Friday, December 07, 2007

Mitt Romney and judging religion

On the way in to work today, NPR was doing a bit in New Hampshire about reactions to Romney's speach and his religion in general.
One person said something to the effect of: I thought Kennedy put this to rest. When a jewish person comes to the forefront, are we going to have to go through this again? Should we really be judging other people's faiths?

In one sense I agree with this guy. Should we be judging if one faith is more true than another? Of course not. Faith, by definition, can't be known in that sense (though many might disagree...ego is wonderful, isn't it?).
But when it comes to the tenets of that faith, then yes, not only should we judge, but we MUST judge.
While a president may be able to distance himself from the direct influence of his church, these are still the beliefs that will shape his policy, and the church determins those beliefs.
Look at our current president. He believes that homosexuality is wrong. He believes this because of his faith.
The Catholic church says that capital punishment is wrong. If we elect a Catholic president, the Pope might not call him and tell him whether to sign or veto a bill abolishing the death penalty, but the decision is already there.

Certainly, on big issues like the above, issues that come up during the campaign, you can simply find out where the person stands. But those are not the only issues that will come up during their term.
More subtle ones: government aid to the Boy Scouts (a religious organization that bans gays from being troop leaders), how scientific information is handled (promoting abstinance only programs against all information that shows they don't work, or global warming, for that matter), and so forth.

Ignoring this is no different than ignoring whether or not a candidate is, say, pro-big government, or a socialist, or an oil baron.

Thats sort of the thing in America. When people say they want 'a person of faith', they are lying. The really mean 'a person of my faith, or at least something close'.
Because I shit you not, for people who toss that phrase around, they don't mean jews or muslims or hindus.


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