Mitt Romney recently gave what some have called a "JKF speech," referring to the time when JFK gave a speech emphasizing that his Catholic faith would not interfere with the running of the Free World.
I am pleased that Romney has decided to talk about a very difficult political subject. I still think he'd be better managing a reunion tour for the Osmond family, but I respect someone who is brave enough to say "Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it." That is impressive.
But I, like Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, are less impressed with what was not said in Romney's speech. Romney praised the fact that America is comprised of many forms of religious faith, but, deliberately excluded those who are agnostic or atheist. As Noonan puts it,
"There was one significant mistake in the speech. I do not know why Romney did not include nonbelievers in his moving portrait of the great American family. We were founded by believing Christians, but soon enough Jeremiah Johnson, and the old proud agnostic mountain men, and the village atheist, and the Brahmin doubter, were there, and they too are part of us, part of this wonderful thing we have. Why did Mr. Romney not do the obvious thing and include them? My guess: It would have been reported, and some idiots would have seen it and been offended that this Romney character likes to laud atheists. And he would have lost the idiot vote.
My feeling is we've bowed too far to the idiots. This is true in politics, journalism, and just about everything else."
The idiots of the world like to paint the atheists as evil, horrible, people whose sole purpose in life is to destroy Christianity and Christa in values. People are boycotting The Golden Compass film because it is critical of "The Church." This is an overly simplistic, and quite frankly, dangerous way to view what is essentially just another belief system. Atheists believe differently than Christians. That does not render one person better than another. There are wonderful atheists in the world, and, as the books The Golden Compass is based on notes, horrible things have been done in the name of Christianity. Wars. Genocide. Death.
In 1492 was not just the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 1482 all of Spain's Muslim Population was eradicated. Some fled to other countries. Many were tortured. Muslims who had converted to Christianity were hunted down and killed as heretics. This was all accomplished under the instruction of the Catholic Church and in the name of Christianity.
I am a Christian, but I know that often times people who share my beliefs abuse their religion as a means of gaining power. I also know that people who share my beliefs have done, and will continue to do, wonderful things in an attempt to follow Christ's example.
The same goes for those who adopt an agnostic or atheist world view. Many do wonderful things. Some do not.
I think it is time for people to start thinking more critically. I think it is the idiots of the world who believe that seeing a film made by an atheist who is critical (and rightfully so,) of the crimes organized religion has committed, will somehow destroy their faith. I think it is only an idiot who will brand all members of a particular belief system as "evil" and "anti-Christian" solely because they do not believe in a divine deity. It is foolish to assume that someone who does not believe in Christ is automatically anti-Christian.
And it is foolish to ignore an entire demographic who will soon claim the right to vote for you, or not.