We’ve never been wild about Romney — or any of the current line-up of Republican contenders for their party’s presidential nomination, but we always thought he was someone for whom we could vote in order to defeat the other party’s candidate.
Romney, Gingrich, and Huntsman are the only non-creationists in the GOP pack. Regarding Romney specifically, back during the last presidential election cycle, we briefly noted here that he supported evolution, and not creationism, in science classes.
But look at the latest development. At the website of the Washington Post we read: Romney: ‘Religious ornamentation’ should be allowed in public square. Here are some excerpts, with links omitted and bold font added by us:
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Mitt Romney embraced the role of “religious ornamentation and celebration” in the public square here Friday after an Iowa voter complained to him that the nation’s children cannot celebrate Christmas without the risk of offending others.
This is a far bigger issue than mere creationism. Romney is talking about governmental endorsement of religion, which he ought to know is forbidden by the Constitution. Christmas parties and plays were common in school when your Curmudgeon was a boy. We were oblivious to the constitutional issues back then. But those days are apparently gone, and Christmas somehow seems to be surviving outside of public schools, just as it did before there were public schools. On with the article:
Romney’s remarks about religion marked a departure for the former Massachusetts governor, who rarely discusses his Mormon faith or religion on the campaign trail. Romney said he supports prayer at public events, like football games and graduation ceremonies, although said he did not believe teachers should pray with their students every day in public schools.
We don’t care what they do at the Superbowl, but Romney appears to be talking about public school games and graduations. What’s going on here? We were somewhat confident that Romney isn’t crazy, yet he supports the indicia of “soft” theocracy. This can only mean that he’s willing to abandon his principles — and his oath to support the Constitution — and shamelessly pander to the voters. In other words, the man has no integrity. That’s a bad characteristic in one who would be President. Let’s read on:
“I know there are some people who would like to make this nation a secular nation, who want to take God out of everything that exists in our country,” Romney said. But, he added, “I believe that we should be able to have religions ornamentation and celebration in the public square. And whether that’s a manger or a menorah or representatives of other faiths, it is important for us as a society to recognize that we look to God for many of our blessings.”
Shameless pandering indeed. We continue:
Addressing about 150 steel workers and other supporters at the Missouri Valley Steel plant here, Romney turned to American history to defend the role of religion in public life. He said George Washington felt it was only through the blessings of providence that the nation became free and won independence in the Revolutionary War.
Washington wasn’t the only Founder to say such things, while keeping his actual opinions private, but serious historians generally agree that he was likely a deist. Besides, although he presided over the Constitutional Convention, that document is utterly strict about keeping religion and government separate. Romney probably knows this. (Gingrich certainly does, but he too panders in the same way.) Here’s one more excerpt:
Romney said he understands the position of atheists, but believes there should be an embrace of God in public life.
So where does this leave us regarding the GOP primaries? Of those still in the game, we know that Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry are not only flaming creationists, but they’re likely to be outright theocrats. Gingrich and Romney probably aren’t creationists, but they have no hesitancy about pandering — and if they’ll pander, what else will they do? Who’s left? There’s Huntsman, who seems entirely rational, but according to all the polls so far he’s unlikely to be nominated. There’s also Ron Paul, but we’d rather not think about him.
The two strongest candidates at the moment are Gingrich and Romney. Both are bright enough for the job, but we have serious doubts about their character. Still, although seriously flawed, either of them would be infinitely preferable to four more years of what we currently have.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.