Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hitchens not impressed with Romney

Hitchens is rather disdainful of Romney's speech:
Romney does not understand the difference between deism and theism, nor does he know the first thing about the founding of the United States. Jefferson's Declaration may invoke a "Creator," but, as he went on to show in the battle over the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, he and most of his peers did not believe in a god who intervened in human affairs or in a god who had sent a son for a human sacrifice. These easily ascertainable facts are reflected in the way that the U.S. Constitution does not make any mention of a superintendent deity and in the way that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention declined an offer (possibly sarcastic), even from Benjamin Franklin, that they resort to prayer to compose their differences. Romney may throw a big chest and say that God should be "on our currency, in our pledge," and of course on our public land in this magic holiday season, but James Madison did not think that there should be chaplains opening the proceedings of Congress or even appointed as ministers in the U.S. armed forces.
The whole Romney spectacle is pretty sad. It's sad that he has to pander to the religious prejudices of the Republican base. It's sad that those prejudices exist. When people who believe in virgin births and guys coming back from the dead get into arguments about "weird beliefs" with people who believe in revelations found on gold plates and that God begat us as spirits before we entered this world, all this atheist can do is sit back and laugh at the lot of them. No doubt Romney would like them to get together and laugh at the likes of me. But as no atheist is currently running for president (or at least no one is letting on to being an atheist), Romney is not going to have the benefit of that distraction.

Romney: Look! A secularist! Let's gang up on her!
Evangelicals: Um, OK, maybe, but we still think you're a heretic.

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