Thursday, February 15, 2007

Religious Conversion: Do people really give a damn about Mitt Romney's religion? The media would have you believe that this is a serious issue. Sure, Mormonism is kinda kooky. But Mormons ditched polygamy years ago, and despite Joseph Smith's eccentricities, most modern-day Mormons live regular, productive lives.

When JFK ran, some people were afraid that, as a Catholic president, he would be taking orders from the Pope. In a famous speech, Kennedy assured the American public that such an idea was laughable, because although he was baptized Catholic, he doesn't actually practice the religion, especially that whole marital fidelity thing.

People were concerned when Joseph Lieberman ran for vice president and president, not because he was Jewish so much as that he was an Orthodox Jew, who refrained from doing such things as using electricity on Saturdays. Lieberman finally came out and plainly told everybody that he would not let his religion interfere with his duties as president, especially when it comes to the safety of the American people. That's good enough for me.

Now the media is questioning whether we're ready for a Mormon president. Hillary as the first woman president or Obama as the first black president? Great! But Mormons aren't as popular. Romney has joked about his religion to diffuse the subject. And in reality, it probably isn't what will sink his candidacy. Instead, flip-flopping on issues like abortion for political favorability will more likely be his undoing.

Here's a discussion question: Would America elect a Muslim president today? We had a little flare up with Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress. Some bigot from Virginia took issue with Ellison's use of the Koran during the swearing-in ceremony. Otherwise, nobody was really bothered.

Personally, I wouldn't mind voting for a Muslim who pledged to be a commander in chief that would kick Osama Bin Laden's ass and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. That would be kinda cool, actually.


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