…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
− U.S. Constitution, Article VI
Many liberals are secular, or agnostics, or atheists. And those who are religious often belong to “mainstream” churches where religion is indistinguishable from liberal politics. Nevertheless, liberals are criticizing some Republican candidates not just for their policies, which is expected, but also for their theology, which is astonishing.
Questions are being raised about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. Some of these questions are raised by conservative Christians who care deeply about theology. But some of these questions are raised by secular leftists who couldn’t care less about theology, but who use it as a club to beat a leading Republican over the head.
As usual, the liberal media spread disinformation. A prominent Evangelical pastor questioned Romney’s Mormon beliefs. The New York Times headline read, “Prominent Pastor Calls Romney’s Church a Cult.” But in the next-to-last paragraph, you find that the pastor concluded, “I’m going to advise people that it is much better to vote for a non-Christian who embraces biblical values than to vote for a professing Christian like Barack Obama who embraces un-biblical values.” So the headline should have read, “Evangelical Pastor Prefers Romney to Obama.” I couldn’t agree more.
Instances in which Evangelicals question Romney’s faith are emphasized by the liberal press. But many of the questions are raised by liberals themselves, who hope to stir up conflict among Republicans. For example, take the 2011 cover of Newsweek showing Romney jumping around like a crazed fanatic, holding a book − presumably the Book of Mormon − with text reading, “The Mormon Moment.”
If there is a clearer example of religious bigotry, I hope never to see it. And don’t forget the 2008 cover of Time, showing a photo of Romney with the text, “Sure, He Looks Like a President. But What Does Mitt Romney Really Believe?”
But whose business is it what Romney’s religious beliefs really are? In fact, this is a blatant attack on Latter-day Saints theology. This is a clear example of religious bigotry. It is also a colossal case of hypocrisy: “Republicans are religious bigots, but we Democrats are tolerant, sensitive, and diverse − so we can do whatever we want to further our agenda, even if it is intolerant, insensitive, and. bigoted.”
There was a 1970s song titled, “Love Means You Never Have To Say You’re Sorry.” The idea is absurd. But even more absurd is that liberals in effect proclaim, “Being liberal means you never have to say you’re sorry. Monstrous debt foisted on our children? Economic policies that stifle innovation and job creation? Social policies that destroy the family? Educational policies that ruin the public schools? And now, religious bigotry? No problem! Our motives are good, so our results are irrelevant.”
Of course, liberals never questioned Barack Obama’s religious beliefs when he ran in 2008. Twenty years of sitting in Rev. Wright’s church? Hearing Wright preach “God damn America” and “Israel is a dirty word” and “the U.S. government may have invented the AIDS virus to kill people of color? No problem! Obama’s a liberal, so his beliefs are excellent by definition.
And then we have Rick Santorum. When he began to rise in the polls, liberals let loose. MSNBC pundit Alan Colmes and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson called him “weird” and “crazy” for the way he handled the death of his two-hour-old baby son Gabriel. By what perverted logic are they empowered to dictate how a family should deal with the death of a child? This goes beyond arrogance and reaches hubris: “Actions that shamed or humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser.”
A Los Angeles Times columnist calls Santorum a “weird, pious wackadoo” whose opinions are “rabid,” “nonsensical,” and “incendiary.” She compares Santorum to religious fanatics who assault women for improper clothing. But what, exactly, does the Catholic Santorum believe that set off this hateful tirade? He holds the same positions on abortion and same-sex marriage as does the rest of the Catholic Church − that is, 1.2 billion people − not to mention 310 million Eastern Orthodox, as well as tens of millions of Evangelicals. Are they all rabid, nonsensical, incendiary, weird, pious wackadoos?
One definition of “wackadoo” states that it is a mock Italian insult. If so, its use for Santorum is not only insulting but also racist. Oh wait, I forgot − Democrats can’t be racists, only Republicans can. Sorry.
Recall the questioning of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito by Senate Democrats, who pointedly asked whether his Catholic faith would influence his rulings. Of course, no one asked nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan whether their deeply held liberal beliefs − from religious or secular sources − would influence their rulings. Liberals are allowed to be influenced by their beliefs, but conservatives − no way!
Criticism of Michele Bachmann for her Evangelical beliefs was cut short when her campaign fizzled. Had she done better, we would have heard much more. She, too, would have been called a rabid wackadoo. As it is, “Bachmann+religious nut” yields 1,450,000 hits on Google. Tolerance? We don’t need no stinkin’ tolerance. We’re liberals!
The extreme of this process is represented by Bill Maher, who regularly mocks and denigrates public figures who express any religious sentiments. He revealed his true feelings recently when the Broncos lost a football game. Maher’s brilliant analysis of the loss was, “Wow, Jesus just f****d Tim Tebow bad!”
Few liberals dare to express Maher’s overt hatred of religion and religious people. But many share it. The Washington Post called Maher’s nauseating remark “controversial.” Did the editors search the thesaurus to find the most tepid adjective possible? This is a case of praising with a faint damn.
Liberals claim to be afraid of conservative Christians. Yet liberals repeatedly insult and mock conservative Christians, and Christianity itself, with impunity. But would Colmes and Robinson ridicule a prominent Muslim for the way he grieved for his dead baby? No, they would call it “touching” and “sensitive.” And when we killed Bin Laden, did Maher opine that “Allah just bleeped Bin Laden bad”? No, he wouldn’t think of doing so, but if he did, he’d be fired immediately − and probably have to go into hiding. As it is, Maher remains on HBO, doing his thing.
Whom people claim they fear, and whom they really fear, may be quite different. Don’t listen to what they say; watch what they do.
What little I know of LDS theology doesn’t bother me in the slightest. What people believe in their hearts is between them and God. Only He can see into our hearts. We can see how people act − specifically, whether they treat fellow human beings with kindness. If people form stable families, work hard, are reliable, and keep their word, that’s what’s important − or what should be important.
In fact, my only problem with the Latter-day Saints Church is whether “day” should be capitalized.
So perhaps you will understand why I become upset when I see magazine covers belittling and mocking the faith of Mitt Romney. Perhaps you will sympathize when I pace the floor in anger as a mob assaults a Mormon Temple because of a moral stand the LDS Church took against same-sex marriage. Perhaps you will identify when I mutter words that would make a Marine gunnery sergeant blush when I read that Rick Santorum is demonized for stating orthodox Christian beliefs.
And perhaps you will agree when I insist that “no religious test” means no religious test. Not for Mormons like Romney. Not for Catholics like Santorum. Not for Evangelicals like Bachmann. Not for anyone. And certainly not a religious test administered by liberals, whose religion is liberalism.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.