mm218: Romney’s religion — we shouldn’t care!

December 10, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

Forests have been felled, and electrons have been transformed by the gazillions since Mitt Romney officially tackled his difficult religion last week. Steve Chapman’s input was appreciatively noted in our last post.

Today we encountered an interesting pair of commentaries on the same topic worth continuing the conversation: Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes, and Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post.

First, Dowd:


Mitt’s No J.F.K.

By MAUREEN DOWD | Published: December 9, 2007

You’d think Catholics, who watched with trepidation as J.F.K. battled prejudice, would be sympathetic to Mitt Romney….

Mormons see themselves as the one true religion, and don’t buy all of the New Testament, he [Joseph Smith biographer Jon Krakauer] said, “which makes it curious why Mitt thinks evangelical Christians are his allies….”

“J.F.K.’s speech was to reassure Americans that he wasn’t a religious fanatic,” Mr. Krakauer agreed. “Mitt’s was to tell evangelical Christians, ‘I’m a religious fanatic just like you.’”

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Mitt’s No J.F.K. – New York Times

Krauthammer has his usual unique perspective — highly critical of Mike Huckabee for pushing Romney’s religion front and center:


Huckabee Plays the Religion Card

By Charles Krauthammer | Friday, December 7, 2007; Page A39

Mormonism should be a total irrelevancy in any political campaign. It is not. Which is why Mitt Romney had to deliver his JFK “religion speech” yesterday. He didn’t want to. But he figured that he had to. Why? Because he’s being overtaken in Iowa. Why Iowa? Because about 40 percent of the Republican caucus voters in 2000 were self-described “Christian conservatives” — twice the number of those in New Hampshire, for example — and, for many of them, Mormonism is a Christian heresy.

It’s not relevant, and shame on Huckabee for forcing Romney to respond, says Krauthammer.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Charles Krauthammer – Huckabee Plays the Religion Card –

As it happens, Krauthammer, Dowd, and this writer are also members of minority religions in this country.

A country founded on the principles of political and religious liberty.

Principles which have come under attack from within in pernicious ways.

For the past seven years, the U.S. has been run by fanatical neo-con evangelical Christians. We can see the results, in a murderous and pointless exercise in Iraq; in the torture of political prisoners (when did the U.S. ever even have political prisoners — isn’t that for the Soviet Union?); in the brainless interruption on spurious religious grounds of stem cell research that could lead to amazing medical breakthroughs.

One dares say that any change just has to be for the better.

And when it comes down to it, a list of the problems MUDGE has with Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani, Thompson and all of the Republican contenders is plenty lengthy without anyone’s religious affiliation even moving the needle.

This is all a distraction, anyway. There’s still a bloody war on; the sub-prime driven financial crisis has barely scratched the surface; and as long as we’re speaking of sub-prime, let’s use that phrase to define public education, and then fix it!

These are the real issues to grapple with, and these conversations about a person’s private religious practice are meant to deflect us from the reality of the failures of the present government, and the empty promises of most of those who aim to succeed it.

In case you missed it, I’ll finish this with Krauthammer’s carefully drawn irony:

Every mention of God in every inaugural address in American history refers to the deity in this kind of all-embracing, universal, nondenominational way. (The one exception: William Henry Harrison. He caught cold delivering that inaugural address. Thirty-one days later, he was dead. Draw your own conclusion.)

It’s it for now. Thanks,