Sorry, haters: Freedom of religion was unifying, not divisive

posted at 1:21 pm on August 31, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

One of the most oft-cited concerns about Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee has been his Mormon faith, and certain liberals have been not-so-subtle about hoping that the matter will drive a wedge through the conservative voting bloc come November. As Edward Klein writes:

According to my sources inside the campaign, Axelrod & Co. discussed what might be called the nuclear option: unleashing an attack on Romney’s Mormon faith via the mainstream media.

As Axelrod knew, many pundits credit evangelical Christians, who are heavily Republican and comprise some 14percent of voters, with putting George W. Bush over the top in the election of 2004.Axelrod was also aware that Mormonism is a fraught subject among evangelical Christians, a substantial portion of whom believe that Mormonism is a cult that is separate and apart from Christianity.

Axelrod calculated that if he could turn 5 to 10 percent of the evangelicals against Romney because of his Mormonism, he could deny Romney victory at the polls in 2012.

Of course, Axelrod and his team had already succeeded in pandering to special interest groups, such as Hispanics, gays, and women. They wondered whether they could have equal success playing on the fears of Mormonism among evangelical Christians and convince them to stay at home on Election Day rather than vote for Mitt Romney.

There was much speculating as to whether the Republican National Convention would shy away from using the “M” word and just generally avoid talking too much about religion, but I didn’t think that was the case at all. Quite the opposite, actually — I thought several of the headliners handled the issue of religious differences rather deftly, and touted freedom of religion as something that unifies Americans rather than breaking us apart.

Freedom of religion was the basis for America’s founding, after all: A new world based on the liberty to worship however you choose, rather than the necessity of worshiping together. It’s one of the foremost but many reasons America is so exceptional. We’re not a theocracy, and we don’t persecute people for their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I realize there are plenty of Americans who think of Mormonism is downright kooky, but frankly, I don’t care what a group of people believes if they’re churning out productive, neighborly, and upstanding citizens who care about something bigger than themselves — hey, kinda’ like Mitt Romney. We can respect each other without having to have the same faiths, and that is truly awesome.

Here were some of the faith-based highlights of the convention proceedings, if you’d care to read and discuss:

Ann Romney:

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in a way of our future.  I was Episcopalian, he was a Mormon.  We were very young, both still in college.  There were many reasons to delay marriage.  And you know what, we just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. …

I know this good and decent man for what he is.  He’s warm, and loving, and patient.  He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one fellow man.  From the time we were first married, I have seen him spend countless hours helping others.  I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic come from a member of our church whose child has been taken to the hospital.

Mike Huckabee:

I want to clear the air about something that has been said. People wonder whether guys like me, an evangelical, would only support a fellow evangelical?  Well my friends I want to tell you something, of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama.  And he supports changing the definition of marriage.  Believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the wound, even beyond the womb.  And he tells people of faith that they have to bow their knees to the God of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls, health care.  Friends I know we can do better.

Let me say it as clearly as possible, that the attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me.

The Democrats have brought back that old dance, the limbo. To see how low they can go in attempting to limit our ability to practice our faith.  But this isn’t a battle about contraceptives and Catholics, but about conscience and the Creator.  Let me say to you tonight, I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church, than I do about where he takes this country.

Paul Ryan:

The man who will accept your nomination is prayerful and faithful and honorable.  Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best.  Not only a fine businessman, he is a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.  Our faiths come together in the same moral creed.  We believe that in every life, there is goodness, for every person there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the lord of life.

Marco Rubio:

And we’re special — we’re special because we are united — we’re united not as a common race or ethnicity, we are bound together by common values.  The family is the most important institution in society.

And that almighty God is the source of all we have.

We are special.  We are special because we have never made the mistake of believing we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or on our government.  Our national motto, “in God we trust”, reminding us that faith in our creator is the most important American value of them all.

And we are special — we’re special because we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition, that for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.

Well, my fellow Americans, we are a uniquely blessed people, and we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

Mitt Romney:

Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community, it was welcoming, and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved into town or just joined our church.

We had remarkably vibrant endeavors congregations from all walks of life, and many who were new to America.  We prayed together, our kids played together, and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.  That’s how it is in America.  We look to our communities, our faiths, our families, for our joy and support, in good times and bad.  It’s both how we live our lives and why we live our lives.  The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, and our faiths.


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Comment pages: 1 2

When will Axelrod declare Mormons a Hate Group?

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I for one care more about Romney’s pro-business policies then I do where he decides to go on Sunday mornings, I think a lot of people agree.

