Thursday, April 27, 2006

Quote of The Day: Is Mitt Romney Being Treated Fairly?

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak:

To a growing number of Republican activists, [Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney]looks like the party's best bet. But any conversation among Republicans about Romney invariably touches on concerns of whether his Mormon faith disqualifies him for the presidency.

The U.S. Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office, but that is precisely what is being posed now. Prominent, respectable Evangelical Christians have told me, not for quotation, that millions of their co-religionists cannot and will not vote for Romney for president solely because he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . .

Romney is well aware that an unconstitutional religious test is being applied to him, but he may be seriously minimizing the problem's scope as limited to relatively few fanatics. He feels the vast majority of conservative voters worried about his faith will flinch at the prospect of another Clinton in the White House. But such a rational approach is not likely to head off a highly emotional collision of religious faith and religious bias with American politics.

I've posted a fair amount on what I consider the un-American nature of religion-based opposition to Mitt Romney. The best examples are here, here, here, and here. Americans who won't vote for Romney merely because of their interpretation of his religious beliefs (interpretations that are almost always either mistaken, or mean-spirited, or both) ought to be ashamed of themselves.


Blogger SkyePuppy said...

I've commented before on your other posts about Romney that right now he's my front-runner.

As an evangelical Christian, I agree with your statement: "Americans who won't vote for Romney merely because of their interpretation of his religious beliefs ought to be ashamed of themselves."

On issues where religion touches the political debate (primarily moral issues), Mormon values coincide with evangelical Christian values.

When our choices are two men without religious faith, Christians don't seem to have a problem voting for the one who shares their political preferences. Why should Romney deserve any less?  

Posted by SkyePuppy

Friday, April 28, 2006 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

Novak's suggestion that there is some kind of "unconstitutional religious test" being applied here is puzzling to me. It seems to partake of the left's knee-jerk effort to try to force every issue to become a constitutional one. A "religious test"? Maybe. But "unconstitutional"? A very, very big stretch. If evangelical Christians choose not to vote for Romney, or even actively oppose him, because of his religious views, it seems to this observer to be a simple matter of personal decisionmaking, however strangely misguided such a position might seem from a purely political view (as well articulated by SkyePuppy). Nothing "unconstitutional" about that, however, in my view.

I'm also not sure exactly how Hedgehog views religion-based opposition as "un-American" and would welcome a broader treatment of his views there. It certainly doesn't live up to "regardless-of-race-creed-or-color" ideal, but to suggest that deeply held religious beliefs should not influence voters' public decision-making seems to be the flip-side of the leftists' argument that religiously-informed values are illegitimate bases upon which public decisions are made, whether by judges, legislators or voters.

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Friday, April 28, 2006 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...


Novak's use of the term "unconstitutional" is indeed strained. I don't see any state action here, do you? It is, however, inconsistent with the Constitution's ideals and principles to impose a private religious test on a candidate. That's how I interpreted Novak's column.

What I think is un-American is to rule out voting for a candidate simply because of his/her religion, and for no other reason. That's what some evangelicals are vowing to do. My prior posts, linked above, give some examples. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Friday, April 28, 2006 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard Romney interviewed several times now and find him to be impressive - certainly the most impressive of the Reps not named Guilliani or Rice. But I will admit that I find his religion troubling. And here is why: Mormonism is a cult. I'd have the same problem voting for a Jehovah's Witness. (See Dr. Martin's excellent book on cults.) Cults have - and purposely cultivate - a control over adherents that normal religious organizaztions do not. I'm not certain that I could vote for him. I know that I will not in a primary. 

Posted by Blu

Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:34:00 AM  

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