Sarah Posner at Salon explores the question of when and how to ask tough questions about a presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s religion. Romney was a Mormon bishop for several years in Massachusetts and had religious authority over Mormon women and men who came to him for counseling. He saw his church through profound political changes. Posner says it’s fair to ask how he felt then and feels now about those times. I like her concluding words…
In my perfect world, presidential candidates wouldn’t talk about their religion. They would practice it freely, but they would neither use it to prop up their candidacy nor use their opponents’ (real or fabricated) religion to bring them down. Lawmakers wouldn’t use religion to justify policy positions.
I remember a world where there was much less of this, when presidential candidates did not stand before the people and claim that Jesus endorsed them. And now it’s much worse– they are attacking their rivals for not being religiously correct– those heretics.
Debasing politics is kind of like throwing mud on a dirtpile, but this also debases religion. Cynical use of religion to grab votes is a disservice to all the Americans who have religious beliefs- most of whom are not sheep. ‘God, please let my team win!’ is not an inspiring prayer.