Sunday, February 25, 2007

More Mitt

Shakes has a good take.

Anyway, as I said before, Romney's candidacy provides a useful chance to have a broader and more honest discussion about the intersection of religion and politics. "People of Faith," despite its general acceptance as an inclusive term, is actually an exclusionary one, not just against nonbelievers like myself, but also against other non-dominant religions in which the concept of "faith," while usually present in some form, doesn't play a central role. Faith is not a uniquely Christian concept, but it has elevated importance in Christianity. Witness "Faithful Democrats," a self-described "online Christian community."

Romney's going to find out that it's not important whether you're a "person of faith." What's important is that you're a person of the right faith. It's time to be honest about that. People believe different stuff, that stuff is important to some people, your identification with a particular religious tribe says something about your beliefs. I wish people didn't think that such beliefs were especially important characteristics of candidates, but the fact is they do. I wish our political and opinion leaders (and religious ones, too) were trying to convince people that such things shouldn't be important, but mostly they've been doing the opposite.