Saturday, February 18, 2012

Religious Values And The Presidency By What Standard?

Remember back when JFK was running for President?  One of the biggest fears was that he was a Catholic.  A rather moderate one at that.  He certainly didn't adhere to all it's dictates especially when it came to fidelity.  That's another story.

Now we have another Catholic running for President.  More than one actually, but one is young, personable and extreme in his beliefs.  Yet according to the polls people are flocking toward Rick Santorum.

I'm not one to tell a person what he should or should not believe. In this blog, what I say is strictly opinion.  I don't disparage anyone who doesn't understand or doesn't agree with my point of view.  I certainly don't claim to know what's right over and above all others.  Mr. Santorum does when it comes to his religious beliefs.  It makes me wonder how much of that would carry over to his presidency should he be elected.

In this country we not only have freedom of religion, but freedom from religion should we so choose.  When a candidate is talking more about constitutional amendments to change what he and his followers believe to be true I view it as an intrusion into my right to disagree - especially when it comes to religious beliefs.

Just like the contraception issue.  I don't agree that a religion running a business that hires those of other faiths should be exempt from providing what private sector businesses are required to provide.  What I do question is whether contraceptive devices should be covered at all.  It's not a health issue to my way of thinking; it's a choice therefore not subject to insurance.  But then I must admit the definition on 'insurance' has changed a great deal over the years.

Many are afraid of Mitt Romney, not because he doesn't seem to articulate a vision nor how to attain it, but because he's Mormon.  I have one reader who has pointed out why she fears his religion but would he adhere to that particular issue any more than Kennedy let this Catholicism interfere with his governance?  My guess is he would not.

But Mr. Santorum worries me.  He gets so exercised when he talks of these issues I cannot help but feel they weigh disproportionately on his mind as a candidate.  He has a lot to defend as we will begin to see more and more now that he is the flavor.  He'd be better off leaving his religious, conservative beliefs out of the mix.  The fact that they are already out there may make it too late anyway.

One thing about having the heavily conservative states lead off the primary season tends to skew actual public opinion at the outset but by sheer force of early results people are swayed by wins rather than what the candidates really are.

Or maybe the country as a whole is suddenly getting tub thumping religion on a grand scale.
Time will tell.  I just don't think my religious beliefs should have any bearing on who I support for president.  It should depend on how he stands on the issues that are important to the country as a whole.  My bedroom is off limits.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

I mostly agree, Mari. My concern with Mill Romney is that his church has the power to make him believe that his "salvation" in a superior afterlife depends on the decisons on how he runs the country. Anyone not familier with the LDS belief system would not know that.

My concern with Santorum is just as you state. We need to separate church and state or we will find ourselves in hot water...politically