Mitt Romney's religion not relevant to race
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04
We are so wrapped up in defining politicians by their religious beliefs that we forget there's a whole host of other factors involved.
The last line in the first definition of “conservative” on Dictionary.com is “to limit change.” What could be more ridiculous than limiting change? The only constant in life is change. There is no formula for life, the universe and everything. Yet still we ache for routine.
This is why the religion of any particular presidential candidate, namely Mitt Romney, shouldn’t come to be the focus of a discussion about politics, but it inevitably does. People want to know what they’re dealing with. They don’t want to have to think too hard about deciding, they just want to be able to know their choice for candidacy is a good, god-fearing Catholic (Mormon, Protestant, Jew, gay, black , woman, Costco member, etc.) so they can sleep at night. It’s too much work to find out what politicians really believe. Relying on labels has become the new research.
Because we’ve worked so hard to rigidly define our political categories, as the times change and the people and programs under the umbrella of a specific definition flex, the definitions quickly lose their meaning. Definitions become relegated to tradition, and they become meaningless to the current state of political affairs.
Defining Mitt Romney as a Mormon is like defining Juicy Juice as fruit juice. It looks like juice. It has a vague fruit-like flavor. It says on the bottle that it is juice. But how much of it is frozen concentrate? How much of it is food coloring and artificial flavors? How much of it is weird chemicals we’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce? And how much of it really is fruit? Some juice is better than others.
With that in mind, consider how ferociously people will defend their choice for candidacy based on his or her faith. How do they know that so-and-so is a good Mormon? You can’t know how good a person someone is until you spend time studying him and getting to know him.
If you aren’t ever going to meet Romney, the least you can do is watch his interviews and read his writing. You will know at the end of that process whether you want him to be president or not. You have to do the research though, or you’re just relying on other peoples’ opinions to make decisions.
Whether Mitt Romney would make a good president is intrinsically tied into his faith. It has to be. The religions (or lack thereof) of people on this planet affect the way they deal with things, treat people and conduct their relationships.
But so does their race, their skin color, their parents' political leanings, the schools they went to, the people they hung out with growing up, where they lived and the kind of social issues they were faced with during their lives. All of these things make up a person, and assuming any person will be a good president based on one of these factors alone is pure foolishness.
The real dilemma is not whether Romney would make a good leader. The real dilemma is that it doesn’t really matter. If it wasn’t Romney it would’ve been some other puppet on a string with some other inflammatory reason for why he should or shouldn’t be president. It’s a big ugly dog and pony show, and next year it will be exactly the same. Until the American people realize they can’t sit back and let the country run itself, we can expect the political version of "Celebrity Showdown."