Writing in today's USA Today, columnist Kathleen Parker tries to argue that Mitt Romney's religion speech last week was really successful and a "milestone in the service of reason and inclusiveness." Uh huh. Except for a few minor problems, as she admits:
In a big-tent speech clearly aimed at inclusiveness, Romney left himself open to criticism by leaving out non-believers. A single sentence recognizing that tolerance for all faiths also includes tolerance for the faithless seems an unwise oversight. As explained by someone close to Romney, however, there was never any planned tactic to exclude non-religious people. Implicit in the idea of religious liberty is that one freely chooses to be religious or not. Also assumed was that even non-believers would respect America's tradition of religious pluralism.Oh, I call bullshit on that. Remember, this is the same man who said non-believers can't be president and who was introduced by an ex-president who thinks we're not real Americans. Do I think he set out to tweak the non-believers? No, but I think Mitt believes that we're easily marginalized and forgotten about.
In addition, I'm not sure the assumption from the Romney peons is correct - this non-believer respects the country's respect for the rule of law and the separation of church and state. Without those, I'm not so sure we'd be too concerned about religious pluralism - multiple persecutors aren't any better than a single persecutor.