Vice President Joe Biden was delivering some remarks over the weekend which could provide an opportunity for a few actually good questions at the next Democrat debate if Uncle Joe decides to enter the race. (And as of this writing, I have it on solid authority that Biden is absolutely getting in the race or thinking about getting in or never had any intention of getting in, so…) The Veep was in New York on Saturday receiving an award from the Greek Orthodox Church when he waxed poetic on the subject of religious liberty and the dangers of extremism. (Times Union)
Biden says terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State pervert Islam to justify horrific acts. He says America will be strong as long as it’s a beacon for human rights.
The vice president says religious values are entirely consistent with civic values in the U.S. He’s crediting his Catholic faith for giving him “refuge and reassurance.”
Well, that’s certainly good to hear. And in terms of al-Qaida I’m inclined to agree with him to a point. But since religious values are “entirely consistent with civic values” here at home, I wonder if anyone would be interested in getting Biden to expand on that a bit. We have several examples of places where the civic vs religious right question has been in the news quite a bit of late and it certainly seems to be fair game for either a debate query or an interview.
For example, along the lines of civil rights I’m fairly sure that Joe Biden is now 100% on board with the whole gay marriage thing. That sounds like a civil rights type topic in the 21st century. But if the two are wholly compatible, I wonder where Joe stands on the rights of a Christian businessperson to decline to take part in a gay wedding ceremony? That really should be “compatible” in the same fashion, don’t you think? Personally, I’ve been saying for a while now that there ought to be room for both in a free country.
If we manage to elicit a comment on that, perhaps a savvy moderator could then move on to ask about the limits of religious extremism. The perversion of religion surely isn’t limited to the battlefields of ISIS and the training camps of AQ. What about when a radicalized Islamist here in the United States executes an attack and shoots up a military base? Sure, it’s easy enough to call it a horrible crime, but would a future President Biden be interested in addressing the nation after the fact and, rather than talking about the danger of guns, speak to the perils of perversions of religion which lead to slaughter? Seems to be at least as valid of a question, no?
Of course, that would require someone in the media to actually develop an interest in either subject and put the question forward. Anyone care to offer the odds of that happening?