Instead of addressing real issues afflicting real people, such as campus rape, gun violence and climate change, GOP presidential candidates are far more interested in talking about religion – especially the one that President Barack Obama follows.
Most recently, Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee said Obama should stop “pretending” to be a Christian after inviting LGBT and climate change activists to the White House to hear Pope Francis speak.
"I'm less concerned about what faith the person has. I'm more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their politics ... I'm also concerned about a guy that believes he's a Christian and pretends to be and then says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith," the former Arkansas governor said while answering a question on Newsmax TV's The Hard Line.
"I'm disappointed if someone says, 'I'm a Christian,' but you invite the pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy. I think there's something very unseemly about that," he added.
Huckabee’s remarks came just days after another Republican aspirant Ben Carson stirred up controversy when he suggested Muslims shouldn’t be president of the United States. Despite backlash over his prejudiced opinion, Carson refused to take his words back and instead doubled down on his anti-Muslim comments.
Conservative GOP members trying to involve religion in politics is not a new phenomenon. They do that pretty much all the time – especially when it helps them garner support and rake in money. For example, in Carson’s case, his Islamophobic tirade caused a surge in donations to his campaign.
“The money has been coming in so fast, it’s hard to even keep up with it,” Carson said on Fox News. “I remember the day of the last debate, within 24 hours we raised $1 million. And it’s coming in at least at that rate if not quite a bit faster.”
Also, engaging in religious debates not only attracts the attention of prospective voters but also helps candidates ignore real issues like gun violence, sexual assault in colleges and climate change.
Despite a bloody summer with multiple mass shootings in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana, none of the Republican candidates addressed gun control in the past two presidential debates.
While Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton has spoken about rape on campus, GOP hopefuls seem to be the least bit interested in the issue afflicting colleges across the country.
It’s high time Republicans started focusing on real issues instead of harping on religion. It doesn’t matter in the Constitution and it certainly doesn’t matter to the voters who actually want things done.