And now, back to your regularly scheduled ranting
Mitt Romney can go fuck himself.
I resent, personally and deeply, the suggestion that as an Atheist, I am not an American. That as an Atheist, I do not deserve freedom.
Seldom have I heard more ludicrous propositions than “freedom requires religion” or “religion requires freedom”. Historically, religion has often been the enemy of freedom, the enemy of free thought and free expression. Historically, religion survived in the face of dictatorship and despotism, when it wasn’t being used as the tool of dictatorship and despotism by men with aims far more temporal than spiritual.
The only thing that requires religion is the need to believe there’s more to reality than reality itself. Freedom does not require the filter of deism. Freedom requires no filters. Freedom means the freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. Freedom means the right to say something as patently offensive and divisive as Romney’s statement. And it means my right to call him on it.
Almost 50 years ago, when John F. Kennedy spoke about his religion, he spoke of tolerance for all beliefs, not just his own. He cast opposition to his candidacy on the basis of his religion—on strictly because he was Roman Catholic and not for any regard to his plans, proposals, actions or statements—as bigotry.
He was right.
Now, another Massachusetts politician has designs on the White House, and this one is calling on intolerance and bigotry and division to catapult himself forward.
One does not need to be an Atheist to represent me in our government. One does not need to be a Jew to represent Jews. One does not need to be a Hindu, a Wiccan, a Unitarian, a Baptist, a whatever: one just needs to respect our diversity of belief and thought.
Mitt Romney does not. He’s made it clear that if you’re not religious (and let’s be honest here, you know and I know he means specifically Judeo-Christian religious), you’re not American. You don’t deserve your freedom. He doesn’t represent you because you don’t deserve representation.
So, Mitt Romney can go fuck himself. At least Mike Huckabee is honest about where he’s coming from—I can respect that, even as much as I’d dread a Huckabee presidency.
My governor, a Democrat, is a Methodist minister. My governor has also done more to clean up the state government than any of his pious-mouthed predecessors or detractors in the party opposite, and he’s done it without referencing some divine entity every ten words. I can respect that. What a candidate believes is their business, and as long as they make decisions based on the needs of the state and civil society and the facts on the ground over the needs and philosophies of their one particular sect, they can believe in the Great Green Arkleseizure for all I care.
Nor should they care whether I believe in God or the Great Pumpkin or nothing at all.
Because that’s the nature of civil society. That’s the nature of freedom.
Something Romney and his ilk shout the loudest about, and understand the least.