Friday, December 07, 2007

Romney's "religion" speech and reactions

I commented about it here at Kos.

I generally have a negative view of most of what David Brooks writes, but today's piece is actually worth reading w.r.t. Romney:

When this country was founded, James Madison envisioned a noisy public square with different religious denominations arguing, competing and balancing each other’s passions. But now the landscape of religious life has changed. Now its most prominent feature is the supposed war between the faithful and the faithless. Mitt Romney didn’t start this war, but speeches like his both exploit and solidify this divide in people’s minds. The supposed war between the faithful and the faithless has exacted casualties.

The first casualty is the national community. Romney described a community yesterday. Observant Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Jews and Muslims are inside that community. The nonobservant are not. There was not even a perfunctory sentence showing respect for the nonreligious. I’m assuming that Romney left that out in order to generate howls of outrage in the liberal press...

In order to build a voting majority of the faithful, Romney covered over different and difficult conceptions of the Almighty. When he spoke of God yesterday, he spoke of a bland, smiley-faced God who is the author of liberty and the founder of freedom. There was no hint of Lincoln’s God or Reinhold Niebuhr’s God or the religion most people know — the religion that imposes restraints upon on the passions, appetites and sinfulness of human beings. He wants God in the public square, but then insists that theological differences are anodyne and politically irrelevant.

As I noted in a comment on someone else's Kos diary:

One would hope that one would see Romney's speech for what it was: nothing courageous like Kennedy's speech was (and I'm not really a big fan of Kennedy), but instead designed to divide, blatantly opportunistic, the type of slick operation of the guy who'd work at a place called Bain Capital, make sure lots of folks were impoverished by layoffs and call the result "value creation."

Also if you want to see why Hugh Hewitt's not got much respect from me; look at his drooling over Romney.

It's not even worth linking to.

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