> He insisted that the faithful should stick stubbornly to their religions, as he himself sticks to the faith of his fathers. He insisted that God-talk should remain a vibrant force in the public square and that judges should be guided by the foundations of their faith. He lamented the faithlessness of Europe and linked the pro-life movement to abolition and [non-gay, non-immigrant, non-muslim, eds.] civil rights, just as evangelicals do.
>It is not always easy to blend an argument for religious liberty with an argument for religious assertiveness, but Romney did it well. Yesterday, I called around to many of America’s serious religious thinkers — including moderates like Richard Bushman of Columbia, and conservatives like Neuhaus and Robert George of Princeton. Everyone I spoke with was enthusiastic about the speech, some of them wildly so.
I wonder what qualifies one as a “serious” religious thinker. In the minds of many serious thinkers I know (but I didn’t call around and ask), no religious person is a serious thinker–they’re either not serious, or they’re not really a thinker, or both. Ok, that was kind of a joke. The more perplexing thing here is what Brooks means by “well.”
To return to the remark I opened with, how could Romney claim with a straight face that “freedom requires religion” constitutes a premise in argument for religious liberty? It’s obviously anything but, since it denies what it’s trying to prove. Any serious thinker on this matter might tell you that, however.
Then of course there’s this:
>We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
If it’s a religion, albeit a new one, then doesn’t it follow that it’s necessary for freedom? I’m confused.