July 23, 2011

Idiot of the Week: Herman Cain

HermanCainAs much as I try to look beyond the current and likely Republican candidates when selecting Idiot of the Week honorees, doing so is more challenging than one might realize. Not only are they a bumper crop of idiocy, but the news media spends so much time on them that the odds of my not hearing about the latest gaffe are miniscule. This week's idiot, Herman Cain, is a perfect combination of Christian extremism, bigotry, and misinformation. In fact, Craig James (The Religion Virus) already made a strong case for Cain's idiocy, and I'll only repeat a portion of it here.

This is Cain's understanding of separation of church and state:
Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community ... [The communities] objected to the fact that Islam is both a religion and a set of laws. ... They have a right to [ban a Mosque]
Cain is correct that the Constitution guarantees church-state separation, but he then plunges into hypocrisy. He's right that Islam, as it is practiced in many middle-eastern countries does blend church and state, although this does not appear to be something the religion somehow imposes on the state but as something the state selects. But Cain appears to be claiming that Islam is a problem in the U.S. because Muslims "infuse their morals" in their communities. As James points out, Muslims are hardly unique in this regard. Just look at what his Republican Party and their revisionist historians have done with Christianity!

Once Cain makes the claim that communities have the right to ban Mosques, he ventures from run-of-the-mill hypocrisy into full-blown idiocy. By his "logic" communities also have the right to ban Christian churches. Of course, Cain's Christian privilege is likely blinding him to this double-standard. The sad thing is that his rabid bigotry toward Muslims will probably play well among his largely xenophobic and thoroughly Christian base.

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