Thursday, December 06, 2007

Romney Gives His Spiel

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting commentary about Mitt Romney's new speech regarding his Mormonism. He has some interesting points.

First, although Romney wants to make his Mormonism a non-issue, he still uses a religious rhetoric, which will naturally bring religion into the race as an issue. For instance, in today's speech, he claims, "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom." Uh Mitt, if you want to keep your religion out of it, you shouldn't constantly bring up religion.

Also, as Sullivan correctly points out, Romney does not acknowledge the right not to have a religion, to be an aetheist or a secularist. If people are allowed not to vote for aetheists, then they can not vote for Mormons, either.

I do think that Sullivan goes too easy on Romney. For instance, while Sullivan claims that Mormonism should not be a factor at all, I do think it should be a matter of concern to voters if a candidate is a devout Mormon. Let's face it, Mormonism is Christianity's answer to Scientology (i.e. an outright, easily seen through scam.) If a candidate is willing to swallow that, who knows what else he might swallow. (For more on this, see this Slate article by Jacob Weisburg.)

Furthermore, the religious rhetoric itself disturbs me. Previous candidates who have had to deal with religious intolerance, such as JFK, maintained a steadfastly secular approach to their campaigns. They did not sell themselves as God or the Pope's candidate. NPR had a great segment about this on Morning Edition.

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