Monday, December 17, 2007

Mitt's monologue on religiosity

I missed Mitt Romney's "major address" on religion last week, but I gather it was less than impressive, since it implied that there was no room for secularists, skeptics or unbelievers in his America. As usual, James Carroll of the Boston Globe has some trenchant and timely comments about Romney's riff:

"Is "secularism" dehumanizing? When Mitt Romney praised vital American religion in contrast to Europe where churches are "so grand, so inspired, so empty," one could wonder what the collapse of institutional faith in Europe actually means. Romney condemned the "religion of secularism."

Yet such American smugness seems to miss the largest point of difference between the Old World and the New. In the very years that majorities of Europeans were walking away from organized religion, they were resolutely turning away from government-sanctioned killing, whether through war or through the death penalty; they were leaving behind narrow notions of nationalism, mitigating state sovereignty, and, above all, replacing ancient hatreds with partnerships. All of this stands in stark contrast to the United States, where the most overtly religious people in the country support the death penalty, the government's hair-trigger readiness for war, and the gospel of national sovereignty that has made the United States an impediment to the United Nations."

These are very tough words about those who consider themselves the most pious people in America. If we are to extricate ourselves from the malaise in which we are now mired, I believe we need to elect the candidate who puts the LEAST emphasis on religion in this campaign. That would be a good start on something better.


Blogger betmo said...

i agree completely.

8:45 PM  

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