With Mitt Romney constantly taking whichever views are most politically beneficial at the moment, it is difficult to be certain as to what Romney believes. I do believe he is not as extremist as the Republican primary voters he has been pandering to (although that is of little comfort if he lacks the will to stand up to them in office). Romney did follow Obama’s lead in expressing one viewpoint this weekend.
When Obama reached out to non-believers in his inaugural address there was considerable protest on the right. Obama said, “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.”
Romney made a comparable reference to non-believers at Liberty University:
Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.
Perhaps this is a sign of increased liberalization in this country, with candidates of both parties now feeling obligated to accept non-believers. It will be interesting to see if the right wing attacks Romney for this statement as they attacked Obama for his. Should Romney be attacked by the right on this, will he back down to the far right as he has on so many other issues?
This is all very interesting, but ultimately the question of which religion one accepts, or if they accept none at all, is not the key issue for a candidate. The real issue is whether one accepts our heritage of separation of church and state, as Barack Obama does, or if one will follow the right wing in denying separation of church and state and of using the power of government to impose their religious views upon others. So far Romney has not shown any sign of standing up to the far right on this.