Republican John McCain in an interview with Beliefnet:
Q: A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?
A: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, "I only welcome Christians." We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.
Just for giggles, let's actually look at the text of the Constitution, shall we?
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
The First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
See? Obviously, the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. God & Jesus are all over that document. Or hidden in its fibers. Or something. Because when the founders wrote "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification" for public office, they meant there's no need to test all the good Christians who are elevated to public office. After all, Americans wouldn't vote for someone that didn't already know the Bible chapter and verse, right?
And of course, since America is a Christian nation, Muslims will have to work extra hard to get McCain's vote:
Q: Has the candidates’ personal faith become too big an issue in the presidential race?
A: Questions about that are very legitimate.... And it's also appropriate for me at certain points in the conversation to say, look, that's sort of a private matter between me and my Creator.... But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'"
Q: It doesn't seem like a Muslim candidate would do very well, according to that standard.
A: I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it. I think one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is that these forces of evil have perverted what's basically an honorable religion. But, no, I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles.... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith. But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president. I don't say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith. I just would--I just feel that that's an important part of our qualifications to lead.*
See that little asterisk? When McCain's campaign saw his shocking words in print, they contacted Beliefnet to "clarify" his statements:
*McCain contacted Beliefnet after the interview to clarify his remarks: "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values."
So, McCain would vote for someone who follows "the Islam," as long as they, by his own words, "carry on the Judeo-Christian principles" that McCain believes this nation was founded upon.
Well then. That settles it.
Onward, Christian warriors! There's a primary to be won! Just hope that no one points out the pandering along the way:
Beliefnet columnist David Kuo said McCain was "pandering to what he thinks the Christian conservative community wants to hear" and predicted he "will have a lot of explaining to do about this interview."