Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh, Hasso. Even When You're Right You Manage to be Wrong.

Hering editorializes on President candidate Mitt Romney's recent speech on religion:

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor seeking the Republican presidential nomination, restated an important American principle Thursday.

The principle is that public affairs be governed by notions of the public interest, not by the tenets of any particular religion.

Yay! (Yay?) Romney apparently believes in the separation of church and state. Who would have... wait a minute. Can we get an excerpt of what Romney actually said?

“Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.


That's a bit different.

In fact, that is, as Pam at Pandagon pointed out, "pious bullsh*t."

I agree with Pam. The implication of Romney's statement - that "freedom requires religion" - seems clear: The only source of morality, or ethics, in the world is religion.. and take in the context of a Republican primary, that's code for Christianity. Sorry, Eastern Hemisphere - you're all immoral.

As someone who a) is not religious and b) has a BA in Philosophy (which includes multiple classes on ethics), I am more than a little annoyed. The statement is simply historically and factually inaccurate, as well as insulting to anyone whose sense of right and wrong comes from anything other than religion. Like me.

How Hering got it wrong - that Romney supposedly believes in the separation of church and state in any meaningful way - is beyond me. (Well, that's not true: He misrepresents the truth all time.) Given Romney's well discussed and maligned statement, I don't see how one can conclude that Romney believes the State has a basis in anything other than religion. After all, what is the state if not the arbiter of official morality?


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