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Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh, Mitt Romney, you lovable scamp.

Last night Mitt Romney took some time to explain to us why we should consider voting for him essentially in spite of the fact that he is Mormon. Put another way, his speech was basically an attempt to reassure the voters that he's not totally batshit crazy. It goes without saying that I have no particular problem with Romney's being Mormon. Don't get me wrong, as an atheist I don't think his beliefs make all that much sense, but I can say that equally about all religions. I also don't believe that just because someone disagrees with me about certain things- even fairly significant things- it means they can't do a good job.

No, frankly, what I find problematic about Romney's chat with the nation is his claim that, "Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government." As has been noted elsewhere, not all Americans believe such nonsense and yet remain as loyal to this nation as anyone else. Still, I guess it's heartwarming to know that I can serve such a noble purpose- helping to unite the godfearing behind Romney through the power of their mutual dislike of atheists. Just gives me that warm, squishy patriotic feeling, ya' know?

Romney's plea for religious tolerance is additionally a little ironic given the current hoopla over the movie The Golden Compass, a children's film with the actress/Martian spy Nicole Kidman in a leading role. Apparently a variety of religious associations object to the movie, not because it isn't good for kids, but because it might provoke them to read the later books of the trilogy it is based on. Why are we trying to discourage children from reading? Well, because the later books have been described as atheist fantasy novels* and there is thus fear that they might corrupt the minds of countless tykes. As you can probably guess I have little sympathy for these groups. Certainly the movie may be a sort of anti-religious propaganda, but given that I recently saw Linus give a speech on the wonders of our saviour Jesus Christ during a broadcast Peanuts special, I think you'd really have to admit that a tiny handful of pro-atheism books and movies for kids are not unreasonable. I'm just sayin. And in any case, if you're afraid that your religious "truth" is so fragile that it can be shattered by a well-written children's book, I'd say that you need to have as much faith in your beliefs as I have in mine.

I'm in complete agreement with Romney that people shouldn't vote against him because he's Mormon. But until people also don't vote for him for that reason, I think we still have a problem.

* "Atheist fantasy" may sound like a contradiction in terms given the appreciation for rational thought among atheists, but really fantasy is quite a popular genre. My favorite atheist fantasy, for example, is the one where we're not treated like degenerate freaks just because we don't believe in god.**

** Wait, no, sorry. That's not a fantasy, that's Europe.

As a side note: If this post seems unusually incoherent, there is a good reason for that. Not that I'm going to tell you that reason.

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Blogger jonas.wisser said...

Sounds perfectly coherent to me. And I wish there were more people like you writing posts like this.

Friday, December 07, 2007 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger Apunte said...

i think religion shouldn't be a factor in politics. At least, in Europe is less important...

Monday, December 10, 2007 3:56:00 PM  

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