NerwenAldarion on August 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I’ve predicted this happening for a while. The closer we get to Election Day, and the more desperate the 0 campaign gets, brace yourself for a deluge of anti Mormon screeds masquerading as journalism. The entire history of the Church is going to be litigated and dragged through the mud.

Sarjex on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Freedom of religion was unifying, not divisive

Yeah. God’s like that.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Please do, Democrats, let your bigotry shine in full force. Let the American people see you for the intolerant fascists that you are.

I’d rather a Mormon than a marxist.

rbj on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Were Obama truly a Moslem, wouldn’t it be ‘hate’ to refuse to vote for him on that basis alone or in part?

Liam on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I noticed each and every reference, and was extremely pleased to see such things not only spoken, but the grace and love surrounding them.
Bravo to all of them.

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I can’t remember Benjamin Netanyahu having a problem with Mitt…but I suspect he may have one with Obama…

right2bright on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

If bho/team want to bring up faith, I think that is going to be a major mistake? Do they really want to get involved with the pastor bho/mo had for years, married them, bapitzed their girls, and who that man was/said? Not good move bho/team, IMO!

Our home has zero issue with Mitt/Ann’s faith. At least they seem to have one and not ashamed to say so?
L

letget on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Evangelicals will take the Mormon over the Marxist every day of the week.

tommyboy on August 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Just heard this from my hubby: “Just rode down with three Hispanic ladies. Clerical types. All going on quite enthusiastically about staying up last night and how great Romney and Ryan’s speeches were. I guess I wouldn’t have anticipated that reaction…”

Maybe, just maybe — we’re winning this thing?

natasha333 on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The mainstream media will tell you it is downright kooky not to fornicate and test out drugs and binge drinking.

Mormontheman on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Where is Obama’s Invisible Church?

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Axelrod wants to talk about religion? Bring it.

Let’s take another look at Jeremiah Chikkinz-home-to-roost Wright and Øbama’s Third World Black Liberation Theology.

petefrt on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

They will use the SPLC to declare the LDS a hate group…

d1carter on August 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’d rather a Mormon than a marxist.

rbj on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Here here! I second that.

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I didn’t watch Huckabee’s speech, but, reading the excerpt here, I see he did a very good job. The crowd must have loved him.

philoquin on August 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Evangelicals will take the Mormon over the Marxist every day of the week.

tommyboy on August 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

+100

petefrt on August 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I’ll take this Mormon fellow over that current Black Liberation theolgoy fellow every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Romney didn’t attend a church where the pastor screamed “God damn America.”

Enough said.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Erika: I have really enjoyed your writing during the RNC. Great job!

d1carter on August 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

When will Axelrod declare Mormons a Hate Group?

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM

They were already factored in when Christians were given that designation.

Laura in Maryland on August 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

letget on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Agreed.
Although, they’re probably stupid enough to try it.
At this point, I’m willing to trust that Mitt’s team is sitting on some extremely damaging (even if done ‘in love’) ammo to combat it. They’ve proven to be quick, wise, and highly effective.

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

letget on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Totally agree – how can bo denigrate Romney’s religion or even try to upset the evangelicals when he has Rev Wright lurking in his closet? Does he think someone wouldn’t remind the voters about Rev G*D D*mn America?

katiejane on August 31, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Huckabee has already blunted that line of attack as has Ryan.
But, it would be fun to watch both MSM and Obama work hand in hand to promote such divisivness and intolerence.

My mother once told me about JFK in 1960. As a lesson to never forget.

Jabberwock on August 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

The MSM have been trying to fan the flames of the supposed evangelical distaste for Mormons. They’ll keep bringing it up. This evangelical, having known many Mormons over a lifetime, knows the most important thing about them for the political realm, and it is that they are, indeed, committed to the US Bill of Rights and freedoms it affords. There have been a lot of Mormons in American politics. It’s no big deal, except in the sense of being reassuring about Romney’s moral foundation, as was the case with the two Bushes and Reagan.

J.E. Dyer on August 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Evangelicals will take the Mormon over the Marxist every day of the week.

You bet yer bippy we will.

Bob's Kid on August 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

The mainstream media will tell you it is downright kooky not to fornicate and test out drugs and binge drinking.

Mormontheman on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I find the whole staying with your spouse, supporting your kids, and being a responsible member of the community horrifying.

And don’t get me started on Family Game Night. O the HUMANITY!

;D

Laura in Maryland on August 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Can’t remember which alphabet network did an entire hour special on Mormonism, recently ??
(did anyone watch it ? We didn’t)
Do they have an hour of Black Liberal Theology scheduled, too ?

Thought not.

