Former Ambassador and perennial losing candidate Alan Keyes has long been the gold standard for right-wing extremism. Keyes sued President Obama in a birther lawsuit claiming the Obama was born in Kenya. He called the president a “radical communist” and a “usurper.” And he once called embryonic stem cell research the “moral equivalent of Nazi medical experiments on the inmates of death camps during World War II.” Yet, in a column published at the birther website World Net Daily, Keyes slams GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for saying he would require Muslim federal employees to swear a loyalty oath:
Herman Cain is certainly aware that the First Amendment withholds from the U.S. government the power lawfully to prohibit the free exercise of religion. But has he thought at all about the connection between that provision and the one that says that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for “any office or public trust under the United States”? Mr. Cain apparently believes that in today’s world Americans have good reason to distrust any follower of Islam. But the Constitution explicitly prohibits officials of the U.S. government from applying religion as a criterion for public trust, whatever their individual inclinations. This means that whatever his personal predilections, as president of the United States Mr. Cain (and anyone else elected to that office) would be required to set aside his personal views. He could not as a matter of public policy take the position that an office or public trust under the U.S. government (including a seat on the Supreme Court) would be withheld from someone of the Muslim or any other religion until they dispelled to his satisfaction some prejudice (however justified it seems to him, to me or to anyone else) as to their loyalty.