Monday, December 3, 2007

Another example of why religion and politics do not mix

Again, I haven't been following the various campaigns in the presidential primaries closely at all, but now and again, I'll stumble upon a story that attracts my interest. Milt Romney, one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination (along with Rudy), is a Mormon. This is immaterial to me, as I already don't care for the guy regardless of what religion he is. But this has generated controversy for some, mostly Christians who are uneasy about giving their vote to anyone who is a non-Christian, or who practices an offshoot of Christianity, or whatever. I wouldn't be able to tell you what exactly a Mormon is, I don't know much of them outside of the show "Big Love". But the fact that Romney is a Mormon has apparently generated so much attention that he's felt the need to schedule a speech and address his faith.

I've heard all my life about how America is the land of the free, and that this whole shebang got started in the first place by immigrants from Europe who were marginalized for their religious beliefs and wanted to be able to practice them in peace elsewhere. But yet, it's been a constant for political candidates, especially those running for the Oval Office, to talk about faith and how they practice their religion. This is no more clear than this current situation with Romney, and JFK before him (who was, of course, Catholic). This guy's wasting important time, in which he can address far more pressing issues, so he can appease a few religious bigots so that he could, maybe, get their vote.

Faith, and how often someone practices it, isn't a litmus test for how qualified they are to serve in office, or in their capacity to use proper judgment and make the right decisions. Just look at Bush. As I recall, he made his faith a centerpiece of his 2000 campaign, and look at the job he's done in 7 years. Whether you get into political office should depend on your traits as a decision-maker, and your intellect, and your savvy, and on your ability to raise money (sadly, I'm not being sarcastic here), not on how often you go to church or pray to your God.

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