

Keyes on Latin America

For background on the the next round of comments, with thanks to Trillbe in the comments, see this discussion of the role of politics and religion from Larry King Live (unfortunately, you have to scroll almost to the end to get this the full conversation):
[Jorge Ramos, the anchor for "UNIVISION NEWS]: What's interesting is that the comparison between the United States and other countries. I get to talk to a lot of people in Latin America and they are always surprised when our politicians here in the United States mention the word God and when they talk about their religious values and even when presidents at the end of their speeches and many politicians talk about and say "God Bless America." Those kind of expressions would be unthinkable in many countries. KING: Really? RAMOS: Yes. I still can remember that in Mexico, presidents were not allowed to be seen in public going to mass. KING: Really? RAMOS: I don't remember presidents mentioning the name of God in public, so maybe we're so used to this kind of language but in other countries the separation of church and state is very clear.
Here's Keyes' response at the Party for the President:
One of my aides told me that there was a discussion on Larry King last night, and it was the idea that a politician would say such a thing from a platform and was criticized, again, as they often do. And Larry King told everybody from his enormous store of constitutional knowledge . . . [audience laughs] He told everyone that there is no mention of God in the Constitution, and that the Declaration of Independence doesn't matter. Apparently, somebody on the panel--it might have been him--actually enjoined folks that we should take a look at South American countries, where the heads of state aren't even seen to go to church in public. I wonder if he looks at what goes on in a lot of those countries. Maybe if they started going to church, the governments wouldn't change so often. Maybe if they started respecting God, there wouldn't be so many times when the military goes out of control and starts brutalizing the population, and so forth and so on. You never know. But the wonderful saving grace of America that I have found here in the heart of the people of Illinois is that we are not ashamed of our faith. We are not ashamed to profess our respect for the God from Whom our rights have come!
I don't know what to say. It just makes me think about what a simple world that Keyes lives in. All it takes is for people to go to church and all problems, economic, political and social, just disappear. And perhaps apropos of nothing, it is worth noting that Reagan, who Keyes seems to think he has posthumous blessing, did not attend church while President and Bush's regular attendence seems to be in question.