The New York Times assures us of the following concerning Mitt Romney’s speech in College Station:
Still, there was no escaping the reality of the moment. Mr. Romney was not there to defend freedom of religion, or to champion the indisputable notion that belief in God and religious observance are longstanding parts of American life. He was trying to persuade Christian fundamentalists in the Republican Party, who do want to impose their faith on the Oval Office, that he is sufficiently Christian for them to support his bid for the Republican nomination. No matter how dignified he looked, and how many times he quoted the founding fathers, he could not disguise that sad fact.
This statement overlooks a few facts:
- Suppose he gets through all of the "fundamentalists" and wins the Republican nomination. Will liberals vote for a Mormon? Will feminists vote for an adherent of a religion which is a male-centred as Mormonism? Will atheists vote for anyone who believes in any kind of god(s)?
- If Mike Huckabee wins the Republican nomination, won’t liberals be as adverse to him as they would be to Romney? Adding to the left’s distaste is the fact that both of these men have held high position in their respective churches.
- The whole constitutional business of a "religious test" was intended for appointed positions, not to impose on the electorate a standard by which they were supposed to choose. A truer violation of this Constitutional provision was the resistance to John Ashcroft’s confirmation as Attorney General.
The editorial did admit to the following:
CNN, shockingly, required the candidates at the recent Republican debate to answer a videotaped question from a voter holding a Christian edition of the Bible, who said: “How you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you. Do you believe every word of this book? Specifically, this book that I am holding in my hand, do you believe this book?”
But that’s the country we live in today. Twenty years ago, I was a county coordinator for Pat Robertson. I was asked to give a speech in his support at my Pachyderm Club; the president of the club at the time was (and is) a Mormon and he even encouraged me to join (which I did.) But that was then; this is now.