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February 18, 2007

Who needs faith?

Nathan Newman writes:

There's a bit of a furor that Mitt Romney declared:

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

So what? I disagree with the statement, but it's no different in kind from someone saying they support Obama because they think we need a person of color as President, or saying they support Clinton because it's high time a woman was President. There's no violation of the Constitution for VOTERS to vote their religious beliefs, just as ethnic and racial solidarity has been common in elections without violating the 14th Amendment.

And at some level, why shouldn't a person's religious beliefs be relevant?

Mitt Romney is implying that you can't be a good president unless you're a religious believer.  He's deluded, of course. On the other hand, I'm not surprised or offended by his blithe dismissal of atheists higher office.

Mitt's entitled to support whoever he wants for president--including his own personal, faithful self. He's entitled to run on whatever platform he wants, including the false claim that only the faithful can be good presidents.

It's just kind of a stupid for Mitt the Mormon to start a person-of-faith pissing match. The thing is, most American voters agree that only God-loving folk can be good presidents. Unfortunately for Mitt, a significant percentage of those religious believers regard Mitt's God as fictional and his faith as heresy. Every single person he's running against has a more mainstream faith than he does. So, I'd advise him to tread carefully.

All previous American presidents have at least publicly professed a belief in God. Some of them were good. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between which God they believed in and how good they were at being president.

What really matters is a president's policy positions, not his or her religious identity. An atheist president with Mitt's agenda would still be a bad president.


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Brownback's more electable than he seems. He flip-flops less, so he could plausibly paint Clinton or Edwards or even Obama as an unprincipled weasel (and he'd be right; it's just that having a leader with his principles is worse than having one with no principles).

But yeah, having Tancredo as the Republican nominee would be fun. Hispanics would turn out to vote Democratic by the same margins blacks do, which would kill the Republicans in the entire Southwest. Nothing says "Loser" like a Republican who can't win Texas because he's too racist.

As Chesterton said..

The problem with ill-religion is not that people will believe in nothing; …It is that they will believe in anything.

And so it is….

I agree with what I have observed of Mitt's current platform, but as a former Mormon, I don't know that I could cast a vote for a Mormon president; it would be difficult for me to lend credibility to such a sham religion by voting him into office.

I've always thought that the essence of being a Dominionist should be the belief that our government should be replaced by vorta ambassadors enforcing the will of the Founders in the gamma quadrant with the help of genetically engineered Jem'Hadar soldiers,

Ah, Mr. Elson, if only. Rule by Changeling would be preferable to the vision of America promulgated by the late R.J. Rushdoony, D. James Kennedy, Al Mohler, etc. At least every aspect of personal behavior didn't seem to be micromanaged by the Dominion.

The Mittster is a social liberal who has backed several Democratic candidates. He is grandstanding hard to woo social conservatives. Would he go against his personal views if he becomes President? I don't want to bet on it. Let's put it that way.

I like to see more Lincoln Chafee's in the Republican Party. Hell, I wish Hillary was more like Chafee. Unfortunately, the GOP saw Chafee lose. I'm glad Democrats picked up the seat. The GOP would be a better party with more rank and file members willing to go against the norm.

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