Even though I’m probably not going to vote for Mitt Romney (his changes pandering to the far right annoy me — I liked the Mitt Romney who ran for governor of Massachusetts much better), but I did enjoy his well-delivered speech today on religion in America. He did a great job of expressing himself, and clearly delineating that, yes, religion has a place in America, but it should not define public policy. Here is some of it on YouTube:
I think that the obsession with Romney’s religion underlines what is wrong with our label-based political system. We’ve got the “Mormon candidate,” the “woman candidate,” the “black candidate,” and the “9/11 candidate.” And you probably know who each of them is.
Rather than focusing on these snappy labels, the American public should be focusing on policies and positions, and what kind of people the candidates are. And the religion thing is especially irksome.
Consider this: If Thomas Jefferson was running for president today, the religious right would probably attack him. Why? Because this founding father and the “architect of the Declaration of Independence” doubted the divinity of Christ and exhibited rather tenuous ties to Christianity.