President Obama’s religion (Protestant) vs. Mitt Romney’s religion (Mormon)
…Romney’s new ad above, “Be Not Afraid”, which questions President Obama’s ‘beliefs’ and the now familiar conservative theme of “us and him” separation — the dog-whistling racist implication of the “otherness” of Obama and how he doesn’t share “our values,” how Obama has declared a “war on religion” with health care reform…
The question is: if elected, can Mitt Romney separate his religious beliefs from his secular duties in the office of President? Can he protect our country’s principle of ‘freedom of religion’ — meaning everyone has a right to their beliefs, even if their beliefs are not similar to Romney’s — meaning the government cannot tell you to worship God if you don’t or, if you do, how to worship God. The government cannot mandate you be a Sikh, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, or Mormon — the government cannot legislate you to believe that Jesus will return to rural Missouri, that you’ll get your own planet in the afterlife, or that wearing underwear marked with freemasonry symbols will protect you from the evils of the world (and the “others”).
If Romney wants to pretend that a mandate in the Affordable Care Act to include birth control in insurance plans (with the caveat that Churches in opposition do not have to pay for the mandate) is a “threat to religious freedom,” then I think it’s fair to wonder if that opinion is based in Republican political ideology or in Romney’s personal religious beliefs. And IF it’s based in his religious beliefs, what else might he impose on the rest of us from the Book of Mormon?