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Stalin, during the ’30s, demolished and burned churches and, for those few churches that remained, housed farm animals in them; but, when disaster loomed, during WW2, he opened those same remaining churches, to the faithful.

So, it’s not odd that these Commies would bring up Christianity, at a critical moment – to serve their purposes.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Where is Obama’s Invisible Church?

faraway on August 31, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Kenya?

*ducks and runs*

Laura in Maryland on August 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

There have been a lot of Mormons in American politics.

Correct! dingy ding dong harry is a Mormon. Will bho/team bring dingy up when they start slammind Mitt/Ann? Me thinks not!
L

letget on August 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Romney should announce that if elected, he’s dropping the contraception mandate. Then, he’ll instruct his attorney general to work out settlements in each of the lawsuits currently pending against the U.S. under which the suits will be dropped AND the United States will pay the legal expenses incurred by each of the plaintiffs.

Take that, Dems and Obama.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Camp BO really shouldn’t try this.

No doubt someone has screen shots of the former TUCC website, videos of Rev. Wright’s anti-American, racist tirades, and they will be made public.

But….. go ahead and make our day, Axelrod.

Cody1991 on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Kenya?

*ducks and runs*

Laura in Maryland on August 31, 2012 at 1:38 PM

That’s the second time I’ve blown Mtn Dew out my nose on the screen… Dang you, Laura!

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Axelrod has an even bigger religion problem, which is that his client has pissed off Catholics so badly they are stampeding to the GOP. For every evangelical he might turn off with an anti-Mormon campaign, Obama has already lost two or three Catholics. And maybe a Jew or two to boot with his anti-Israel and pro-Muslim foreign policy. This is what is going to cost him the election.

rockmom on August 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Camp BO really shouldn’t try this.

No doubt someone has screen shots of the former TUCC website, videos of Rev. Wright’s anti-American, racist tirades, and they will be made public.

But….. go ahead and make our day, Axelrod.

Cody1991 on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

And then follow up with “Here is what we believe.”

Put a shot of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech.

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I don’t go to Church on Sunday. I go to Synagogue on Saturday (and every other day of the week). And I, for one, could care less whether Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, or anything else. When it come to religion, what matters most to me is that he’s a man of Faith. And by that I mean real Faith. The quiet kind. The sincere kind. Because to me, that means he’s a man of humility, and man of principles, and has an understanding that God runs the world and through our Faith we are charged with doing our utmost to bring Godliness to all that we do. Mitt Romney seems to me to be that kind of man. Barack Obama? Not even close.

bigdubs on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I think Attorney General Giuliani will see to that! ;-)

rockmom on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Re: Mormons in politics

Here in Okie, I voted for Ernest Istook, several times [I think he was a Representative for 6 terms] and without hesitation.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM

The Left is increasingly running out of options, as each option increasingly fails. Each day they’re more stuck with themselves and the consequences of their actions — a true definition of living hell.

rrpjr on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I’m not Religous but I do think freedom of Religion is a great thing.

However, I have to call out a bit of hypocrisy I often seen on the right. Alot of people on this very board talk about muslim’s and the muslim Religion in a very bad light some times.

I also agree with

“Freedom of religion was the basis for America’s founding, after all”

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I’d rather a Mormon than a marxist.

rbj on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM


Bumper sticker manufacturers, take note: I would put this on my cars.

And it would be the first bumper sticker I have allowed on any of my vehicles.

TASS71 on August 31, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Turtle317 on August 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Thanks. All part of my evil plan.

Laura in Maryland on August 31, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Better a Mormon than the weird self-worshiping personality cult heavily influenced by islam and hate race-baiting so-called “Christian” preachers like Wright that is Obama’s “religion”.

wildcat72 on August 31, 2012 at 1:48 PM

0bama is not anything. Not Christian not Moslem … nothing. He is faithless because he grew up in a faithless world. People learn a lot about God through their families and what was he? Abandoned by his father and his mother and raised rich and alone by a grandmother.

So naturally allegiance to him is a flimsy concept. How can he be faithful to any one person or ideal if his own parents so easily and selfishly broke the sacred bond between mother and child or father and child. This is one of the reasons why his story so resonates in our broken culture of impulsive divorce these days but we have recognize the consequences of such actions and their long-term effects so we can deal with them rather than ignore them.

So naturally he defers to the hive mind when he should be checking his moral compass. Naturally he betrays the one person who thought he was worth taking care of as a child by throwing her under the bus for being “racist” — a white woman raising a black grandson.

