Wednesday night Republican candidates for President held their own YouTube debate. We've now experienced 7 years of God-talks-to-me, faith-based, Jesus-is-my-favorite-philosopher, science- smyence, governance of George W. Bush. And look where it's gotten us. Which is why, in the future, I really want to start getting some specific questions posed to any candidate, Republican or Democrat, who wears his/her faith like an American flag lapel pin and/or tosses around references to their "faith" as though it's some kind of UL certification of righteousness.
Bush keeps telling us we have to take terrorists at their word, and act accordingly.
Fine. Then let's also take the candidates at their word too. Let's listen to what they say they believe in and then connect that to the job they are applying for, President of the United States of America.
Overtly religious candidates, particularly Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, have been allowed by the media to flash their religious "gang signs" to like-minded voters without challenge, without digging, without context or exploration of the consequences that might flow should that candidate become our next leader.
Since Huckabee, a minister himself, adheres to the most fundamental of Christian fundamentalist sects, can we assume he would favor teaching the creationist's anti-evolution pseudo-science in our public schools? We don't know because no reporter has yet forced him on to explain his beliefs about creation on the record.
That lack of journalistic curiosity and courage is even harder to excuse in the case of self-described devote Mormon Mitt Romney. Mormonism (Church of Latter Day Saints, LDS) is, like Scientology, a belief system created by a modern-day "prophet," Joseph Smith. Unlike Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard who invented an entirely new school of superstition, Joseph Smith borrowed liberally from the old and new Testaments as well as mis-translated Egyptian papyrus fragments.
Smith, a half-educated, failed treasure hunter, claimed he could translate ancient languages because he possessed a "seer stone." This mystic stone not only allowed him to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics decades before scientists were able to do so, but showed him where to find treasures his made up civilizations had buried during times of turmoil. Among those alleged treasures were the gold tablets off which he claims to have transcribed the Book of Mormon.
It's all pretty weird stuff if you can stick to it and read the whole BoM. (Mark Twain tried, describing the Book of Mormon as "Chloroform in print.") But, since Romney states he's proud of his faith then he should have no problem having his beliefs probed.
For example, does he really believe, as the BoM states, that that American Indians ("Lamanites" as described in the BoM,) were one of the lost tribes of Israel, and were direct descendants of pre-Columbian Judeo-Israelite colonists who fled to the American continent around 400 AD? Does he believe this central tenet of the Mormon faith? And if so, how can he believe it since DNA testing has proven beyond doubt that America Indians actually descended, not from Semitic lines ,but rather Asian and Eurasian linage? I want to hear him reason that one through.