So, I had to hear what everyone was tooting about regarding Romney’s religion. I know a few Mormons. Sure, they are sort of Borg-like, and one dear Mormon friend proudly assured me that her church could contact all of its members all over the country in a few short minutes, as if that wasn’t really, really scary, but whatever.  I even went to a Mormon service, just to see what was going on. Lots of kids. If your religion is too silly to snag conversions, well, breed. If you can convince kids that their feet are missing, you can convince them to wear stupid underwear.

First Mitt slobbered all over George H. W. Bush’s shivelled old junk. Then he went into the religion issue.

Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat fascism and then to vanquish the Soviet Union. You left us, your children, a free and strong America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation.

Not because it is a commercial brand cooked up by some anonymous intern at a publishing house.

It’s now my generation’s turn.

“…Prepare to be vanquished, Soviet Union!”

How we respond to today’s challenges will define our generation.

Cokey rich kids lashing out at anything in a turban?

And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs.

Insert snarky joke here. Sigh.

America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islam seeks to destroy us. An emerging China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we’re troubled at home by government overspending, overuse of foreign oil, and the breakdown of the family.

ENDLESS FUCKING WAR? IRAQ! IRAQ! IRAQ! MENTION IRAQ! Also Britney. That bitch is a disaster. I give her 2 years, tops, then she’s plant food.

Over the last year, we’ve embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve American leadership. Today, I wish to address a topic which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our religious liberty. I’ll also offer perspectives on how my own faith would inform my presidency, if I were elected.

There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator.

And this is my final proclamation about the founders and religion, unless of course it comes up again ever. Basic facts: the only document that means anything at all when it comes to the separation of Church and State is the Constitution, which a couple of dozen cantankerous and individualist rebels were able to agree upon, which has secured the endorsement of 50 states, and which mentions God exactly zero times. It doesn’t matter what you think they thought about what they agreed on. The only thing that matters is the document itself.

And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams’ words: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our Constitution,” he said, “was made for a moral and religious people.”

This raises an issue. I find it remarkable that nobody, in their desperation to pigeonhole the founders either as zealot nutters or neo-Darwinian sodomites, ever mentions the importance of to whom the Founders said what. A politician’s message changes depending on who the audience is. You need to ask, “Is a public proclamation more trustworthy than private correspondence?” I think it would be revealing to see the sources of these argument-stopping quotes and compare them. The above Adams quote was an address to the military in October of 1798. I can be more specific. According to Probe Ministries (I suspect these are the ones who believe that Jesus appeared to aliens to save them too. Heehee. Answers in Genesis, you crack me up.) the quote comes from “a letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts.” This is while he was President, and it was in a letter to a large group of people, no doubt expecting his letter to receive wider circulation than just its intended recipients. In a moment where candor was possible, about 20 years later, Adams wrote private correspondence to Thomas Jefferson: “Do you think that a Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical Strifes in Maryland, Pensilvania [sic], New York and every part of New England? What a mercy it is that these People cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, as yet in the U.S.! If they could they would.” That’s something a sitting President could never say, and it certainly suggests that the freedom of a liberal democracy depends on the separation of church and state.

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.

Sure, it sounds nice and circular, but is there any meaning behind it? Is it true? Does it correspond to reality? Well, I have no religion and I feel sort of free to do what I want within reason. This is a strange, twisted mobius strip of a sentence-you end up back where you started, only backwards. (I can’t for the life of me remember the rhetorical term…if only there were a world wide fishnet of sorts that would allow me to look up the word antimetabole. Oops!) By the way, Mitt, tell that to those who died as slaves in this country. Just saying.

Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God.

Assuming a soul, of course. I was free and discovered that there was no god. Thank god.

Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

He’s echoing about 4 different things here. I can think of something Ben Franklin said: “We must hang together or hang separately.” He is also drawing on the symbolism of the fasces (that bundle of sticks on the back of a dime, and from which we derive the word fascism): “Together we stand, divided we fall.” And then there is the faint odor of “We can die on our feet or live on our knees.”

Given our grand tradition of religious tolerance and liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I’ll answer them today.

Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.

Do I need to say that he is no Jack Kennedy? Probably not. I’m sure every other disappointed blogger on the planet already has.

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin. […]

Good for you, I mean, if I were inclined to trust you. You know, there is a lot here that is good, none of which I want to quote, but, holy shit, any kudos that he would have gotten from me go up the chimney when he says:

But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It’s as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

“The religion of secularism” is a meaningless phrase.  He is at this point speaking the evangeliban’s lingo, and pandering to them with his trousers down rather shamelessly.

The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation “under God” and in God, we do indeed trust.

I do not. I am an American.

We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.

Has anyone ever considered that there has never ever been a single attractive manger scene in the history of…public lawns. I mean, I might not object if they weren’t (besides being graven images…heheh) not so kitschy and tacky. Must our public spaces look like the outside of a trailer park to satiate people with big hair and no teeth?

Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.’

“I am exactly going to have it both ways.” No dice, douchebag.

Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.

There is that fucking word heritage again, the least useful and most illusory buzzword in the political plastic bag o’ rhetorical doggie doo. “Heritage” means those elements of your history that you personally find attractive. No intellectually honest person should be given free reign to line-item veto American history, to simply pretend that this nation is not the product of Enlightenment ideals.

[…] It was in Philadelphia that our founding fathers defined a revolutionary vision of liberty, grounded on self evident truths about the equality of all, and the inalienable rights with which each is endowed by his Creator.

For the last time (today), the Declaration of Independence was a rhetorical document, one not really leveled solely at George III, but also to Americans. You need to understand that the decision to break with England was not universally embraced by the colonies. Canada, for instance, declined to subscribe to the ideals of the Revolution. Even within the States, there were, as in every civil war, loyalists who had not only national but economic, family and cultural ties to England and stood to loose a lot. What then could the signers of the Declaration of Independence appeal to in order to establish a common cause? To God. It was a rhetorical commonplace, one that bore more literal significance for some people than others (including a number of the Founders). The fact that you take it like Biblical truth it testimony only to its rhetorical power, not its inherent truth.

[…] [W]e can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day.

HAHAHAHA! Yeah right! Religion and reason aren’t even nodding acquaintances.

And you can be – You can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.

“Non-believers, watch your asses.”

HJ