Watch Mitt Pander!

Wow, was that Mitt Romney faith speech a load of crap or what? (here’s link to the CNN version of things)

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.

Freedom requires religion? I think one look at certain (most?) Islamic countries will prove that false without much effort, or at least show that religion doesn’t necessarily enable freedom.

Religion requires freedom? No, not really. There might be more varieties of nonsensical belief in a free and open society, but religion has always managed to stay around in the underground, even in the face of oppression. In fact, just witness the persecution complex of creationists in our free country, and you’ll see that oppression may even embolden religious belief, particularly the more ridiculous kinds.

Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God.

He can also discover that his most profound beliefs and his communion with God run directly counter to the most profound beliefs and divine communions of many other people. It’s almost as if they’re all just, uh, making it up.

Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

In a word: poppycock.

I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

Or lack of faith.

Although more than half the country disagrees.

Probably why Romney didn’t include atheists in his “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Mormon” speech.

When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.

Mr. Romney, how – exactly – does one make one’s “highest promise” to their particular concept of God, and then – with a straight face – say he will serve no one religion?

You call yourself a Christian (fine by me, it’s all myth anyway), but you might want to check out the first commandment. Putting the interests of We, the People, ahead even if they run counter to the wishes of your deity, is a very bad thing (you know, if you believe that stuff).

Tsk tsk.

I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

Yes, indeed, the faith of your fathers and their fathers and their fathers and their fathers (pausing at some point to rule out multiple wives and seeing black people as inferior, but keeping the magic underwear). Why, it’s fathers all the way back to 1830, when history was recorded well enough to show what a farce your religion actually is.

It’s bold of you, I suppose, to come forward in defense of your faith. What’s disappointing is that you actually believe in it.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience.

Which is why we atheists never encounter “Pascal’s Wager” presented as a supery-dupery apologetics tool by believers. Never. Ever. Uh uh.

No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes president he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.

Huh?

The President needs the prayers of people praying to gods he considers false?

Does he also need people to ask rocks and trees and drywall and toads that their bestest wishes ever come true true true? It amounts to the same thing.

I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God.

So, Islamic jihadists beheading innocent victims in the name of Allah (and Mohammed is his one true Prophet, peace be upon him) are getting closer to God?

ARE YOU NUTS?

And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims.

The violent punishments for minor offenses in the Old Testament. The slaughter of adulterers and homosexuals in all the Abrahamic religions. The fancy pirate dress to honor the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life’s blessings.

And life’s miseries, seeing as how your (or theirs or his or her) god made it all. Can’t take credit for the joy without also chalking up some sadness by your name. Tsunamis anyone? Oh, wait, must have been the free will of the victims to not swim better that killed them all.

It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions.

No, no you don’t!

If such were the case, you’d all agree on the matter of gay marriage, abortion, and theories of what is a just war.

You don’t agree on morality. You don’t agree on proper ways to worship. You don’t agree on the characteristics of the Divine. Again, it’s like you’re all just making this stuff up.

Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.

Except that religion was also used to justify slavery (and, again, you might want to reference Mormon history on the treatment of black people, oh Mr. Mormon Faithful Guy).

Except that plenty of religious people support abortion rights, euthanasia, and the like.

Look, Mitt, buddy, everyone knows you’re just pandering to the religious right? OK? Just ‘fess up and say that and my respect for you will be at least slightly higher than it is right now.

But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God.

Which god? Your god? Someone else’s god?

As I have said before: a government which does not acknowledge your god is not a government that denies your god. It simply doesn’t address the subject of silly myth, leaving it to the individual to do that in their own special way.

Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism.

The religion of neutrality on religion. How is that a religion exactly?

Oh, sorry, you’re just pandering again. Got it.

The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation ‘Under God’ and in God, we do indeed trust.

No mention of God or the divine in the Constitution of the United States, Mitt, so sorry, please read before next week as there will be a test. Your allusions to the words in the Pledge and on our currency are silly, as both were added well after our great nation was founded.

Oh, by the way, nice job of excluding every atheist in the country as part of this nation. But, then again, you were introduced by George “atheists can’t be patriots” Bush, Sr. So, I guess it sort of follows.

We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word.

But not in the Constitution. Odd that, for a nation under God.

(Never mind that pesky Treaty of Tripoli either, Mitt).

OK, that’s enough. I need to go make dinner for my kids.

I’d pray for it to magically appear (and, yes, the prayers of people of all faiths are welcome), but – um – we know just how well that works.

Update: PZ Myers calls the speech “an appalling piece of dreck.” Not exactly winning over the atheists, Mitt.

6 Responses to “Watch Mitt Pander!”

  1. Mr Lady Says:

    I am not voting for Mitt, for any number of reasons, but I have to step up for the poor chump’s defense for a second.

    Dude, it took MAJOR balls for him to give this speech. I admire him for it. He came out and laid himslef on the line. Pandering, for sure. But not just Christian pandering. Unlike his psychotic Christian counterparts, he is at least open to the idea of other belief structures. In fact, every Mormon I have ever known has been very tolerant of other religions, to the point of interested. If it came down to him or Bush again, or someone equally as right wing Christian, I’d go Mitt in a heartbeat.

    And this line: “Mr. Romney, how – exactly – does one make one’s “highest promise” to their particular concept of God, and then – with a straight face – say he will serve no one religion?”

    Dude, he swore on the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. His actions totally supported his point, there.

    Please be gentle when you rip me to shreds.

  2. andy Says:

    Hey,

    I believe I said it was bold of him to come forward with this speech. Only slightly less bold than a candidate coming out as a homosexual or an atheist, if the polls are to be trusted.

    My problem is that when people of faith claim to embrace others of all faiths, they are generally lying (at least if they are true believers) – that kind of follows from the “our faith is the right faith” and “we are the chosen people” attitudes that are so common in Western religion.

    More likely, he’s a pragmatic man who happens to be a Mormon a couple of days a week, sort of like the Easter/Christmas Catholics I knew grewing up.

    As for his willingness to swear on the Bible should he be elected, no biggie – the Mormons accept the Bible as revealed truth, complemented by their Book of Mormon. However, the Bible and the “so help me God” in the oath are not required by the Constitution, so I’m not impressed. :-)

    P.S. I still like you.

  3. Mr Lady Says:

    I still like you, too.

    “…when people of faith claim to embrace others of all faiths, they are generally lying” Um, dude. When people in politics open their mouths, they are generally lying. I’d rather the lie be about religion than my tax dollars or a war or, god forbid, a BLOW JOB.

    I don’t know why I’m still talking. I totally agree with you. Stop me already.

  4. andy Says:

    Well, yeah, politicians lie all the time. I was thinking more of people in general who make the claim of embracing all faiths, even though their own says everyone else is gong to suffer for eternity. Being a politician claiming such just makes it a gazillion times more public and shameful.

    Did you just say “blow job” on my blog? I’m not sure I can have such risque language on my blog. You should just email that stuff to me directly.

  5. Mr Lady Says:

    Nice try.

  6. andy Says:

    OK, fine, instant message.

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