Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tear It Down

It'll be unfair to him and to Mormons, but I hope the candidacy of Mitt Romney helps us put a stop to this "people of faith" nonsense. It's time to retire the phrase and the concept. Not that I have any sympathy for Romney, who said:

We need to have a person of faith lead the country.

This, in response to another "person of faith" who called him a "pretender" based on his Mormonism. Watch the video. (ht reader v)

We believe different stuff. The alliance of "people of faith", both organizationally and rhetorically, has created an artificial distinction between "believers" and "nonbelievers," perpetuated the notion that what you believe is unimportant as long as you have faith in something, and reduced any public discussion of the genuine differences in belief that exist.

It's become vogue for politicians to make their religious beliefs, their "faith,"central parts of their campaigns. If they do so, it's quite fair for people take a look at just what those beliefs are.

Romney says only a "person of faith" can be president. Plenty of people are going to say they don't want a Mormon to be president. Is this bigotry, an objection to belief (or lack), or both?

Want to make personal religious beliefs a central issue in politics? Fine, bring it on. You guys can fight it out.

"We need to have a person of faith lead the country."

"We need to have a Christian to lead the country."

"We need to have a member of the Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915 to lead this country."

Where's the line?