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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's not about faith, it's about beliefs II

It took watching Mike Huckabee looming in the passing lane for Mitt Romney to do the right thing.

Right in this case means end the murmuring and snickering about his religious faith. because in the the narrow-minded intolerance of the Religious Right and its self-appointed Ayatollahs, Romney's Mormonism is suspect.

So much for the constitutional protections against the establishment of religion.

I've said it before -- I have no problem with Romney's faith. I do have problems with his beliefs -- he doesn't have any. He adapts his positions to whatever political crowd whose vote he seeks.

The rap against Mormonism is that it isn't really Christian. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints is not Christian enough. Says who?

The naysayers suggest it has odd rituals and symbols. Turning water into wine for example? Or extending a small vial of oil so it will last for eight days? Religion requires a leap of faith, a belief in miracles.

Who is to say which miracles are legitimate and which are bogus. To borrow an appropriate line, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

No, the problem with Willard Mitt Romney is not his faith, but that he has no beliefs. He was for gay rights and a woman's right to choose before he was against them. He favored gun controls before he joined the NRA right before the start of the campaign. He is for burying terrorists at Guantanamo while consulting lawyers about using military force.

Myth Romney believes that he can say and do whatever he has to say and do to get elected. He doesn't care what it looks like, as long as it works. He is the ultimate salesman.

And so now he will deliver the "JFK speech," using the interesting forum of the George H.W. Bush Library at College Station Texas to put to rest the myths and realities of his religion.

Is it a coincidence that the speech is taking place after Huckabee, riding the doubts of those "true believers," surged ahead of Romney in Iowa?

Does the overly retentive Romney do anything by chance?

It really shouldn't come as any surprise that bigotry -- and let us be clear in giving it a name -- is driving this action. The need for scapegoats -- be they immigrants, Jews, Muslims, people of color, long-haired men wearing robes and sandals -- is the core of this hateful offshoot of brand of intolerant conservatism.

There's much to criticize Romney for -- playing those very same "ism" games for example. But his religious faith is not one of them. The Constitution -- or what's left of it -- guarantees him his right to choose and practice a religion.

It is also a warning that the time is clearly here to get religion out of the voting booth and the Oval Office and back into the churches, synagogues and mosques where it belongs. Otherwise, how different are we from Iran?

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