Steve Chapman defends non-believers from Mitt Romney

Of the frequent pundits that get published in the Strib I put Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune firmly in the wild card spot.  Sometimes his columns seem very liberal, others very conservative.

His most recent one will probably get labeled liberal.  Basically in it he takes on Mitt Romney’s speech on religion.  I still haven’t had a chance to watch it, but I like what Chapman wrote.

Mitt Romney is worried about religious intolerance. He fears that religious and nonreligious people will unite to punish him because of his Mormon faith. He thinks it would be much more in keeping with America’s noblest traditions if Mormons and other believers joined together to punish people of no faith.

As I have pointed out previously,

“Many Americans seem to believe some kind of religious faith is central to being a good American and a good person.”

The researchers may not have called Romney, but he agrees with the many Americans they surveyed.  What is very unfortunate, and in my opinion, is Romney’s lack of leadership, in defending his faith, he goes after those that are trusted even less.

Chapman goes on to compare Romney with another famous Massachusetts resident that ran for President.

Like John F. Kennedy, who said in 1960 that the presidency should not be “tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group,” Romney said there should be no religious test for this office. “A person should not be elected because of his faith, nor should he be rejected because of his faith,” he said.

Rejected because of his faith, no. But rejected for his lack of faith? That’s another question. Romney evinces a powerful aversion to skeptics. “We need to have a person of faith lead the country,” he said in February, which sounds like a religious test to me.

Now what really scares me is Romney’s belief that freedom requires religion.

Romney went further: “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. … Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”

What kind of messed up belief is that?  I mean, that freedom requires religion.  So every society that has been based on religion was some bastion of freedom, I don’t think so.  There are many theocratic states in the Middle East, many that don’t have a lot of freedoms.

He may be drinking the old Kool-Aid that equates the atheist communist states of the Cold War with totalitarian regimes.  Yet, the Taliban, you know the religious fundamentalist in Afghanistan weren’t exactly known for the free and open society.

Just not buying it, Romney.  And thanks to Chapman the wild card for talking Romney to task for his inanity.

-Josh

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