Skip to comments.The Media's Religious Test
Posted on 10/16/2011 9:23:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
I believe efforts to disqualify Mitt Romney as a presidential contender because of his Mormon faith are outrageous and unfair. Apparently, a lot of people in the liberal media agree with me. Unfortunately, they are hypocrites.
The media are ignoring their own established religious testagainst candidates whose evangelical or Catholic faith guides their political beliefs.
Having momentarily discovered an appreciation for the Constitution, liberal journalists are reminding conservative Christians who question Romneys faith that our founders prohibited a religious test as a qualification for elected office.
It was only a matter of time before some bigot drew a bead on Mitt Romney and decreed him unfit to be President solely on the basis of his Mormon faith, wrote Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman. This after Southern Baptist minister Robert Jeffress told attendees at the Values Voter Summit that Mormonism is a cult and that Romneys religious beliefs should factor into their voting decisions.
And yet, Polman continued, at least according to the Constitution, there isn't supposed to be such a test.
Since the Jeffress incident, the media have tried hard to get the other Republican presidential candidates on record about their beliefs on Mormonism.
This is a nonissue. Gallup polling reveals that Democrats are more likely than Republicans or Protestants to say they would not vote for a Mormon candidate. And in truth, most evangelicals wariness about Romney is a result of suspicions about his conservative principles, not his theological beliefs.
The liberal media should heed their own advice about religious tests. Last week, Rick Perrys wife, Anita, suggested in a speech that her husband has been brutalized by the media over his faith, most notably over his hosting of a Christian prayer rally in August.
But Perrys not the only Republican candidate facing the medias intensifying scrutiny on religion. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmanns faith has been the subject of numerous lengthy profiles, including a long New Yorker piece and a New York Times piece last week titled For Bachmann, God and Justice Were Intertwined, which outlined Bachmanns time at Christian Oral Roberts University Law School.
Newsweeks Michelle Goldberg wondered whether Perrys and Bachmanns alleged belief in a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism may be informing a Christian plot for world domination.
In a piece titled, Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith, the New York Times' Bill Keller summed up the medias position on the GOP fields religious beliefs. This years Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public lifeand to get over them, he wrote. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.
To liberal elites, evangelical Christianity is mysterious and suspect. But according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Americans who attend Evangelical Protestant churches make up a plurality (26.3%) of the population. Thats a higher share than Catholics (23.9%), mainline Protestants (18.1%) and unaffiliated Americans (16.1%).
The medias partisan use of religious tests is not new. Dozens of reporters descended on Sarah Palins Wasilla Assembly of God to dig up as much dirt as they could as soon as she was selected as John McCains running mate in 2008. As a Huffington Post headline put it, Palins Church May have Shaped Controversial Worldview.
And it would take an entire column to rehash the medias attacks on George W. Bushs faith.
If the media really were interested in uncovering the religious beliefs of political candidates who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans, they would have dug much deeper into Barack Obamas faith background and his longtime membership in a black liberation theology church in Chicago.
But most of the media not only didnt investigate Obamas church and its radical pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but berated anyone who did.
In a 2008 editorial published after Obama gave a speech distancing himself from Wright, the New York Times wrote that Obamas religious connection with Wright should be none of the voters business.
Mr. Obamas eloquent speech, the Times continued, should end the debate over his ties to Mr. Wright since there is nothing to suggest that he would carry religion into government.
But Obama has carried religion into government. A Politico investigation early on in his administration found that Obama had invoked God more often than Bush had over a similar time span. And Obama often mentions his faith to justify policies that directly contradict common understanding of Christian teaching.
We can be sure that the media will continue to dwell on Mitt Romneys Mormon problem with some evangelical voters. But it wont matter. If Romney wins the Republican nomination, most evangelicals will likely conclude that while it is arguable whether Mormonism is incompatible with Christian theology, it is inarguable that Obamas support for abortion and same-sex unions is incompatible with Christianity, and with a free and just nation.
The ether is slow tonight but the article you posted is quite accurate.
Mormonism is heracy in evangelical circles- so is secular humanism as practiced by many former orthodox denominations, and so is the “prosperity message”, and so is homosexual/deviant/aberrant sexual behavior (”choice”), ad nauseum...
The chaff is being winnowed from the wheat. The sheep are being divided from the goats.
The odds are starting to get to where I like them...
You will NOT hear me EVER talking about Willard’s religion.
He is so out of it on soooo many levels; abortion, guns, taxes, immigration, health care, globalism and the overall size and power of the government that his religion needs no mention.
Of course, that may change. Tomorrow is another opportunity for a flip or a flop.
I’m with Jim Robinson on this dude.
Romney resoundingly stood up for killing babies following the footsteps of his beloved mother. It's right there for anyone to see on Youtube. I never saw him repent. And he sure doesn't look repentant today. He simply changed sides. Like trying on a new suite. Or getting his hair cut.
The Constitution only bans the government from imposing a religious test. Voters have a right to vote or not vote for anyone based on anything, including religion. If a person has a problem voting for someone because they are a Mormon, eveangelical, Catholic, Muslim or atheist, that's their right.
with all of this talk about mitt’s religion, harry reid needs to be made to answer the same questions every day. and barack’s stated skepticism of all organized religion needs to be exposed as a contrast to his lies about being a practicing Christian
“The Constitution only bans the government from imposing a religious test. Voters have a right to vote or not vote for anyone based on anything, including religion. If a person has a problem voting for someone because they are a Mormon, Evangelical, Catholic, Muslim or atheist, that’s their right.”
Exactly. And if person wants to vote for a candidate because he is a Mormon, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Moslem or atheist, that’s his right as well. How would the government enforce a “you must not consider a candidate’s religion when you vote for him” law anyway?
I wonder if Mr. Bauer would be saying the same things if the candidate was a self proclaimed Muslim?