An excellent op-ed in today's New York Times.
What is striking on the current American scene ...is the extent to which people see certain political and economic positions as required by their religious commitment. We may understand — even if we do not accept — the thinking of those who condemn abortion on religious grounds. But many conservative religious groups endorse a wide range of political and economic positions that have no religious basis. For example, The Family Leader (the group that has called for presidential candidates sign a pledge supporting “family values”) has a Voter’s Guide that specifies the “attributes of a strong Christian leader.” According to the guide, a strong Christian leader “understands key elements of God’s law,” which means that, for example, the leader “upholds the Biblical principles of responsibility and accountability in civil life, thereby limiting the size and cost of civil government”; “encourages an ethical and free enterprise system, and understands it is the only economic model in accord with Biblical principles”; and “understands the right to bear and keep arms” for defensive purposes. The guide also specifies that strong Christian leaders must subscribe to various views about how to interpret the United States Constitution.
There is no honest line of argument from what the Bible says to substantive conclusions about the size of the United States government, the need for a free enterprise system, the right to bear arms or the proper interpretation of the Constitution. Family Leader (and many other religious groups with a conservative political agenda) are disguising partisan political positions as religious convictions. This cripples efforts to have meaningful discussions about their political views.
Proponents of conservative views that require sober argument from empirical facts and generally accepted principles, instead merely assert them with religious fervor. Opponents are understandably irritated by the irrationality of claims that distinctively modern questions about capitalist economics and democratic government were answered in the Bible 2000 years ahead of time.
In the run up to the 2012 US elections right wing candidates are being coerced by right wing religious organizations into signing some pretty controversial "pledges." It's becoming a huge problem when fundamentalism, like corporatism, demands - and gets - front bench seats in our legislatures.