Objection, Your Honor, Relevance?

I almost wholeheartedly agree with this statement by the Montgomery Advertiser:

Voters in the Democratic [Attorney General] primary have one of the all-time political no-brainers in this contest. John Tyson, veteran district attorney in Mobile County, is a proven prosecutor with proposals to fight crime that are tough in practice, not just in talk. Tyson, who served 14 years on the state Board of Education before becoming district attorney, would stand out in any field, but in this one his fitness for the office outshines that of his opponent by light-years.

Tyson’s opponent in the primary, Larry Darby, once served as a spokesman for the state’s atheist organization. He has since moved to the most distant fringes of political thought — denying the Holocaust occurred, calling for the declaration of martial law to address immigration issues, blasting the federal government as a tool to “advance the interests of the subversive state of Israel” and vowing to attack “subversive interests” such as Alabama newspapers owned by “foreign corporations” he says “appear complicit in treason against Alabama.”

Darby does not merit the serious consideration of any voter.

I agree with the conclusion, but that Darby is an atheist is irrelevant to it. He believes there is no god. O.K., how will that change the way he performs his duties as A.G.? What does his atheism tell voters about his legal abilities? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a candidate’s choice of a deity is as relevant to their job as my choice in sports teams is relevant to mine. There was no reason to include Darby’s theology in this summary of his lunacy. It is neither a reason to vote for Darby, nor a reason to vote against Darby. Including his atheism in this list was error, harmless error because removing it does not change the result, but error nonetheless.

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