Now he has no one left to talk about. Romney’s speech was full of references to his parents and grandparents and children and grandchildren. And at the end of the speech, all those family members came out and filled the stage! What a contrast that is going to be for 0bama next week after a week of talking about children like a plague that needs to be ripped from their mothers’ wombs. The Dems are going to look small and petty, mean and stupid. That was a calculated aspect of Romney’s speech that so far no commentator has noticed.

StubbleSpark on August 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

“Being a Mormon is racist and speaks to birthers…

… or something.” - Chrissy Matthews

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

bigdubs on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Many sincere thanks for that post bigdubs.
Took the words I didn’t know I had right out of my mouth.

Jabberwock on August 31, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Here is an M word I always think of when I hear the name David Axelrod……MORON.

pilamaye on August 31, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I’m really interested to see which way things go for Romney and Hispanics. The GOP has some outstanding Hispanic elected officials. Each of them is someone you want as a neighbor. In contrast, Hispanic Democrats are generally crackpots. Add to that this religious-liberty issue. And I love Rubio’s line from last night that most people come to America to get away from policies that Obama pushes.

Sorry if illegal immigrants don’t like the fact that they’ve done something wrong that needs to be rectified. But for Hispanic citizens, they have to decide whether they want religious liberty and a society governed by the rule of law or a banana republic.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:52 PM

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It was. Visit wallbuilders.com.

Now…you cite your source.

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

The truth hurts, huh? I live in a Muslim country, and I know about Muslims first hand. America WAS founded on Judeo-Christian values. You dislike it, but you cannot refute it. You can deny it, but you cannot disprove it.

You’re plain ol’ “wrong.” Which is the opposite of right.

Word.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Obama’s atheism doesn’t really bother me, but I hear it doesn’t play well in elections.

forest on August 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Do you approve of Judeo-Christian values?

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I think Attorney General Giuliani will see to that! ;-)

rockmom on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I do like the sound of AG Giuliani.

Did you see this video? Giuliani could unwind a lot of the damage done by this admin. in a very short time – and laugh about it.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/08/29/GiulianiiDont-Think-Anybody-Is-Frightened-Of-Barack-Obama

Cody1991 on August 31, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I’ve noticed the only people who really have a problem with Mormons are… liberals.

Red Cloud on August 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I strongly dislike Huckabee and what he stands for within the GOP, but I have to admit that he came through for Romney in a way that impressed me. I have the goal of thinking no ill of him until November 6th.

thuja on August 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I’ve noticed the only people who really have a problem with Mormons are… liberals.

Red Cloud on August 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The insanity is that the liberals talk about Mormons like some conservatives including me talk about Muslims, and then condemn me for Islamophobia. And then I ask them why their Mormonphobia is justified and my Islamophobia isn’t? They don’t even attempt to answer the question.

thuja on August 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

and then condemn me for Islamophobia
thuja on August 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

As I stated earlier, I live in a Muslim country. Hating Muslims because of their religion is just as ignorant as hating Jews, Mormons, or Rastafarians because of theirs. Osama bin Laden represented the Muslim faith no more than the pedophile priests represented Catholicism.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I am a Catholic. And my fervent hope is that the rest of the world become Catholic. Mormonism is too problematic to be true.

But given a choice between the Mormon who seems to take the Free Exercise clause seriously and the Nominal Christian who’s waging an attack on my Church – and the unborn – I will choose the Mormon every time.

The_Jacobite on August 31, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’ve predicted this happening for a while. The closer we get to Election Day, and the more desperate the 0 campaign gets, brace yourself for a deluge of anti Mormon screeds masquerading as journalism. The entire history of the Church is going to be litigated and dragged through the mud.

Sarjex on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Yes, but only if the GOP is not brain dead and will use that coming evil attack on Mormonism and convert it to an attack on all of our freedom to choose goodness-that Nature’s God gives us all our rights thing and the Democrats–the Godless socialists, and the Obama regime, all believe in their fouled up hearts that any choices we make must be made by almighty state (with them in charge) as the only god and master.

This is a unifying theme for the lovers of America while the left will cower in fear at having to fight against goodness freedom and God. I pray they choose to continue to do their open battle with God–that’s one they can only lose, if we choose to go with Him. (Nature’s God) as did our founders.

Don L on August 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2012 at 1:52 PM

One of my offspring works for Border Patrol. Most of the agents in the sector are Hispanic. They don’t like the lax immigration policies that are being put forward.

chemman on August 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Democrats, the Party of Death, let your bigotry shine in full force.

J_Crater on August 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Do I hate them? No. Do I trust them? No.

chemman on August 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The only Mormon I have a problem with his Harry Reid — and it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with his religion.

natasha333 on August 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Go ahead Assholerod, make my day.

