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Cookie Parker
03-01-2012, 07:08 PM
http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/154347/how_conservatives_silence_critics_of_religion


The GOP candidates’ struggle to outdo each other in appealing to Christian fundamentalists continues. Rick Santorum, the current favorite of this constituency, topped his previous plays with his remark that John F. Kennedy’s famed 1960 speech on the importance of a separation between religion and government “makes me throw up.”

The separation of church and state is not some abstract notion, nor is it a means of oppressing people. It very reasonably keeps people from imposing their religious beliefs on other people. These are not beliefs that can be objectively measured or empirically tested—like, say, the hypothesis that public spending can affect employment levels. Religious beliefs may be comforting or helpful to some people, but no matter how deeply felt, they can have no place in a rational, shared system of managing outcomes for all Americans.

Yet because of the current political climate in this country, we’re not supposed to talk about any of that. The other day, the New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow got in a little trouble. He tweeted an admittedly rude and rather inappropriate remark about an eccentric element of Mitt Romney’s faith—the belief that wearing special underwear literally protects the person from harm.

Blow was hit with a barrage of criticism, and quickly apologized—which makes sense given the contextual irrelevancy and vulgarity of the comment. As a proud single parent, he was responding to a remark of Romney’s implying that single-parenting is per se bad for kids, and he should have stuck to that point in his rejoinder.

But that doesn’t mean that Romney’s avowed Mormon faith is incidental to his view on single-parenting or that a candidate’s religion is always out of bounds in political discourse. There are a number of valid questions that can be asked about practices of the Mormon Church, and their potential impact on policy decisions of a political leader of that persuasion.

. . .

Time to take over the dialougue and own the conversation.

Kanadesaga
03-01-2012, 07:34 PM
Not just Mormonism, although it is a crazy American sect of Christianity. One of over 20,000.