Friday, December 07, 2007

A Huckabee By Any Other Name

Looks like Mitt Romney’s not as open-minded about religious choice he’d like you to think. "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom," to use a direct quote, is not the blanket call for tolerance the Mittster would like to claim it is. Recent polls show 18% of Americans define themselves as either agnostic or atheist. The number is probably higher if you include those who may believe in some greater power, but not in what passes for organized religion. Deists, for example. (For those might say Deists don’t qualify, let me cite one who is clearly germane to the discussion of religion versus politics in America: Thomas Jefferson.)

Freedom is supposed to be for everyone, regardless or what they believe. Or don’t. There’s no litmus test for it. It’s supposed to be an inalienable right, whether you believe in God, don’t believe in God, believe God “set the clock and got out of the way” (to quote Chris Matthews), believe in reincarnation, or pagan rituals.

Freedom in the United States is not handed down from God; it’s guaranteed in the increasingly fragile parchment of the Constitution. The framers may have thought they were divinely inspired – and they may well have been – but God does not actively dedicate Himself to the rights and liberty of every American. Want proof? The greatest assault on our allegedly guaranteed liberties in the 220 years since they were handed down from Philadelphia has taken place under the watch of, and with the encouragement of, the only President in history who considers himself to be God’s messenger on earth.

You can think your liberty comes from God, but you’d better be prepared to defend it yourself. Mitt Romney isn’t going to.

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