New York Times executive editor religious beliefs:, who never expressed much curiosity about the religion of Democratic presidential candidates, is suddenly burning to find out more about the Republican field’s
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.”), 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.
Here we go again. The Republican primaries are six months away, and already news stories are raising fears on the left about “crazy Christians.”
One piece connects Texas Gov. Rick Perry with a previously unknown Christian group called “The New Apostolic Reformation,” whose main objective is to “infiltrate government.” Another highlights whacko-sounding Christian influences on Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. A third cautions readers to be afraid, very afraid, of “dominionists.”
This isn’t a defense of the religious beliefs of Bachmann or Perry, whatever they are. It’s a plea, given the acrimonious tone of our political discourse, for a certain amount of dispassionate care in the coverage of religion.