A View From The Handbasket

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Romney: Believe or else
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:36 AM

Here's the sound bite from today's big "My weird religion isn't really any weirder than your weird religion" speech from Mitt Romney:

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.

So this is the message he's carefully crafted for months? "Freedom requires religion?" If you don't "commune with God" you don't deserve basic rights? That sounds like something the Taliban would cook up, or Sudan (where they throw people in jail for naming teddy bears Muhammad).

And what's with the reverse? "Religion requires freedom?" Again, look at the more repressive Muslim nations -- they're religious as can be, but no one can call them "free." You're free to be a rigid follower of Sharia law, I guess, but that's about where it ends.

The rest of the speech is more of the same. Random sample:

Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.

A "believer in religious freedom" seems to be the same thing as someone "who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty." If you've never prayed to the Almighty (or failed to kneel while doing so), then you're on your own in Romney's America.

Yes, I'm exaggerating a little for effect (though Romney's sloppy wording makes it all too easy), and what Romney's spouting is mostly meaningless, of course; it's just meant to reassure the base that he'll take his orders from the voices in his head just like Bush does. (Whether or not this will help him regain the ground he's lost to the anti-evolution Baptist minister Mike Huckabee remains to be seen.) But all kidding aside, it's clear that as far as Romney's concerned, freedom of religion means the freedom to be religious. Non-believers can move to the back of the bus.

0 comments on this post