Romney's Faith Doesn't Engender Much
By Lee Russ
Sunday, December 09, 2007 at 06:23 PM
For a speech being praised so highly by so many mainstream pundits and pols, Mitt Romney's speech "on his faith" didn't engender much faith in him, at least in my house.Part of my problem is that portion in which the slick one explicitly equates freedom and religion:
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.I follow no religion. According to the Mittster, I cannot be free. Unfortunately, I think he may end up being right, not because of some inescapable connection between freedom and religion, but because of some unwarranted and bizarre connection between the two that exists in the mind of Mitt and millions of other believers.
Nor am I happy or comfortable with:
No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.In one stroke, Romney embraces both the absurd notion that secularists are attacking religion and religious believers in America, AND that we need a judiciary that will perform their duties in light of the highly, highly debatable notion that our constitution rests upon a foundation of faith. So he's hopped aboard the "war on Christmas" crap that the religious right uses to fund their political activities, AND given us a preview of the kind of havoc he'd happily wreak on the judiciary. And just for the hell of it, why exactly did the equally strong "faith" in European countries of the 18th century not produce such a constitution? Could it possibly be that even though many of the founders were, indeed, people of some kind of faith, it was their sense of fairness, not of faith, that produced our constitution?
We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders - in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from "the God who gave us liberty."
Then we've got what Romney probably thought was a masterstroke of getting mainline Christians to feel more kindly toward his Mormon faith: appealing to their sense of tradition, of just carrying on the family business of faith as it were:
I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers - I will be true to them and to my beliefs.The bit about the "faith of my fathers" is nothing more than saying that you will be true to your traditions. I wonder if it ever once occurred to whomever actually wrote this speech that the "Islamofascists" so excoriated by the right wing feel exactly the same way?
Traditions are extremely important to Muslims. In fact, Muslims are governed by two sources of authority: the first is the writings of Muhammad himself, set out in the Koran. The second is known as the "hadith," or the reports of others about Muhammad's life and deeds. That life and those deeds form the traditions of the religion which all adherents of the religion try to emulate.
Which means, of course, that the terrorists who flew the planes into the WTC and the Pentagon were quite likely, in their minds, to be attempting to honor the faith of their fathers.
So how, exactly, is it a good thing to say as a broad statement that you will honor the faith of your fathers, regardless of what that following means to others, how it affects, even destroys them? Honoring the faith of your fathers may sound great in a televised speech intended to win over religious people; it sounds awfully scary to one of the persons who might well find himself bloody and dying as a result of someone following the faith of their fathers.
And this is the speech that Chris Matthews, Newt Gingrich, and countless others think was a real "home run?"
Give me John Kennedy any day. Here are a few excerpts from his Catholic version of Romney's religion speech:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."Where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice...yeah, I could vote for that.
Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.
Rommie is attempting to make an appeal to the same Morality Mafia that swept Rezident Birdbrain into office. It's a slick, nothing more, nothing less.
Ergo, intercourse him.
Part of my problem is that portion in which the slick one explicitly equates freedom and religion
The slick one? The only thing oilier than Mitt's hair is the guys personality. Mittens the magical underwear wearing Romulan has yet to come to grips with the reality that Freedom of Religion also requires Freedom from religion. In fact Mittens sounds a little bit like Bush on this topic. Do you remember?...
"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."
He is a slippery eel of a politician who has yet to answer a single question in any straight forward manner. Mitt's little "homerun" speech did nothing but reinforce my previously held beliefs that he is a clear and present danger to the United States of America and the principles for which it stands (or "stood", at one point, anyway)
Nice Article Mr. Lee Russ. The chattering classes of the corporate media have once again proven themselves to be the tamed lap-dogs of their owners and not the watchdogs of the people's best interests. They have played the game of pretending to reflect public opinion while in reality shaping it within the bounds of wot Chomsky refers to as the "expressable". The difference between reality as they see it and reality as most people know it, grows wider and wider. They are co-opting the forces of blog-world (as Spud calls it) by buying chicken dinners for the Kosby Kids and such while filling up column inches in ostensible independent blogs with astro-turfers but it's not enuff.
The difference between Kennedy's Catholic speech and Mitt's Mormom apologia are night and day and enuff to make a small tater weep real tears. BushCo have already broken down sections of the wall between Church and State (That he once refered to as the bridge betweeen church and state in a moment of subconcious honesty) and Mitt Romney is not the man to repair that breach.
So sez Spud.