FRIDAY UPDATE: Here's an interesting juxtaposition of quotes from Mitt's speech yesterday (emphasis added by me)-
"Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree...We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them in our Constitutional order. Foremost do we protect religious liberty, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of right. There will be no established church, and we are guaranteed the free exercise of our religion.
But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning...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."
This is far from the first time a right-winger has defined "secularism" as a "religion" -they do it all the time, but obviously the Irony Fairy was working overtime yesterday.
Earth paging Mitt... Earth paging Mitt... Come in, Mitt... if you really think that "secularism" is indeed a religion, then what are you doing declaring it "wrong"? Didn't you just say we should respect "all" other religions?
Of course they respect your freedom- as long as you agree with them.
Many bloggers have been writing about religion over the past few weeks. The nuttiness going on in the world, with Muslim fanatics calling for the beheading of teachers because they dislike the name of their teddy bear, has been all over the news. But there is a fanatical threat much closer to us all- a number of our candidates for President are even more threatening to American freedoms.
A lot of attention has been focused on Mike Huckabee, who famously has declared he does not believe in Evolution, but there are other American Taliban out there. Most of the talk about Mitt Romney has been about the Christian Right's struggles to figure out whether Mormons are Christians or not, but those who value the rights of Americans to be free not only to practice religion, but not to practice it as well, should be very worried by The Mittster, because he is one of the more frightening members of the American Taliban, a group who does not really believe you have a right to be agnostic or aethiest.
Here are some advance excerpts from Mitt's speech on religion in America, to be delivered today (emphasis added by me):
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom...Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone... 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...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. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square...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...Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. "
Want a little more reason to be afraid? On October 5, 2006, Mitt said,
"Today there are some people who are trying to establish one religion: the religion of secularism. They not only reject traditional values, they reject the values of our founders and they cast aside the wisdom of the ages. This spreading secular religion — and its substitute values — cannot be allowed to weaken the foundation of the family, or the faith of our fathers who 'more than life, their country loved."
Got that, everyone? Mitt believes that if you are not religious you cannot have true values, and you are an enemy to real American values. Further, he wants judges who will follow religious dictates (and by "religious" he means Christian).
American Taliban, anyone?