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Friday, August 26, 2011

Religion and the GOP Field

Religion has a high profile during this campaign. Alana Goodman writes at Commentary:

New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, who never expressed much curiosity about the religion of Democratic presidential candidates, is suddenly burning to find out more about the Republican field’s religious beliefs:

This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public life — and to get over them. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a “cult” and that many others think is just weird. (Huntsman says he is not “overly religious.”) Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity, which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.


I’m sure Keller would also “care a lot” if Obama was a secret Muslim intent on destroying America and replacing it with a socialist empire/American caliphate. But he wouldn’t write innocently about this unfounded worry in a column. Why? Because there’s no evidence of it. Just like there’s not a shred to suggest that Romney, Perry or Bachmann are Trojan horses for some bizarre Christian theocratic conspiracy.

Lisa Miller writes at The Washington Post:

The stories raise real concerns about the world views of two prospective Republican nominees. But their echo-chamber effect reignites old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians. Some on the left seem suspicious that a firm belief in Jesus equals a desire to take over the world. (Some extremist Christians leveled a similar charge against Barack Obama in 2008, that he was the antichrist aiming to take over world governments.)