NOMOBO on August 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM

How very intolerant the left has proven itself to be.

Once they gloried in claiming they had cornered the market on tolerance.

They appointed themselves arbiters of what was, and what was not, deemed ‘politically correct’.

Now they’ve revealed themselves to be the party of intolerance and grievance mongering special interest groups.

How very shabby they’ve become.

thatsafactjack on August 31, 2012 at 2:37 PM

As I stated earlier, I live in a Muslim country. Hating Muslims because of their religion is just as ignorant as hating Jews, Mormons, or Rastafarians because of theirs. Osama bin Laden represented the Muslim faith no more than the pedophile priests represented Catholicism.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I see you have not bothered to read even the briefest history of Islam. Obama bin Laden’s idea of jihad is the mainstream of the faith. His ideas are identical to those held by the Islamist governments be they Sunni or Shia. The only difference is that bin Laden makes the practical judgment that it is safe to fight jihad now, and the Islamist government think it is prudent to delay the fight.

thuja on August 31, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I don’t go to Church on Sunday. I go to Synagogue on Saturday (and every other day of the week). And I, for one, could care less whether Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, or anything else. When it come to religion, what matters most to me is that he’s a man of Faith. And by that I mean real Faith. The quiet kind. The sincere kind. Because to me, that means he’s a man of humility, and man of principles, and has an understanding that God runs the world and through our Faith we are charged with doing our utmost to bring Godliness to all that we do. Mitt Romney seems to me to be that kind of man. Barack Obama? Not even close.

bigdubs on August 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

EXCELLENT post. Couldn’t agree more!

4Freedom on August 31, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Every time a Democrat makes a reference to Mitt’s religion, they should be asked whether they think that the authors of the Constitution erred in not demanding a religious test as a prerequisite for holding office.

but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Laurence on August 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Oh yes, please, Herr Axelrod, pleeeeease attack Mitt’s religion. Then we can dig up some old footage of Catholic-bashing crazies going after JFK. Pleeeeeease? Thanks a bunch. You’re a peach!

ConservativeLA on August 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

unleashing an attack on Romney’s Mormon faith via the mainstream media

Shocker that Aexlrod thinks that he can get MBM/LSM to his bidding. Real shocker.

Anyways, I admit that I don’t particularly know much about the Mormon faith but I have known a few Mormons since high school. Every single one of them were genuinely some of the nicest and most good-natured people I ever met. I think Mitt’s video and speech last night plus some of the speeches by other people that worked for him showed some of that too.

Good luck Democrats with trying to bring Mitt down by tearing an entire religion down.

Queasy on August 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

I’m not Religous but I do think freedom of Religion is a great thing.

However, I have to call out a bit of hypocrisy I often seen on the right. Alot of people on this very board talk about muslim’s and the muslim Religion in a very bad light some times.

I also agree with

“Freedom of religion was the basis for America’s founding, after all”

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I don’t doubt there are some very fine Muslims. But, there are also a significant percentage of them don’t behave well. They don’t get on well with their neighbors and they have an annoying tendency to go boom in public places. If Buddhists were doing this regularly, I’d have a lot less respect for them, too. But, they aren’t. No other major religion is doing stuff like that. The ones that do seem to be more civilized don’t seem to be able, for the most part, to even criticize the savages amongst them.

I’ll make this simple. When they start acting like inhabitants of the 21st century instead of the 8th, most of us will probably be happy to lay off of them.

As to your second point, if you think this country wasn’t founded on Judeo-christian morality and philosophy, you really need to familiarize yourself with the writings of most of the founders.

trigon on August 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Obama gets his religion between the 1st and 18th hole of some country club course. I’m sure there has to be the mention of “Jesus Christ” sometime during the round!!

Deano1952 on August 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

One simple solution: rev wright and his cult of which the empty suit sat in his pews for how many years…..barrack hussein obama is no more a Christian than nancy pelosi is a Catholic

crosshugger on August 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I noticed each and every reference, and was extremely pleased to see such things not only spoken, but the grace and love surrounding them.
Bravo to all of them.

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Nicely put. Honor, love and decency are what matters. Whether one’s religion or other influences leads them to these traits, they are an unalloyed good.

MJBrutus on August 31, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Osama bin Laden represented the Muslim faith no more than the pedophile priests represented Catholicism.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I’m not a fan of Islam or Catholicism but your remark seems very odd.

Nobody publicly applauds the priests who were intimate with children, and nobody admits wanting to emulate them. Quite the opposite, they are rebuked by everybody albeit with varying degrees of compassion. Nobody considers them to be heros and nobody is naming their own children after the priests in order to honour their deeds.

