Saturday, December 08, 2007

Orwell, Laotse and Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began his speech on religion Thursday with these words: “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.”

Let me see if I have this right. I get the last part. We need religious freedom.

But the first part of this Orwellian slogan doesn’t compute. You can’t be free if you are required to have religion as a condition of freedom. Moreover, religions have a long and painful history of quashing freedom. One could make a strong case that, if anything, religion, carried to the extreme, is enemy number one of freedom.

Romney’s statement “Freedom requires religion” is just another example of religion’s intolerance, and the intolerance of the religious.

American freedom – indeed the definition of all freedom — includes the freedom to NOT be religious.

Later in his speech Thursday, Romney told the American public that to be secular and non-religious is to establish “a new religion in America — the religion of secularism.”

But the term “religion of secularism” is clearly self-contradictory. It is literally non-sense. The non-religious, by definition, don’t establish religions — not a “religion of secularism” or any other kind or religion.

Mitt Romney would have better served his cause by remaining silent on religion and by pondering the words of Laotse: “The Way that can be spoken, is not the true Way.”

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