We are all in this together…
Christopher Hitchens is an “equal opportunity” hater of religion, but his latest piece on Romney rises to levels of vitriol rarely experienced in American commentary.
In a video response of revolting sanctimony and self-pity
The Book of Mormon, when it is not “chloroform in print” as Mark Twain unkindly phrased it, is full of vicious ingenuity.
So phooey, say I, to the false reticence of the press and to the bogus sensitivities that underlie it. This extends even to the less important matters. If candidates can be asked to declare their preference as between briefs and boxers, then we already have a precedent, and Romney can be asked whether, as a true believer should, he wears Mormon underwear.
This goes on and on. Of course, this is the man that wrote a book called, God Is Not Great. Which is the real point – Hitchens has it in for religion, and if he succeeds at banging Romney this way, Evangelicals will be next.
And they are asking for it…
In the form of Mike Huckabee. See the Straight from the Source sidebar for our take on Huckabee’s latest ad. But Robert Novak makes it plain:
The rise of evangelical Christians as the force that blasted the GOP out of minority status during the past generation always contained an inherent danger: What if these new Republican acolytes supported not merely a conventional conservative but one of their own? That has happened with Huckabee, a former Baptist minister educated at Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
Novak is here helping draw the line between religious influence and crossing the line into identity politics. Huckabee as we note in the sidebar is clearly playing identity politics.
As another example of asking for it, consider this piece from the American Spectator:
But clean, faithful living and friendly behavior isn’t the nexus for the Christians who have reservations about Romney, which most Mormons, Romney supporters and outside observers don’t seem to understand. Instead it’s about the Christians’ personal validation and legitimization of a religion they believe leads to the destruction of the soul.
Now is it just me, or is casting a vote for government office based on whether the vote would provide “personal validation and legitimization of a religion they believe leads to the destruction of the soul” not precisely ESTABLISHMENT of a religion. Oh sure, in this case it is a person in a voting booth and not government decree, but is it not de facto the same thing?
Lowell: The same writer, Paul Chesser, seems to have a bit of a fixation on validating Mormonism at the ballot box. He said this three weeks ago:
Critics of these evangelicals’ approach to voting say to deny Romney support because of his religion amounts to prejudice. But for the most part Christians believe that Mormon theology leads its adherents to an eternal separation from the Lord. Undoubtedly poll data following the primaries and general election will identify which candidate(s) the evangelicals supported. Do you think they want to stand before God, after they die, and explain why they helped elevate to the highest level of global influence a person who represents false Christianity?
I find it troubling that arguments like this are appearing in credible conservative journals like the American Spectator. Could not some Evangelicals say the same thing about Catholics or Seventh-Day Adventists? Once this kind of thinking becomes legitimate, where will it end?
Speaking of Identity Politics…
Some people have to “choose” an identity. (more…)