The US Constitution stipulates that there be no religious test for public office. But in keeping with the Fox News message that atheists suck, official Fox priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris, tells us that atheists are not qualified to be president. But no atheists are running for president, so go figure!
The segment began with video clips of GOP presidential hopefuls, at the Iowa "Faith and Freedom" gathering, talking about the awesomeness of God and the awfulness of - wait for it - Christian persecution which is being ignored by our Marxist, Muslim president. Catholic Knight of Malta, Roger Ailes consigliore, and Fox friend Peter Johnson Jr. asked if the candidates were being honest about these social issues in order "to avoid alienating a larger group."
Official Fox priest Fr. Morris said that "you can't fake religion" (Right, Roger Ailes and his network's Christian faith is so real!) although politicians "fall into that" at times. He preached to the Fox faithful: "What matters most to us Americans and to those who will be voting is what these guys said before they were running for president, the way in which they lived before they started running for president." He recommended that "they be very clear about the values they believe in, not making stuff up in order to get votes" because even though voters might disagree with a politician, they will be able to "trust" them.
Devout Christian Tucker Carlson asked "how should faith inform a public official's life." Morris: "If it doesn't inform your life, it's not faith because faith is a set of beliefs" which include believing in God and "eternal consequences for your actions." He opined that "a leader that doesn't have a set of core beliefs that help him to make justice an important part of his life and decisions because he knows that there are eternal consequences" is "hard to trust."
Johnson asked if voters should "judge the faith of the people running for president." He asked if an atheist is "qualified to be the president." Morris said that while "faith is not the most important thing, but wisdom in terms of a leader." He continued "But yeah, I think it certainly makes a difference who that person is." Carlson: "That's for sure." Johnson: "That's a succinct answer." Carlson: "People who don't believe in God, don't answer to a higher authority." Johnson, quipped "maybe you should run for president." Carlson: "I would vote for you." (Uh, Catholic clergy, at this time, aren't allowed to run for political office.
This was a strange segment. Superficially, it appears that it's just another patented Fox anti-atheist piece of agitprop. But there is very little on Fox News that doesn't have a subtext. The segment used a group of GOP presidential hopefuls, all of them devout (at least publicly) conservative Christians as the premise for the discussion. Is Fox really suggesting that there is a GOP candidate who isn't following the true Fox faith? Or is this just another simple message (atheists politicians bad) for simple minds?
Might I suggest a hair-shirt full of fleas and a 50 year vow of silence as tokens of your atonement?
Independently of the fact that the necessity of a belief in God to have ethics and morality has not been proven (well, the contrary has been proven), ideally, in a democracy, the higher authority is The People. Ideally.