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Apr 03 2012

Obama is a secularist just like he’s a socialist

Mitt Romney is arguing that Obama is fighting for secularism.

I think there is in this country a war on religion. I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism.

They gave it a lot of thought and they decided to say that in this country that a church — in this case, the Catholic Church — would be required to violate its principles and its conscience and be required to provide contraceptives, sterilization and morning after pills to the employees of the church. … We are now all Catholics. Those of us who are people of faith recognize this is — an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion.

I’m an atheist fighting against religion. If it were me running for office, Romney could legitimately make that case. But Obama is openly Christian, he has expanded support for faith-based charities, he ends speeches with “god bless”, he attends prayer breakfast and praises faith. He is no ally of mine in this cause, even if he’s willing to acknowledge the existence of atheists now and then.

To argue that religious organizations, in their dealings with the profane material world in payroll and insurance and taxes (and in getting financial support from our secular government), ought to also abide by the laws in those dealings, is not an attack on religion. Romney is apparently one of those people who wants to bestow all kinds of special privileges on the churches…but then, that’s his whole life, privilege.

47 comments

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  1. 1
    jjgdenisrobert

    So: I start a religion where parking tickets are mentioned on a piece of paper as being the ultimate sacrilege against the God of Freewheeling Driving, so I can claim religious persecution if the Government decides to force me to pay it?

  2. 2
    holytape

    But Obama is a Kenyan-atheist-fascist-communist-anti-colonalist black-terrorist-power-Muslim-baby-eating-gay-coke-snorting-fake-socialist-tyrant-elite-loving-ivory-tower-white-hating, and do you know of any other Kenyan-atheist-fascist-communist-anti-colonalist black-terrorist-power-Muslim-baby-eating-gay-coke-snorting-fake-socialist-tyrant-elite-loving-ivory-tower-white-hating that isn’t fighting religion. And he want to give those horrible creature with uterus abortion pills so they could go to college.

    The Third Rider

  3. 3
    hyperdeath

    …openly Christian

    “Openly” being the operative word. The probability that every openly Christian politician really is a believer, is roughly comparable to the probability that every politician before the 1970s really was heterosexual. Piety is prolefeed.

  4. 4
    jeffnoisician

    Which is it?

    Secularism is a religion (“I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism.”)

    Secularism is not a religion (“an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion.”)

  5. 5
    donny5

    Poor Catholics, forced to use contraception. They better watch out for the condom police. I wonder if they will put it on for you or make you swallow the pill.

    All this is Romney pandering to the Tea Party.

    I think of all money and time wasted on prayer and it makes me shake my head. America could have top notch medical system covering all Americans with that money, instead of wasting it. It’s just like they threw it out the window and into the laps of Husksters.

    Sad, sad indeed.

  6. 6
    markholcombe

    The following needs to be the repeated mantra in response to the “violates religious liberty” argument:

    The logical conclusion of applying the law without bias to any religion or religious denomination is that Jehovah’s Witness employers can deny covering any blood test or blood transfusion, Scientologist employers (and there a ton of them in dentistry) can refuse covering any form of psychiatric care including substance abuse rehabilitation, Christian Scientists can refuse offering healthcare coverage entirely!

  7. 7
    Zeno

    The president is fortunate in his enemies. They are so extreme that he looks very good by comparison, despite some significant flaws. As overtly religious as Obama is, it ain’t enough for the right-wing nutcases running against him.

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    he has expanded support for faith-based charities

    That’s just using taxpayer’s money to buy votes. That doesn’t mean he’s religious – it just means he’s another disgusting politician.

  9. 9
    humanape

    Romney called secularism a religion. Horrible. Is there any Republican who isn’t an idiot?

    A bit off topic: the polls show Obama will easily defeat Romney, partly because women voters don’t like him. From an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal: “The bad news for Mr. Romney is that his inability to generate much excitement among women appears related to a general inability to generate much excitement among anyone.

