Hermits Rock

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Invoking God

I finally got around to reading the “Faith in America” “address” that Plastic Man 1983’s Pet Owner of the Year Mitt Romney gave last week. I could say that it’s little more than a cobble of trite stereotypes and historical platitudes held together by a plea begging everyone not to judge him, but I’ll try to be more generous: Romney appeals to an idealized and simplistic U.S. political history in order to entreat his audience (clumsily flattened into the class of religious people) to accept the faith he does profess as a marker not of difference nor of solidarity, but of similarity. “Differences in theology exist,” Romney says, but they’re immaterial to our morals. The speech was best summarized, however, by Hendrik Hertzberg. Romney, Hertzberg said, spoke about religion “as if he were speaking on tax cuts.”

(See also David Domke and Kevin Coe.)