By contrast …

Many Muslims applaud Osama bin Laden. They make videos to lionize him. They seek to join his cause. They name their children after him because they consider him to be a hero of their faith, a champion of their cause, and a man worthy of great honour amongst men.

Obviously not all Muslims approved of Osama bin Laden’s goals or strategy, but his conduct, character, beliefs and aspirations certainly were not fringe and they were certainly well within what many Muslims consider ‘orthodoxy’ or mainstream.

YiZhangZhe on August 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

The truth hurts, huh? I live in a Muslim country, and I know about Muslims first hand. America WAS founded on Judeo-Christian values. You dislike it, but you cannot refute it. You can deny it, but you cannot disprove it.

You’re plain ol’ “wrong.” Which is the opposite of right.

Word.

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I am genuinely curious as to which Judeo-Christian values those were and where your proof is?

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Wino on August 31, 2012 at 2:14 PM

It is not a hatred for Muslims, but a despisal of the canonical texts of Islam which are found to be repugnant to natural rights and freedoms. In all religions there is a spiritual realm to which its believers proclaim their fealty and temporal realm in which a code of conduct for the believers is established.

In all religions, except one, the meting out of punishment for faithfulness to the spiritual or disobedience in the temporal remains as sole province and authority of the spiritual realm. Thus, there is no temporal consequence for disbelief or disobedience.

In that one other religion, Islam, in accordance with its canonical texts the province and authority for meting out punishment for disbelief or disobedience is delegated from the spiritual realm to the adherents in temporal realm such that engaging in proscribed behavior results in temporal consequences.

In all religions, except one, conduct of the faithful to the outsider is proscribed as a commandment to extend to that outsider equality of dignity and respect. Islam, in contraposition to all other religions, further extends the temporal consequences for disbelief and disobedience to all who reside in the the temporal realm, and not just to adherents of Islam.

GeoffK on August 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

I must admit that one of my fears of a Romney candidacy was that evangelicals would not support him b/c he is a Mormon.

I apologize to the evangelicals for misjudging them on this.

Monkeytoe on August 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I have never been a Huckabee fan, but I’m grateful for his words and I understand now why they chose him to speak.

I’m a Catholic, married into a Protestant family. They are all very kind people who are always ready to help anyone. One of them, however, just chokes at the idea of both Mormonism and Catholicism. After Romney was the obvious nominee, I figured, oh boy, how is this going to go over with him? Then, Ryan…dear Lord, a Catholic! I admit it kinda tickled me to think of his quandary (I’m going to hell for that), but he seemed ok about Ryan, and presumably Romney too. For what it’s worth, I don’t know where his church fits into the Protestant spectrum, but his church is the ultra strict variety.

Huck’s speech made it ‘ok’ for folks like him to vote for Romney/Ryan.

So, thanks, Huck.

Lightswitch on August 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM

… on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

The USA was founded on Christian values, if only because most of the people who founded it were infused with Christian values on account of having been raised in societies where those values prevailed. It certainly wasn’t founded on pagan, Marxist or Taoist values was it?

I have two British friends who are both strongly atheist. They rail against religion in general and against Christianity in particular. Because neither of them has travelled widely, nor studied philosophy other than at the ‘pub’, they don’t realise that most of their own values are derived very distinctly from the Christian culture they were born amidst and are not, as they suppose, common values of decency in humanity.

It is also a mistake to find similarities between beliefs and values without considering priority: Most cultures might say, for example, that filial piety, honesty, thrift, patience, marital faithfulness, kindness, charity, hospitality, family loyalty and education are all important virtues and a simpleton might therefore claim that all civilisations have common values. However, different civilisations rank those virtues differently. For example, in Protestant societies, honesty seems to rank foremost whereas in much of Chinese society, honesty is ranked behind ‘face’ and group loyalty.

YiZhangZhe on August 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I am genuinely curious as to which Judeo-Christian values those were and where your proof is?

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 3:21 PM

You can read for yourself at wallbuilders.com

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I apologize to the evangelicals for misjudging them on this.
Monkeytoe on August 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Accepted, here.
I think there was an attempt to stir up that animosity during the primaries, which was simply erroneous from the start. Many felt worried about it, as if it would render Mitt unelectable, ‘so vote for our guy !!’

pambi on August 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

kingsjester, Wino, trigon, YiZhangZhe I was agreeing with the authors statement

Freedom of religion was the basis for America’s founding, after all: A new world based on the liberty to worship however you choose, rather than the necessity of worshiping together.

