Romney gave a speech today addressing religion and public service. I'd encourage you to read it, here. Honestly, it's sort of what I expected. He gave a vague defense of being a Mormon, though he only mentions it once that I saw, said that he's basically just a really religious guy, won't let that guide his thinking as president, he offered the requisite attack on "violent jihad" towards the end, and that was pretty much it.
Of course, he did the thing I knew he was going to do, and it drove me nuts enough to write this post about it. He took the intent of the Founding Fathers and perverted it beyond recognition.
"The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust.
"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'"
The bold is mine, because what he's saying is not only wrong on a massive scale, it's a frightening proposition.
First of all where in the U.S. Constitution does it suggest that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, based on the sovereign authority of God? Nowhere. America was founded as a secular government, based on the authority of "We, the People," not a god, king, or dictator.
The Founding Fathers thought it so important to "acknowledge the Creator," they named him a total of zero times in the U.S. Constitution they wrote to guide our nation. That same number is applicable to the Declaration of Independence.
[NOTE: This is untrue or at least misleading regarding the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says, in fact: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Although "the Creator" is mentioned, there is no specific reference to Jesus, Christ or Christianity in the Declaration of Independence. Please forgive the error.]
The words "In God We Trust" have only been printed on cash as an act of Congress since 1957 -- the words "under God" have only appeared in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954.
President Thomas Jefferson -- one of the heavy hitters in the Founding Fathers department -- was himself a Freethinker.
Romney is plain wrong to suggest that the Founding Fathers of this nation envisioned it as a religious country. It's a deliberate perversion of the facts to suggest that the founders "acknowledged God." And all for a few points in Iowa. What a remarkable shame.
Finally, here's a line that should scare the pants off of you: "Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests." I wonder if any of the big-time pundits will catch that one.
Judges who respect the foundation of faith... upon which our constitution rests. Not the foundation of law, the foundation of faith. What he is suggesting... no, not suggesting, what he is saying outright is that he would have a religious litmus test for judges he appoints to the bench.
As far as I'm concerned, everything he says before or after about separating his religious belief from the work of government is rendered bunk by that one sentence.