From presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday:
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.
Ummm, Mitt? What are you saying? That we all have to be believe in God to be free? Is that what you’re saying? Because it sounds like that’s what you’re saying.
Granted, you were addressing the issues of your Mormon faith and you were really only speaking to your evangelical critics, who have blasted your religion because it isn’t the right form of Christianity. Vote for Romney is Vote for Satan!
But, really, all pandering to the fundamentalist base aside, don’t you think that’s … well…stupid? And, well, a complete misunderstanding of the principles on which this nation was founded?
And, if I might, I’d like to get some clarification on this as well:
Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.
Sure, there’s a lot of wiggle room in that sentence, but what it sounds like to me is that you’re saying judges should be interpreting the Constitution based on the Christian faith. Is that what you’re saying? Really? Wow. Talk about your judicial activism.
Maybe I’m wrong.
But then…maybe I’m not:
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.’
Honestly? I don’t fear Romney’s faith any more or less than those of other candidates of fundamentalist beliefs, or, even the faith of certain less dogmatic candidates who are nonetheless willing to sell their souls for evangelical support. Or those of a certain sitting president, who has declared his Christian faith is what has guided him into an unjust war. (OK, I’m lying there. I’m pretty much afraid of everything that guy believes.)
Because it’s not faith and religious beliefs that I’m afraid of. What frightens me are those who don’t get the First Amendment, those who hint that separation of church and state is a myth and only applies to specific denominations of Protestant faith.
In 1869, Catholic parents in Cincinnati asked that the Bible not be read in public school. The courts denied the request after outraged Protestants filed suit, arguing the reading of the Bible was necessary for good government. The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the lower court with these words:
When Christianity asks the aid of government beyond mere impartial protection, it denies itself. Its laws are divine, not human . . . . United with government, religion never rises above the merest superstition; united with religion, government never rises above the merest despotism; and all history shows us that the more widely and completely they are separated, the better it is for both.
I’m still not sure what you’re saying Mitt, but that’s what I believe.
Lauri in York