If you guys disagree with that, I think you should take it up with the author, not take it out on me.

As I said, I dont subscribe to any particular Religion I live by the code, “treat others as you would like to be treated” and that works pretty well for me.

RedCloud I just recently moved to Utah and I dont think Mormons are that bad at all. They seem like pretty nice people for the most part. Prior to moving here I wasnt too educated on the Mormon religion and when reading about it I was a little dissapointed and a little shook when I read how they felt previously about Black people and I thought I would go thru some racist episodes here but Im happy to report Ive been treated nothing less than respectfully by everyone I have ran across so far here.

(Side note: I have a older neighbor who I heard telling a hispanic couple to “go back to Mexico” the other day and that kind of shocked me because this same guy had helped me move in my town home and I didnt take him for the racist type but that was the only negative experience Ive had in Utah so far and that didnt even happen to me directly)

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

To those berating the Muslim Religion I would just call out that in the U.S. theres about 2.6 million people and I havent heard of any mass bombings or beheadings going on our streets.

That’s the one thing about Religion that gets me sometimes, how can those who claim to be so Religious discriminate against other Religions. How can an atheist like myself be more open to treating people based on their own individual deeds than those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ? Its kind of like when I see Blacks discriminate against gays. I dont understand how those who know how it feels to be persecuted can persecute others.

Live and let live.

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I can see that you did not go and read wallbuilders.com. You are aware that Jefferson initied church services in the Capitol Building on Sundays mornings, which he attended, and were held there until 1848?

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 4:13 PM

YiZhangZhe

I would say the U.S. was founded on our Constitution.

Which states..

“Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

So regardless what they may have believed, ( I believe they were more into deism and Freemasonry than Christianity )as a country, I would say Religiously they meant for it to be a blank slate.

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I’m pretty sure you’ve got two confusing typos above in the article:

“We had remarkably vibrant endeavors congregations from all walks of life,” most likely should read “…remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations…”

And: “disposable and expendable at any time in the wound,” should be “disposable and expendable at any time in the womb.”

Alma on August 31, 2012 at 4:22 PM

It certainly wasn’t founded on pagan

Well, the ideas of a democracy/republic existed among the pagan societies of acient Greece and Rome (along with many others, such as Iceland with the pagan Norse holding democratic assemblies) from which our founders directly derived our system of governance (tribute to this is displayed all around our Capitol), and the Bible expressly forbade revolution:

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

1 Peter 2:13-14

Our founding fathers were quire a varied lot, many of whom rejected the idea of the divinity of Jesus, or even the Christian god outright. In fact, it states plainly in the Treaty of Tripoli that the United State is in no sense a Christian nation.

You can read for yourself at wallbuilders.com

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

And I submit to you in rebuttal:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm
http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/02/13/christian-pinto-the-faith-of-americas-founders-on-trial/
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/farrell_till/myth.html
http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

I can see that you did not go and read wallbuilders.com. You are aware that Jefferson initied church services in the Capitol Building on Sundays mornings, which he attended, and were held there until 1848?

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 4:13 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRR-an0-JPA&feature=player_embedded

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRR-an0-JPA&feature=player_embedded

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Also, for further consideration:

http://gettingjeffersonright.com/

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 4:35 PM

All Liberal/Atheistic viewpoints. You are aware that, per Gallup,92% of Americans believe in God, 78% are Christians. Where do you think this came from? Why did your president say that this is no longer just a Christian nation? Doesn’t that mean that it was a Christian nation before he delcared that it was not?

By the way, Liberals, per Gallup comprise 23% of Americans. Atheists, less than 10%.

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

…we’re electing a President…not a Pope.

KOOLAID2 on August 31, 2012 at 4:42 PM

All Liberal/Atheistic viewpoints.

Yet supported by actual evidence. Even Barton’s latest book has been pulled due to it’s lack of evidence and outright fabrications.

You are aware that, per Gallup,92% of Americans believe in God, 78% are Christians.

How many Americans are white? Does that make us a white nation? Of course not. Just because X number of people are something, doesn’t make that nation founded on that something.

Also, those Christians vary greatly in their interpretations of Christianity. The churches my protestant mother attended said that my Catholic father would burn in hell, and vise versa.

Where do you think this came from?

Mainly the European immigrants that dominated North America for much of it’s history. The religion was passed from parent to child.

Why did your president say that this is no longer just a Christian nation?

If by “your president” you mean to insinuate that I voted for Obama, you are sorely mistaken.

Doesn’t that mean that it was a Christian nation before he delcared that it was not?

Probably because he got his facts wrong, again?

