Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anti-atheist Republican bigots

Atrios has a link to a video of Mitt Romney being heckled about being Mormon. It's pretty painful to listen to, and gets more painful when Romney resorts to some platitudes about respecting all faiths but saying "We need to have a person of faith lead the country." Atrios, as usual, start us off on the sensible way to think about this:
We believe different stuff. The alliance of "people of faith", both organizationally and rhetorically, has created an artificial distinction between "believers" and "nonbelievers," perpetuated the notion that what you believe is unimportant as long as you have faith in something, and reduced any public discussion of the genuine differences in belief that exist.

It's become vogue for politicians to make their religious beliefs, their "faith,"central parts of their campaigns. If they do so, it's quite fair for people take a look at just what those beliefs are.
If a candidate, for example, believes that a woman with a liquefied brain can "recover" and that it's appropriate for the United State Senate to pass a law (on a Saturday no less) that takes control of a medical situation away from the legally designated family member, the people have every right to know what is informing those beliefs. (To be clear, Romney was not in the Senate during the Schiavo madness, but John McCain and Sam Brownback were.)

So if Republicans want to play this game, then they will have to deal with it when it bites them in the behind. In a just and rational media landscape, the AP would be doing stories questioning why McCain is appearing before a group of strident anti-atheist bigots later this week in Seattle.*

That would require discarding the predominant media narrative in this country about religion, of course, namely that religious folks are "good" and everyone else is at the very least, questionable.

That narrative doesn't stand up to even cursory scrutiny, and never has (can you say "Elmer Gantry?")

*For those who haven't been following along closely or are slow on the uptake (I'm looking at you, Republicans,) the use of the term "anti-atheist bigots" comes in response to the rantings of alleged Catholic leader Bill Donohue in the last few weeks. If you object to the Discovery Insitute being called "anti-atheist bigots," I suggest you attack the employer that pays me to say such outrageous things**

**I (gladly) do it for free+

+And will continue to do so until we make Republican anti-atheist bigots a permanent minority++

++Have a nice day, may The Force Be With You

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