Thursday, December 06, 2007


Would someone please whack presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the head with a large history book? Mr. Romney claims that freedom needs religion to be successful and that religion needs freedom.

Uh, hello? Hasn't Romney heard about the term auto-da-fé? Being a Jew in Inquisition Spain was dangerous. There was no freedom in being, for example, a Protestant in Queen Mary's Catholic England nor for that matter Queen Elizabeth I's supposedly Catholic tolerant leadership where followers of the Pope were under the same suspicion as Huguenots in the former reign. Perhaps Mitt Romney should read Fox's Book of Martyrs, or brush up on the atrocities of St. Bartholomew's Day in sixteenth century France where the rivers were so thick with Protestant corpses that no one could fish, to understand that religion does not confer freedom if you are of a then heretic faith.

Mitt Romny also disregards the thousands of primarily women murdered for alleged witchcraft. The freedom inspiring qualities of religion were not evident in Salem Massachusetts when innocent people, mostly women,were accused and hung for the supposed crime. Those of us touched by the evil of religion, myself with an ancestor hung and burnt for witchcraft, do not forget or forgive how religion is an instrument for ensnaring and destroying innocents.

Perhaps it is too much to expect Romney's followers to be historically literate (or for that matter, simply literate). When Mr. Romney claims that the big FFs, Founding Fathers, were religious, he is not quoting Thomas Jefferson who once wrote to his nephew Peter Carr to "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear". and "Do not be frightened from this enquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you." None of the Founding Fathers had much love for religion. They were, unlike your average fundamentalist Christian or Republican presidential hopeful, were great in curiosity and scholarly pursuit.

Mitt Romney, or other candidates for the presidency who claim religion as as a necessity for freedom, should take a hint from the intellectual bent of the Founding Fathers and study history.

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