  10. 10
    bodach

    Romney-bot 2012: enough money buys you access to either of his scuzzy ports to enter your talking points. It almost seems as if he’s been running for office since 2008…

  11. 11
    defaithed

    Brilliant logic you’ve got there, Mittens. And when the inevitable call comes to inflict Sharia law on America, how are you going to stand up against that when “an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion”?

  12. 12
    w00dview

    How can secularism be a religion? Where is our churches? Who are our prophets? Also secularism is the exclusion of religion from the state. How can something that limits the power of religion be a religion? And most importantly, why do I try to find sense in the raving of Republicans?

  13. 13
    timgueguen

    Nice dog whistling. Romney knows a lot of Republican voters won’t consider Obama a Christian unless he goes the full on Born Again route and uses the right phrases every 6 seconds.

  14. 14
    ramaus

    Romney – “I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism. . . .an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion.” So, by attacking the religion of secularism you are attacking all religions. Are you serious? As a religious republican, can you do that?

  15. 15
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Woodview @12 beat me to it.

    What’s the secularist’s holy text? The constitution?? Yeah, real infallible there with all the cross-outs and amendments and constant review of content to be as fair and moral as possible. You know, JUST like holy books.

  16. 16
    jennyxyzzy

    @defaithed

    Exactly what I was thinking. I can see it now, one of those dreadful campaign ads with the foreboding music, and then a deep voice over “Mitt Romney will protect the right of Muslims to establish Sharia law in your town”

    The ad practically writes itself…

  17. 17
    Randomfactor

    It certainly didn’t start with Obama, Mittens. What was that religion that was forced to give up religiously-inspired polygamy years and years back? The goofy one with the funny underwear and the invisible golden plates?

  18. 18
    johnwolforth

    A secular person says, I will listen to your reasons and base my decision on all available evidence. When evidence is insufficient, I will attempt to balance the pros and cons and mitigate potential harm.

    A religious person says, I’ll base my decision on faith and tradition.

    Now who is setting up a war? Who is trying to establish a power structure?

  19. 19
    Rey Fox

    Secularism is the only reason that Romney’s goofy-ass cult is allowed to exist.

  20. 20
    Rey Fox

    “Mitt Romney will protect the right of Muslims to establish Sharia law in your town”

    Heck with Sharia, Mormons scare people enough, and he is one. It’s one of the main reasons he hasn’t been steamrollering the rest of his primary competition.

  21. 21
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Why isn’t this lie being debunked more widespread anyway?

    The law makes organizations pay for (a portion of) health insurance. The law is making the insurance companies forced to cover contraception.

    Insurance companies are also required to cover treatments for heart disease, but where’s the catholic outrage over covering something that was (or even might have been) due to the sin of gluttony? Insurance companies are required to cover skin grafts for burn victims, but where’s the outrage over covering the sin of pride? I’ve just mentioned 2 “deadly” “mortal” sins… which, if you know catholic dogma, are WORSE sins than the Venial sin we’re talking about here, which didn’t make it into the 10 commandments or the list of the 7 deadly.

    [snark]But no, I’m sure this is all about the love of people and fostering a relationship with god and not about politics, it’s obvious, they’re so loving, I can feel their caring hand caressing my god-shaped hole… whispering that they want to fill me with their love…[/snark]

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    What’s the secularist’s holy text?

    Here’s one, I guess. Written by a self-hating Catholic, I suppose too.

  23. 23
    Anthony K

    Why isn’t this lie being debunked more widespread anyway?

    Journalists don’t see that as their job.

  24. 24
    Brain Hertz

    Romney is apparently one of those people who wants to bestow all kinds of special privileges on the churches…

    Actually, I don’t know that he does. He doesn’t really believe any/ of the shit he says anymore. His handlers have just told him that that line plays well with the audience he was talking to at the time.

