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Reblogged:Youngkin: Too Religious

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I got unexpected data on a possible presidential candidate at a business advice blog, of all places yesterday.

The following is from a high-ranking, nonreligious state employee who is feeling pressured to go along with public expressions of religious faith on the job:
... aaaand here's something else I learned in the process of finding an image. (Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
I'm pretty high up in my agency, which means I work directly with Governor Youngkin's staff a lot on public events: speeches, ribbon cuttings, announcements, meetings, etc. During his speeches, he and his wife repeatedly mention their Christian faith, and they speak as though the entire audience is Christian as well.

Here's what bothers me. One of Governor Youngkin's habits is to open a public event or speech with a prayer (or a minister does it), heavily reference his relationship with Jesus Christ throughout his remarks, and request us to bow our heads and say "amen." In one instance, he said all of us at a public meeting were "created in God's image" and I was so uncomfortable and annoyed, but I hid my frustration. I refuse to bow my head or close my eyes or clasp my hands or say "amen" on command or applaud an anecdote about the power of believing in Jesus Christ... [bold added]
The comment section is interesting in that the participants do explain that such behavior is regarded as normal or even expected of politicians from some parts of the country -- something I know from experience is, regrettably, true.

That is no defense of such behavior, particularly of someone who may hope to become President. Indeed, I remember being annoyed enough with President Reagan for doing this sort of thing when I was a kid (and still religious) that I sarcastically called him Father Reagan.

At best, as some of the Virginians noted, Youngkin is cynically playing to the religious base of the Republican party. That does not sweeten the deal, especially considering that Youngkin is also an anti-aboritionist.

It is a shame to learn this: I have heard good things about Youngkin regarding education policy, an area in a parlous state today.

-- CAV

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