MITT’S BIG SPEECH….If you’re going to give a speech about how people shouldn’t reject you for your religious beliefs, it’s only natural that most of the speech is going to be about religious beliefs. But when JFK gave his famous speech in 1960 addressing fears that he’d be under the thumb of the Vatican, he at least threw out this bone:
I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end — where all men and all churches are treated as equal — where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice.
Italics mine. Compare this to Mitt Romney’s deeply offensive speech this morning addressing fears of his Mormon faith:
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom….Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
….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.
….Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.
I can’t tell you how much this pisses me off. I’m well aware that this is par for the course among Republican politicians these days, and Romney is doing nothing more than engaging in what’s become routine conservative disparagement of those of us who aren’t religious. But the cowardice and pandering here is just phenomenal. Not only does Romney not have the guts to toss in even a single passing phrase about the nonreligious, as JFK did, he went out of his way to insist that “freedom requires religion,” that no movement of conscience is possible without religion, and that judges had better respect our “foundation of faith” lest our country’s entire greatness disappear. And that was just the warmup.
I know, I know. He’s just doing what he has to do. Evangelical base and all that. But I’m not religious, and yet, mirabile dictu, I still manage to support freedom, have a conscience, and understand the law. I’m tired of people implying otherwise.