Monday, June 25, 2007

The Press And Its Obsession

You'd think that 231 years after this nation was founded by people who made it clear they wanted no part of the religious tyranny that forced many of them from Europe, and 47 years after a brilliant young Catholic senator successfully convinced the country that it was his policies and not his religion that should be assessed in considering him for president that this country would finally have grown up on the issue. Perhaps it has, at least for the most part, but our press isn't quite so astute. It persists in injecting the candidate's religious beliefs into the campaign coverage.

This time around it's Mitt Romney's Mormonism and, at least in today's NY Times, Rudy Giuliani's Catholicism. leaders say they are frustrated by prominent Catholic politicians like Mr. Giuliani who argue that while they are personally opposed to abortion, they do not want to impose their beliefs on others. ...

The presidential campaign of John Kerry, a Democrat, suffered in 2004 when about a dozen of the nation’s more than 200 bishops declared that they would deny him communion because of his abortion stance. A debate ensued among the bishops over whether it was right to enforce doctrine at the communion rail and whether the church had ventured too far into partisan politics.

Is this really news worthy of coverage in the NY Times, the "newspaper of record"? Are there people who won't vote for Mr. Giuliani because of his religion? Probably, just as there are those who won't vote for Mr. Romney because he is a Mormon. But is that a good enough reason to keep bringing the issue up?

The result of such a heavy emphasis on religious fervor is that political candidates on both sides of the aisle and the abortion issue feel compelled to seek the favor of the fundagelicals and of moderate Christians by proclaiming their religious bona fides at religious gatherings.

Look, a political candidate, if successful, has to take an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this country. If she or he cannot freely take that oath, then they shouldn't be candidates. I think most Americans understand that basic concept. Apparently the press doesn't.

Quite frankly, I've come to the belief that the media is meddling in the election campaign, raising such an issue as a means of belittling the candidates they don't quite favor. This week it's Mr. Giuliani's turn.

Enough already.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home