Nussbaum and Moyers on Religion, Equality, and the Separation of Church and State

Here is a link to a video of Bill Moyers interviewing the philosopher Martha Nussbaum: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04182008/watch2.html

Here is part of the transcript of Moyers’s introduction:

BILL MOYERS: … Consider one of the highest rated news shows on cable television this week:
BROWN: Tonight, we bring you something different in this already extraordinary campaign year. We are calling it the Compassion Forum…
BILL MOYERS: The compassion forum on CNN was touted as an opportunity for the candidates to “discuss how their faith and moral convictions” might guide them as president of the United States.
BROWN: You said in an interview last year that you have actually felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions. Share some of those occasions with us.
MEACHAM: Do you believe God wants you to be president?
BROWN: If one of your daughters asked you, “Daddy, did God really create the world in six days?” What would you say?
MEACHAM: Senator, do you believe that God rewards or punishes people or nations in real time?
BILL MOYERS: If you don’t think those questions at least imply a religious test for office, try to imagine what would have happened if one of those candidates had answered, “Well, I find the concept of the supernatural rather shaky and the evidence for it insubstantial. To be honest, I’m agnostic. So let’s talk instead about how we’re going to find the money to rebuild our infrastructure.”
That candidate would be burned at the metaphorical equivalent of the heretic’s stake. So I have a suggestion for the next compassion forum. Turn the tables, and insist that the candidates get to quiz the moderators on how well they have read Martha Nussbaum’s new book: LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE: IN DEFENSE OF AMERICA’S TRADITION OF RELIGIOUS EQUALITY.