Saturday, October 08, 2011

Divine Citizenship

The candidates for the big GOP slot in 2012 made their proper obeisances to the evangelical wing of their party, each trying to convince their audience that s/he had the right qualifications when it came to religious values. Even Mitt Romney dropped his moderate stance to woo the Religious Reich. It was quite a show, one that Los Angeles Times opinion writer Michael McGough found amazing, even if not exactly compelling:

"This century must be an American century," Romney said. "In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. God did not create this country to be a nation of followers."

This takes the invocation of the Deity a step further than George W. Bush's much-criticized 2003 State of the Union address, in which he said, "The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity." Bush's line is actually anti-chauvinistic, whereas Romney is claiming a divine blessing for his assertion that "We're No. 1."

But that makes sense. God is an American, isn't he?
[Emphasis added.]

Snark aside, McGough is making a good point. By way of a rather weak circumlocution, Romney is asserting that God made the US, not the founders who were assiduously trying to erect a wall separating church and state. That's called pandering, something Romney, like his colleagues for public office (and I mean all of them, not just Republicans) is pretty good at. In front of this particular audience, however, it was a rather dangerous and disingenuous move. Romney is a Mormon, a fact that makes most in this wing of the party very nervous, if not downright hostile.

Romney's religious beliefs shouldn't be the focus of the race, and it's something that up to this point the candidate has been able to avoid discussing. By injecting God into the discourse, however, he lost the reins and a supporter of one of his opponents was only too happy to pick them up.

At the Values Voters summit in Washington, prominent evangelical leader Robert Jeffress told reporters that Mormonism was a cult and that Romney was not a Christian.

So, the shoe finally dropped, or, more properly, was thrown.

Not such a good move, Mitt.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Billy B said...

Nice post, my dear.

Whatever any of the other republic candidates say this week, the big wuss Romney will say next week.

12:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home