"I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims. As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life's blessings.I wasn't the only one who noted that something was missing from Romney's address, so did Ramesh Ponnuru.
"It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it's usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.
"We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
It would have been nice if Romney, while making room for people of all faiths in this country, could have also made some room for people with none.While it's true that the constitution says that there shall be no religious test for public office the individual voters will more often than not apply their own religious test which is the reason Romney and Kennedy before him had to address the issue. The reality is at this time and probably for the foreseeable future no Muslim could be elected president. The same can be said for we atheists and agnostics. Even in the relatively progressive state of Oregon it is doubtful I could be elected to a state wide office if it was known I'm an atheist. Of course Romney didn't address this - if he did he would have alienated the very group he was trying to convince. Yes there is a religious test for elected office in the US and none of the above will result in failing the test.
Over at The Left Coaster Turkana nails it:
I'll add this: Romney is a bigot. Don't expect much criticism of Romney, for it, in the corporate media. Had he said that freedom requires one or another religion, he'd have been vilified. For this, he won't be. Bigotry against atheists and agnostics is still allowed, in modern theocratic America.Go read the entire post.
BTW Turkana will be filling in for Steve Soto at TLC for the next few months and is off to a great start.