By the way, Liberals, per Gallup comprise 23% of Americans. Atheists, less than 10%.

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

By the way, your numbers are outdated.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/poll-shows-atheism-on-the-rise-in-the-us/2012/08/13/90020fd6-e57d-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

YiZhangZhe

I would say the U.S. was founded on our Constitution.

Which states..

“Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Yes, but the fact that they wrote that particular constitution rather than another one is because their minds were already conditioned by the society and culture they grew-up within.

Can you imagine the princes of Saudi Arabia drafting a clause such as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”? Or the atheistic admirers of comrade Mao intent on re-educating the masses drafting a clause such as “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”? Such things would never come into their heads because their cultural and philosophical starting point, the problems they perceived and sought to avoid/solve, and hence their social priorities would be quite different from that of the USA founding fathers who had been raised among the quarrels of Christian groups.

Some of the founders might have been atheists but they were atheists within a culture much moulded by the New Testament and their thinking was not independent of that culture even though they might have explicitly rejected core Christian beliefs.

YiZhangZhe on August 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

“Freedom of religion was the basis for America’s founding, after all”

But I also have to call hypocrisy again because also, on this very board I’ve seen posters state this country was founded on “Christian values”

Politricks on August 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

.
.
You’re going to see another commenter do it again, right now.
.
The Declaration Of Independence and The Constitution were both based on the God of the Holy Bible. In other words; Christianity.

There was never any demand that individual citizens accept Christianity in their personal lives.

But that doesn’t “make null and void” the premise that the United States was founded on Christianity.
Furthermore, the idea of “freedom of religion” is not the same thing as “freedom from religion”

No person (whether atheist or of another religion) has a right to demand that they be able to walk through public places without any ‘sights and sounds of Christianity’ entering their eyes and ears.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2012 at 5:04 PM

The Declaration Of Independence and The Constitution were both based on the God of the Holy Bible. In other words; Christianity.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2012 at 5:04 PM

And where, exactly, does it say that? Any direct reference to the Christian God, Jesus, bible, anything is completely left out. The only mention of religion in the Consitition is the 1st Amendment and Article VI, paragraph 3, forbidding religious tests for public office.

In fact, the Treaty of Tripoli does mention Christianity directly, but only to assert that the US is not founded on it.

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

And where, exactly, does it say that? Any direct reference to the Christian God, Jesus, bible, anything is completely left out. The only mention of religion in the Consitition is the 1st Amendment and Article VI, paragraph 3, forbidding religious tests for public office.

In fact, the Treaty of Tripoli does mention Christianity directly, but only to assert that the US is not founded on it.

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

.
.
It not supposed to state it directly. Stating it directly would constitute an attempt at establishing a “theocracy”.
It only implies an “intelligent designer” in the Declaration’ with the line

” . . . that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, . . .”

.
But Christianity was practiced in all formal government ceremonies, and prayers to the Christian God for help and guidance were offered before sessions of the House and Senate . . . . . . until the Warren Court decreed otherwise.

My take on the Treaty Of Tripoli is that it’s authors were defining the American government as NOT being a formal representative of Christianity.

The local governing authorities we were attempting negotiations with however, did consider themselves to be representatives of Islam.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Washington Post? Really?

kingsjester on August 31, 2012 at 6:34 PM

It not supposed to state it directly. Stating it directly would

constitute an attempt at establishing a “theocracy”.
It only implies an “intelligent designer” in the Declaration’ with the line

” . . . that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable

Rights, . . .”

Yet the word “Creator” is extremely vague. It indicates nothing of the

Christian religion at all. There are many cultures with various versions of

devine creators, yet this document makes no effort to indicate which one it

reffers to. This is intentional, yes, because all religions are equal under

the Consititution.

But Christianity was practiced in all formal government

ceremonies, and prayers to the Christian God for help and guidance were

offered before sessions of the House and Senate . . . . . . until the Warren

Court decreed otherwise.

For good reason. It was a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. The same court

also expanded the freedoms of Americans with desegregation, criminal

procedure, and many other cases.

My take on the Treaty Of Tripoli is that it’s authors were

defining the American government as NOT being a formal representative of

Christianity.

Article VI, clause 2 of the Constitution says “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land”.

The Treaty of Tripoli states in Article 11:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense,

founded on the Christian religion”.

My take on the Treaty of Tripoli is that it says what it says.

The local governing authorities we were attempting negotiations

with however, did consider themselves to be representatives of Islam.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2012 at 6:05 PM

And that is the point of the Article, to show that the treaty was between two states and not between two religions.

Grindstone on August 31, 2012 at 7:04 PM

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