In Response to a question, Marco Rubio said, “no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God.”  This is key to understanding Conservative Christians.

Below is a great video of Marco Rubio at an Iowa campaign event. In the video a voter asks Rubio if he’s running for “pastor-in-chief” instead of commander-in-chief.

Clearly, his answer to the question is, “YES,” I am running for “Pastor-in-Chief.”  And goes on further to say that not only is that not a problem, but why wouldn’t you want a “Paster-in-Chief.”

I admire Rubio for applauding the questioner for having the courage to so articulately state his beliefs in a room filled with voters that probably believe his lack of belief is why the nation is, in their minds, in such bad shape.  The Questioner makes a strong appeal for political support for religious pluralism, where non-Christians are equal to Christians, to a candidate and audience that does not believe non-christians have equal rights. (though you should know that the Right Wing Media calls the questioner “Borderline hostile.”  I don’t agree with that characterization, but that discussion is better for a discussion on Confirmation Bias, Selective Perception, and Motivated Reasoning.)

The most important Rubio’s response to the questioner is,  “no one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God,”

Marco, I think you’ve inadvertently hit on the central issue.  You, and legions of other Christian Conservative, truly believe that Christians must have NO LIMITS to talking about God.  However, you are wrong about this and until we can have a reasonable discussion about it, we will never come to agreement.

  1. First there are always limits to speech, even religious speech.  The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguards the right of individuals to express themselves without governmental restraint. Nevertheless, the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment is not absolute. It has never been interpreted to guarantee all forms of speech without any restraint whatsoever. Instead, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that state and federal governments may place reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of individual expression.
  2. The problem is that Christians believe that it is their God given obligation to convert non-Christians.  When Rubio says, “no one is going to force me to stop talking about God” what he is saying is that no one will stop him from, “Witnessing,” “Testifying,” and/or “Proselytizing.” When a Football coach holds a prayer meeting at the 50 Yard Line before the game, he is trying to convert non-believers to Christianity.  When a City Council Opens a Public Meeting with a Christian Prayer, they are trying to convert non-believers.
  3. When Bakers and photographers refuse to serve people they consider sinful, they are saying they should have that right because, as Rubio says, they are talking about God.

Rubio also said the following,

“You shouldn’t be worried about my faith influencing me. In fact, I think you should hope that my faith influences me. Here’s why: You know what my faith teaches me? My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to care for the less fortunate. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to love my neighbor. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation for those who are hungry, to help try to feed them. For those who are naked, to help clothe them. My faith teaches me that I need to minster to those in prison. My faith teaches me that if I want to serve Jesus, I need to serve [gestures] each other. And I think you should hope that that influences me.”

It is interesting to me that his faith teaches to care for the less fortunate and love your neighbor and help those that are hungry and naked.  Yet, his policies clearly state that he will only care for those people if they got to the place of being hungry and naked though no fault of their own.  And since it is impossible to tell which needy person got there through no fault of their own or through their own irresponsibleness, the community should help no one.

Rubio makes this comment as a way to reassure even an ardent atheist that they can take comfort in the underpinnings of his worldview.