A religious test?
Mitt Romney’s recent speech addressing questions about his Mormon faith ignited fresh debate about whether it is appropriate to ask presidential candidates about their religious beliefs.
What the commentators said
“The Constitution prohibits a ‘religious test’ for public office,” said the Palm Springs, Calif., Desert Sun. Romney dealt with the issue because he had to, but “he shouldn't have had to drag his religion into his campaign, neither should the other candidates.”
First of all, Romney “did describe and explain his religion,” said Michael McGough in the Los Angeles Times (free registration). He said that as a Mormon he believes "that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind." What’s more, he’s just plain “wrong” when he says asking about a candidate’s beliefs during a campaign amounts to an actual, unconstitutuional religious test. Besides, everyone is entitled to would withhold their vote from someone whose religion they think would inspire them to pursue “bizarre” policies.
If anyone is holding others up to a religious test, it’s Romney, said Roger Cohen in The New York Times (free registration). He dismisses the secularism of European societies. “Religion informed America’s birth. But its distancing from politics was decisive to the republic’s success.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
MOST POPULAR ON THE WEEK
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- California's epic drought
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
Subscribe to the Week