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Something we've all been praying for

October 7, 2007 |  2:22 pm

Thank, uh, goodness, a web tool to measure the religiousity of presidential candidates.

It's called the God-o-Meter and it's billed as "a scientific measure of God-talk in elections." It's a joint operation between Beliefnet and Time magazine and it rates candidates on the basis of what they're saying about religion and the religious communities' reactions to them.

Not that religion has anything to do with how Americans view candidates or decide to vote because in this country founded by religious zealots fleeing religious persecution we have strict separation of church and state. But if religion did matter to Americans and any of them were interested in its purely hypothetical role in politics, they could go to this website.

There, anyone--even an atheist--can click on a candidate's head and get their latest statement referencing the deity and their current rating.

Right now, for instance, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Mitt Romney are rated the highest at 8. Joe Biden, Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo are close behind with 7.

You'll never guess who's got the lowest ratings: Chris Dodd, because he declines to talk about religion, and Rudy Giuliani, because he doesn't like to either, though a lot of other people chime in on his life. They both have a 3 right now, but the numbers could change anytime.

There's a little discussion text by each candidate and Giuliani's and Fred Thompson's (5) point out the recent negative words that some evangelicals like James Dobson have had to say about them and their religious points of view.

Makes you wonder sometimes if perhaps there is a higher authority who rates people who rate people. That might make for interesting reading.

--Andrew Malcolm