I’m appalled at the thinly veiled religious bigotry that is being stirred up by some people in the media and elsewhere in the name of “covering” the Mitt Romney campaign. It almost seems as if there is a de facto religious test. If you want to be President, not only must we scrutinize and question your religious beliefs, but also the historical roots of your religion and all the apparent dirt we can find associated with it.
If the same standards were applied to other candidates, I think there would be public outrage.
Consider Hillary Clinton. Has there been scrutiny over the threat that her religious beliefs might pose to her abilities to serve as President? Have we heard details about some of the problems in the history of her religion and the quirks of Methodists? Have we been reminded that Methodists believe in some truly bizarre things – like the Old Testament? Has she had to defend the Methodist faith before sniveling atheistic journalists who ridicule her beliefs? No? Well, wouldn’t that make for some grand entertainment?
Think what a skilled ax-man with the right anti-Methodist and anti-Christian literature could do with this little story from 1996, “Hillary Clinton Asks Fellow United Methodists to Continue Social Witness for Children“:
Acknowledging the profound impact of the United Methodist Church upon her life, Hillary Rodham Clinton called upon the denomination to continue its social witness for the world’s children.
The First Lady — who was introduced by Arkansas Bishop Richard Wilke as a “warm and gracious friend” — spoke here April 24 to about 3,700 people at the United Methodist General Conference.
Her 30-minute message, interrupted intermittently by applause, was accepted with a standing ovation at the end by fellow United Methodists. She shook hands with some of the conference participants as she left the Colorado Convention Center hall.
“I have to confess to you that I have not been this nervous … since I read my confirmation essay on ‘what Jesus means to me’ at my home church,” Clinton quipped as she stood before the podium.
During her youth, the First Lady and her family were active members of First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Ill. There, she said, she learned from ministers and lay leaders “the connection between my personal faith and the obligations I face as a Christian.”
She also paid tribute to the work of Sunday school and vacation Bible school teachers and the lessons offered through such simple songs as “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
A line from that song, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight,” has stayed with her more “than any earnest lecture on racism,” Clinton noted.
The First Lady said she was “equally grateful” that her daughter Chelsea has had the same opportunities for faith and witness. The Clintons currently attend Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C.
All young people need to experience spiritual growth and fellowship. “In today’s world, churches are among the few places in society where young people can let down their guard,” she noted.
With today’s challenges, “we know we need to strengthen the spiritual and moral context of our lives,” Clinton said, as well as cultivating “a new sense of caring” about responsibilities to the larger society.
Frightening – absolutely frightening. Here is a woman who, as a Methodist apparently having extreme loyalty to her faith, may very well make major decisions sometimes by turning to God or the Bible instead of “the people” (you know, the people of the New York Times, Hollywood, Haliburton, Ben Bernanke, etc.). Dare we allow such a person in the White House? And why have there been no questions about her underwear? This double standard must end. Equal abuse for all candidates!
And what about her loyalty to her favorite sports team, the Yankees? And the Cubs? And the Red Sox, Braves, and Brewers? Will those religious loyalties impair her judgment? Or has it already happened?