Monday, March 07, 2005

Is Mitt Romney's Religion An Issue? The Boston Globe Thinks So.

Take a look at this piece by Dean Barnett in The Weekly Standard. (Here's the story on which Barnett is commenting.)

A choice excerpt from Barnett's analysis:

Sunday's story also concluded with a strange coda, referring to Romney as a "Mormon stalwart." For what it's worth, according to a search of the Globe's online archives, none of the following phrases have appeared in the Globe since its archives begin in 1979: "Jewish stalwart;" "Catholic stalwart;" "Christian stalwart;" "Muslim stalwart;" "Hindu stalwart;" or "Buddhist stalwart."

Mitt Romney has never discussed his religion in a political context, certainly not willingly. He has never made an issue of his faith as President Bush has or as Senator Kerry did when he recited his history as an altar boy.

All of which makes the Globe's rediscovery of the governor's religious affiliation after a blissful ten year absence of such conversations especially noxious.
Indeed. I am confident that as far as Romney is concerned, this is not the last of the religion-bashing we will see, whether it is overt or by innuendo. How the public reacts to all this will be very interesting to watch. Among other things, it will tell us a lot about religious tolerance (or intolerance) in this country.

Here is Dean Barnett's blog, soxblog. He is a Red Sox fan and so I already like the guy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly, Romney's religion will be an issue, as is the religion (or lack such) of any candidate is these days. I don't see anything wrong with that, so long as the discussion is fair, factual and focuses on how a candidate's religious views and practice inform his/her values, political positions and--most fundamentally--character.

I realize that there is an obvious problem for adherents of relatively unknown or misunderstood denominations. To me, this only heightens the obligation of those who choose to comment on such matters to attempt to inform readers/hearers of the facts, rather than (as appears to be Mr. Barnett's complaint) simply raise a specter of suspicion by referring to a figure's religion and leaving it to the reader/hearer's assumptions or even prejudices "fill in the blanks."

Interestingly, the Weekly Standard is hardly free from the problem itself. Over the past couple of years it has published two book reviews on Mormon-related topics that could themselves benefit from a little more critical editorial pencil. The first covered a highly sensationalistic book on the Mountain Meadows Massacre incident (without reference to any other, more careful and respected--even if not particularly Mormon friendly--treatments of the same subject matter) Bloody Utah , and most recently a review of a recent scholarly work on the controversial seating of Utah Senator and Mormon Apostle Reed Smoot, in which the seems to convert the subject matter of his prior review as mere diatribe. Books in Brief (last item) 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Monday, March 07, 2005 5:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog Mr. Brown, and glad to have been pointed your way. The current trend I am seeing is an increase in the expression of disdain for religion among agnostic Libertarian sorts. I see all kinds of snarky references to textbook stickers and 10 Commandments monument defenders in otherwise agreeable blogs, and the social issues are of small consequence to most. This is not a good time for conservatives to start calling out comrades over doctrine.
I guess this is where a troll pops up and says "The Taliban are your comrades!" when your blog gets more widely read. 

Posted by Mark Marshall

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 5:44:00 AM  
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Saturday, October 01, 2005 10:18:00 PM  

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