Juan Cole, on Mitt Romney’s attempt to be seen as John Kennedy (including poses):
As for the insistence that you need religion for political freedom, that is silly. Organized religion has many virtues, but pushing for political liberty is seldom among them. Religion is about controlling people. No religiously based state has ever provided genuine democratic governance. You want religion in politics, go to Iran.
The true evil of the Rove/Bush era is putting deluded religious zealots on the battle lines for the forces of corporatism, greed, and bigotry, the least Christian motives I can think of. Yeah, Christ would have doubled Guantanamo, Mitt.
Where Mr. Romney most fell short, though, was in his failure to recognize that America is composed of citizens not only of different faiths but of no faith at all and that the genius of America is to treat them all with equal dignity. “Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom,” Mr. Romney said. But societies can be both secular and free. The magnificent cathedrals of Europe may be empty, as Mr. Romney said, but the democracies of Europe are thriving.
“Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government,” Mr. Romney said. But not all Americans acknowledge that, and those who do not may be no less committed to the liberty that is the American ideal.
Further, Romney signals that the courts are not off limits for his theocratic notions:
….Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.
All in all, quite a pandering and un-American speech. But who notices, these days…. Just put on a lapel pin and you’re good to go.
Maybe next time Mitt will tell us about some of the things one has to believe in to be a good American….how God used to be a man, how he had sex with Mary to father the Baby Jesus, and maybe he’ll toss in some things about apostasy, eternal damnation, how black people and women could become second class citizens; tell us about multiple wives, baptizing other people’s ancestors, and other things dreamed up by the teenager who invented Mormonism. While he’s at it, he could tell us how the concept of inerrancy might be seen as less than completely tolerant, shall we say. Maybe he could tell us how believing in creationism makes someone more free. And tell us how those who apply the name of Christ to themselves are not in the streets protesting the killing in Darfur. Or torture. Then tell us why believing in any or all of this nonsense makes someone more fit to be an American than someone who, for example, believes in none of it.
Firedoglake rightly asks where the NY Times is on this bigotry.