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Romney Insults Atheists in "Mormon Speech"

Posted by libhom Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mitt Romney is getting desperate to appeal to the Christian Taliban, many of whom don't want him because he is a non-Christian. He has responded to this in a suck up speech. Romney, the crafty politician, knows you cannot pander effectively to religious extremists without attacking non-believers. He certainly gave them some red meat.

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

In the real world, you can not be free on the subject of religion unless you are free to opt out entirely. However, facts like that make no difference to someone who wants to argue that you need to be religious to have a legitimate role to play in politics.

Romney's hateful rhetoric does not end there.
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.

This is transparently hateful against atheists.

It also is misogynistic. Equating the anti-choice movement, a jihad to reduce women to the legal status of breeding animals, with the abolition and civil rights movements is a truly nasty attack on women. It also is an incredibly racist insult to all African-Americans.

Romney then attacked separation of church and state, except where he finds it personally convenient.
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's as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

The notion of secularism being a "religion" is downright silly. It also is a favorite talking point of the Christian Taliban.

Romney also advocates continuing many forms of discrimination against atheists.
We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'

In other words, Romney revels in the way those of us who are atheists are treated as second-class citizens in this country.

Romney is in a difficult position. He needs to convince the militant, Christian fundamentalists who make up the majority of GOP primary voters that they should be tolerant of him. Yet, he also needs to show them that he shares many of the other prejudices that have united the Religious Right.

This speech may help Romney is his political objectives for now, but it also shows why atheists, agnostics, and humanists would be out of their minds to vote for him.

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