In my high school years, I attended a Catholic school and, as such, was subject to classes purely on the Catholic faith. Four of them, one for each year. I was not a fan of these classes, and not because of the content.
My senior year, I was definitely not a fan. The teacher, I was certain, was insane. I don't doubt that people do, from time to time, "hear" a message from God, or feel His guiding hand, but I do think some people are just bat-guano nuts. This teacher was one of those, of this I was certain.
At one point, she walked into the classroom with tears in her eyes. "Guys," she spoke in a voice of false tenderness, "Jesus... well, He spoke to me in Mass today." At this point, I knew things were about to take a turn. "He said that none of you really believe in Him correctly."
I was floored. I realize there's a basic structure you follow and everything, but what does it matter how you pray or show your faith? It's between you and God, isn't it? "Your assignment for today is to write what you believe so you and I can go over it."
Well, I thought about being completely serious. But, that is totally not my scene, man.
So, our class was silent for that period, with some people frantically searching for the right words to put on the paper to escape this crazy woman's wrath. I, meanwhile, was trying to remember the lyrics to "I Believe I Can Fly."
That didn't make her happy, and she tracked me down in the halls during afternoon break that day and I demanded I explain myself. I told her what I believe is none of her damn business. She responded by calling me illiterate. I responded by quoting Shakespeare in a way that insults her. It sailed over her head.
I give you this story to explain why the current persecution of Marco Rubio is so ridiculous. In a recent interview with GQ (which I read regularly), Rubio was asked how old the earth was, and he didn't give a precise answer. The Left is going after him for it. The whole point of the question was to trap him on the religious issue in a way that isn't as obvious as asking "How do you feel about the fetus?"
His situation is a little opposite of what mine was. For him, it was his perceived belief. For me, it was my perceived lack of faith. But both happened for the same reason: people think you should be judged publicly for what you do (or don't) believe. There is a difference, though, between thoughts on how old the world is and what someone's stance on abortion is. For the latter, someone like Todd Akin and put forward legislation to try and outmaneuver the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. However, Marco Rubio is not going to put forward a resolution for the U.S. government to recognize the earth's age as being 7,000 years old.
We're at the point where attacking someone's religion is common practice. Just because a person holds a belief that the son of a carpenter was actually the only begotten child of God, that suddenly means they are lunatics who really should be put down. If someone believes that there was an Adam and there was an Eve, they are psychotic and need medication immediately.
But since when was faith an automatic disqualifier for a public official? How does it make someone's opinion suddenly worthless? I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a political ad with a candidate saying "God is dead. Vote for me."
See this post and others of mine here. Follow me on Twitter: @joec_esquire