  25. 25
    DLC

    First, allow me to correct Mitty. Secularism is to religion as Not collecting stamps is to hobby.
    That said — I would be glad beyond measure to hear Obama was a secularist, fighting for a secular agenda.

  26. 26
    gragra, something clever after the comma

    I don’t get, if you’re religious, that you can just fucking lie like that. I thought it was against most religions to lie?

  27. 27
    Brain Hertz

    I don’t get, if you’re religious, that you can just fucking lie like that. I thought it was against most religions to lie?

    In my experience, what most religions are really all about is putting a gloss of respectability on whatever you were thinking to start with.

    Just about anything can be rationalized as acceptable and even morally obligated if you can make yourself believe that it’s what God* wants you to do. Mitt Romney hopes to be the first Mormon president. In service of such a noble goal, God* will give you a waiver for pretty much anything, if only you pray hard enough and ask.

  28. 28
    mnb0

    For once I wish that Romney was right. I would love it if Obama were a secularist and a socialist.
    You see, I am one.

  29. 29
    bernarda

    The woman Australian PM is an atheist and jokes about it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/02/julia-gillards-barack-obama_n_1396066.html?ref=world

    “I tell him, ‘You think it’s tough being African-American? Try being me. Try being an atheist, childless, single woman as prime minister.’”

  30. 30
    markr1957

    I’m thinking the southern states might have a record low turn-out for the Presidential election if their choices are Obama and Romney. It could be the first time in years that a Democrat candidate wins Louisiana – all because Rethug voters won’t vote for either one of them.

  31. 31
    IncredulousMark

    Who would’ve thought that being called a “secularist” would be considered an insult by citizens of the country that first enshrined the concept in their constitution?

  32. 32
    yoav

    @Markr1957 #30
    That’s why republicans were working so hard on voter suppression.

    Ann Romney let it slip that mittens is really a reptilian alien in a mitt suit.

  33. 33
    Rev. Bob

    @Markr1957:

    The Republicans could nominate a fried egg and win the South against Obama. They actually believe that “Obama’s war on religion” crap down here, and think the contraception thing was a huge Obama misstep that’ll cost him the election.

    And I’m stuck living here…

  34. 34
    LuminiferousEthan

    a religion in America known as secularism

    Umm.. So when do us secularists get our tax exempt status?

  35. 35
    Q.E.D

    So let me get this new conservative talking point straight:

    The first amendment means that the Federal government cannot force religions to obey any laws that contravene their religious dogma.

    I used to think I was too ethical and atheist to become a religious charlatan but I have had an epiphany. God came to me in a vision and he told me to found his One True Church [TM]. I received the following commandments:

    Thy church and land shall become an independent Nation State and also be incorporated for when that turns out to be convenient. Thou shalt not pay taxes to the government your church is landlocked by. Indeed, thou will be subsidized by taxpayers, whether or not they are members of the One True Church. The One True Church shall have its own laws and exclusive jurisdiction over criminal acts perpetrated by its members. Thou shalt not report nor extradite your criminal clerics to Nation States. Thy church will have free reign to meddle in the internal affairs of other nation States but will keep its own affairs secret under pain of excommunication.

    C’mon, I mean what country in its right mind would allow such a farcically absurd state of affairs?

    Oh fuck, wait.

  36. 36
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    required to provide contraceptives, sterilization and morning after pills to the employees of the church

    Yep. They’ll go in the office-supplies cabinet next to the pens, paper, and little black books.

  37. 37
    Nick Gotts

    Who would’ve thought that being called a “secularist” would be considered an insult by citizens of the country that first enshrined the concept in their constitution? – MarkNS

    I’m not sure you’re right there. The 1755 Constitution of the Corsican Republic was apparently very much an Enlightenment document – practically all posts were elected, with all men over 25 and some women (widows and unmarried heads of household) able to vote, but I can’t at present find a text of it to see if it includes secularism.

