Sunday, June 24, 2007

GOP rivals take subtle shots at Romney’s faith

I’ve made some statements on this blog in the past regarding the GOP race and Mitt Romney’s faith. I feel a candidate’s faith should be known to the voters. It is reasonable for any candidate to be clear about their religious beliefs. There have been moments in the past, first with Kennedy’s Catholic faith, then with Joe Leiberman’s Jewish faith, where the issue was discussed. More recently, a Muslim congressman from Minnesota was voted into office. In my opinion, a candidate’s religion should not be “off the table”. The voters have a right to know what their candidate believes.

But what I will not tolerate is the slandering of a candidate’s religion, which is exactly what’s beginning to happen in the Republican race. This is, to say the least, despicable. Although no candidate has directly participated in this behavior, there is the suspicion that it’s not exactly taboo in the campaign offices. This article highlights a few instances in which campaign workers have made derogatory statements about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. According to the article, those guilty work for McCain, Brownback and Guiliani.

Some of the claims made include: Mormons are not Christians, Mormons indirectly support Hamas, Mormons treat women similar to the Taliban. At the very least, this is a reflection of ignorance. At most, it is irresponsible bigotry representing an antiquated way of thinking that is far beneath anyone with any stature. It should not be tolerated by ANY US voter, regardless of political or religious affiliation.

The respective campaigns have “reprimanded” their workers for making these statements, but nothing more. I think these people should have been fired and the respective candidate should have made a public apology to Romney and indeed all Mormons, but that’s just me. I’m disappointed in McCain. I had respect for him, and felt that he was a truly decent man with honorable intentions, but now I seriously question that. If he is unable to judge a man as he comes, and not by the group that he belongs to, then I don’t think he is fit for office. But, again, that’s just me.

The fact that someone is Mormon or Muslim or Jewish or Catholic or Protestant has nothing to do with what kind of person they are. I can cite many examples of bad people and good people from any of these groups. I feel Romney is a good person and should be treated as such until he gives us evidence to the contrary, as McCain seems to be doing with his indirect attacks on Romney’s faith. If Romney is not the best choice for President, it certainly isn’t because he is Mormon.

And, for the record, I believe that Mormon’s are Christians. I haven’t seen any evidence that they support Hamas, or treat women like the Taliban treats women. This is petty, cheap behavior, and represents conduct unbecoming a US Presidential candidate. The GOP field has done nothing to secure my vote, and this recent behavior isn’t helping.


Anonymous said...

The whole religion thing hardly matters to me. I agree that any religion can have good people as well as bad. I highly dislike when religion is used as a political argument. They wasted time discussing evolution etc. and "America's greatest moral error" in the last debate too. That sort of thing just looks bad. People want to hear the issues, not that stuff.

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