Mitt Romney’s God problem

Whatever is happening, Mitt? You claim to have already lost 47 percent of the population and now you’re going for the … Continued

Whatever is happening, Mitt? You claim to have already lost 47 percent of the population and now you’re going for the other 53.

After the Democratic Convention you came out swinging: “I will not,” you said, “take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square and I will not take it (Does “it” refer to God? Should “It” be capitalized?) out of the platform of my party.” Oh, and “I will not take God off our coins.”

Who are you debating? Certainly not President Obama, who has mentioned God enough times to satisfy your base but not so often as to pander. He says, “May God bless America” and attends the National Prayer Breakfast where he speaks about God. He insisted that God be put back into  the Democratic platform and he has never suggested that references to God be taken off our coins.

Yet you keep trying to make us believe that God is an issue in this election. And you appear to be trying to claim God as your own. This gross exploitation of religion will surely turn off even the 85 percent of the population who are believers,  particularly when you do so by denigrating religion in the worst possible way.

But here’s the real problem for me: In every high-profile situation you have faced this past week, your response seems to have been the opposite of what a seriously religious person would do.

Let’s  take your response to the latest anti-American violence.

Before the first violent protests over the anti-Muslim YouTube video, the  U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemned “continuing efforts of misguided people to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Without full knowledge of what was going on, you condemned the statement and Obama at the same time, saying that the “Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Only problem was, there hadn’t been any attacks when the statement was released, and Obama had nothing to do with the statement, and nobody was sympathizing with anybody. After the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya and three other Americans — where an attack actually took place — you had this to say: “It’s never too early for the U.S. government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”

Huh? Nothing about how tragic it was that the ambassador and three other brave Americans had been killed? Nothing about how our country was attacked and this was a time for all of us to stand together with the president?  Where was God?  Nothing about God protecting America?  Were you taking God out of foreign policy? Obama mentioned God when the bodies of the victims arrived at Andrews Air Force Base. Wouldn’t the godly thing to do be to stand with our country and our citizens rather than attack the president for something he, again, had absolutely nothing to do with?

What about the tapes from your private fundraiser released this week by “Mother Jones” magazine?

In May, we find out, you said 47 percent of Americans were dependent on the government, that they called themselves victims and did not pay taxes and that you could ignore them because they would never vote for you. “My job is not to worry about those people,” you told your wealthy donors.  “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Are these not the same people, war veterans, children, the sick, the elderly and the working poor that Obama, quoting Jesus, called “the least of these” at the National Prayer breakfast? These are not the rich you want to give tax breaks to, but the needy. Where is God in your thinking here?  Is this not taking God out of the Public Square, and for that matter off of our coins, since you don’t want to give any of them to those who are not as privileged as you or those at your fundraiser.

Finally, at the same fundraiser, you talked about Israel and the Palestinians, saying that the Palestinians have no interest in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. What’s your solution? “We kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen to resolve it.” This must be very reassuring to your base. You also mentioned a former secretary of state who called to say that he or she believed there was a prospect for a settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. “Really?” you asked. When that  person replied, “yes,” you admitted, “I didn’t delve into it.”

Where was God?  Doesn’t God want us to be a peacemaker? Would it not be smarter, from a foreign-policy point of view,  to “delve into it?”   Shouldn’t our responsibility be, from a godly point of view, to do everything in our power to try to resolve the issues in the Holy Land rather than just kiss it off?

Mitt, you have said over and over, in the  days since the conventions, that you will not take God out of your heart. It seems, though, that it’s exactly what you have done, time after time after time on almost every issue. If you haven’t, where’s the evidence?

About

Sally Quinn Sally Quinn is the founding editor of OnFaith.
  • leibowde84

    I think this article makes a good point. Republicans are so quick to cast Obama as “godless,” but there is tons of evidence to the contrary. He actually goes to church (which, in my opinion, puts him above most Americans). He professes his faith publicly (again, a truth that makes Obama more religious than most Americans … at least young Americans). And, finally, he reached out to others (Muslims) who worship the same “god” as he does (Allah is merely an Arabic translation of the word “god,” and Allah is the “god of Abraham,” the same god that Jewish and Christians pray to). So, how does one get the impression that Obama is “godless.”

    Some blame the HSS Mandate, but that is ridiculous. Forcing insurance companies to provide contraception at the lowest cost possible is a political decision, not a religious one. Further, it is one that most feel is good for this country. The government should not consider religious doctrine when drafting legislation. And, the fact that he shifted the burden to the insurance companies from the actual catholic institutions, solved any problem I personally see. The government cannot and should not resist legislation simply because a small religious minority sees it as going against their values. If it did, our freedom of speech would be hindered to a great degree. The decision to use contraception should be entirely up to employees, not employers. Jobs are hard to find as it is, and to expect people to find different jobs simply because their employers don’t agree with certain medical preventative measures is both selfish and unrealistic.

    Religious groups are forced to do things that go against their religious values for the good of the country on a daily basis. Pacifists are forced to contribute tax dollars to the military, for example. So, why is this different?

    Either way, it’s pathetic to attack anyone’s religious commitment. In my opinion, it is in no way a “good thing.” But, more importantly, it has nothing to do with the effectiveness of a leader.

  • Rongoklunk

    It’ll be hilarious if Romney wins. It’ll be Allah against the great god Moroni. I’m not putting my money on Moroni. He doesn’t have a dog’s chance against the much more experienced Allah – who’s been bossgod for more than fifteen hundred years, Moroni is still a teenager compared to Allah, and the white man’s God.

  • brotherstaker

    Moroni is not the god of Mormons.

    They believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    Their church is actually named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, their doctrine is centered on Jesus Christ.

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