  38. 38
    aquanerd09

    But Obama is openly Christian,…

    Is he though? wink wink

  39. 39
    'Tis Himself

    The same people who complained in 2008 about Obama’s minister, Jeremiah Wright, are now claiming Obama isn’t a Christian.

  40. 40
    Lars

    Who would’ve thought that being called a “secularist” would be considered an insult by citizens of the country that first enshrined the concept in their constitution?

    It’s just sad.

    I live in a country with an official protestantic state church receiving most of its funding from the state.

    Still, “my” country is way more secular than the USA.

    I think the fact that the USA hardly has a history, has led its people to believe that history is not important. Which has, to put it simple, made most of them fucking stupid.

    The USA may need a millennium or two in order to (metaphorically) develop its prefrontal lobes. I also happen to think “they/you/we” don’t have that time, but I can’t see the future, so I’ll shut up now.

  41. 41
    Louis

    When the level of your nation’s political discourse uses “he speaks French” as a negative, why do you expect polysyllables like “secularism” and “socialism” to be anything other than terrifying?

    Louis

  42. 42
    Louis

    Lars, #40,

    The USA may Human societies definitely need a millennium or two in order to (metaphorically) develop its their prefrontal lobes.

    Fixed that for you! ;-)

    Speaking as a proud European, we’re fucked too. Our expressions of fuckedness are just a little different in a few cases than those in the USA. It’s far too easy to point at their fuckedness and accidentally pretend our fuckedness is non-existent or virtuous. Sure, we’ve got a few things right, but you’d be amazed at what the Americans have got right too. I mean, Ben and Jerry’s alone justifies at least one atomic bomb…no? ;-)

    Having lived in the USA, I can at least provide you with the anecdote that the average Americans I met were no stupider than the average Europeans. There’s an old joke: imagine how stupid the average person is, well half of them are stupider than that!

    Louis

  43. 43
    Ragutis

    The Mormon is saying “I’m one of you guys!” to the 20-some percent of Republicans who say they won’t vote for a Mormon. I’m guessing they aren’t likely to vote for Obama either, but it’s still bad news for Romney if they all stay home in November.

    He’s not going to convince them Mormonism isn’t a cult (because, well, it is) But if he pushes this defending Christianity schtick while a few superpacs push the secret muslim/Islamic sympathizer angle he might be able to convince some of the fundiest that he’s the only way to prevent Obama from turning the White House to face Mecca and nuculer death raining down on Israel and melting all the Jesus bobbleheads and commemorative plates. (A couple more disciples and we could’ve had chess sets)

  44. 44
    Louis

    Oh and yes, I *WISH* Obama was a socialist and a secularist. If he is, as claimed by the frothing element of US politics, a socialist and secularist, then by comparison, I am so far to the left of him that Stalin is as right wing to me as the product of Hitler, Ghengis Khan, Thatcher and Reagan is to Stalin.

    As for secular…WHOA, if Obama is secular then I must want to quite literally kill every person on the planet who has even thought the words “religion” and “government” in the same week.

    Needless to say, when reality is considered, I’m pretty sure I am not to the left of Stalin, nor do I dream of anti-religious pogroms. I’m thinking perhaps Obama has been mischaracterised by his opponents.

    I know. Amazing right?

    Louis

  45. 45
    nick260682

    “a religion in America known as secularism.”

    Perhaps Romney was trying to think of perfect oxymorons.

    My mistake, he’s just an utter moron.

  46. 46
    Q.E.D

    I think there is in this country a war on religion. I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism.

    Wait, Mitt, is religion a true, good and pure thing to be protected or is it a dangerous, scary threat to be fought?

    oh it depends on which religion?

    You sure you want to go there?

    I don’t think you would want Mormonism put up for a popularity contest amongst christians.

    Oh, wait.

  47. 47
    gardengnome

    I will believe secularism is a religion once it gets tax-free status – what’re the odds?

    There’s that so-called “war” on religion (read “Christians”) again. Don’t they just love to feel persecuted!

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