Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mitt and Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby is an opinion columnist for the decidedly non-conservative Boston Globe. I recently was emailed a column in which former Massachusetts governor and current presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the subject.

In it, Mr. Jacoby documents some of the recent religious bigotry that has been on display as Mr. Romney has campaigned for office. In my observation of Mr. Romney, I have seen a man who, together with his family, has been nothing but gracious to those who hate him not for the man he is, but for the faith he professes, and a man who has shown nothing but class in the face of this medieval approach to religion in America.

Mr. Jacoby offers up this little nugget from our Constitution. So ask yourself: Who, in this dialogue, is being more "un-American" in light of the Constitution? The candidate or the mudslinger?

Read what the mudslingers Mr. Jacoby refers to have to say and you be the judge:

- In Florida, televangelist Bill Keller informs his 2.4 million e-mail subscribers: "If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!"

- Another evangelical leader, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Philip Roberts, tells an international Christian conference that the Mormon claim to be the true Christian church is the "overarching and primary concern" behind evangelical opposition to Romney's candidacy.

- The Associated Press reports that a Romney trip to New Hampshire "started on a sour note" when Al Michaud, a Dover resident and self-identified liberal, shouted, "I'm one person who will not vote for a Mormon" and refused to shake Romney's hand.

- In Warren County, Iowa, the local chairman of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign reportedly tells Republican activists that the Mormon Church funds the terrorist organization Hamas and treats women the way the Taliban did in Afghanistan.

- Al Sharpton, during a debate with atheist Christopher Hitchens, gratuitously says of Romney: "As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways."

- The Politico, a popular Washington e-zine, publishes an essay by veteran Democratic strategist Garry South, who says Romney should be hectored on whether he "personally believes" Mormonism's "offensive" teaching that mainstream Christianity is "an abomination."

Now go back and read that little nugget I referred to from the Constitution. Who's trying to rewrite that document? Who's trying to apply a religious test? Who needs to go back to school for a little historical remediation?


googizzleplex said...

"Religion should be something that unites, rather than divide people. [Detractors have] never actually tried to explore how religion should connect us, they're into how religion divides us. They haven't really explored how my faith connects me to you."

An edited amalgam of quotes from U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress.

Quique said...

Interesting comment. Unfortunate that this man's faith is so under scrutiny, partly because there are so many within it that cannot seem to find what it is in their religion that unites them--even to those who profess the same religion, albeit by a different "s" word: Sunni or Shiite.