The Mitt Romney speech continues to attract a good deal of attention, to the extent that it might be worth a new thread. Over at The First Things blog Richard John Neuhaus says that folks (like me) who think Romney is stooping to respond to what is effectively religious bigotry are themselves bigots. And he offers a virtual endorsement of Romney. Interesting.The Washington Post editorial page and columns take much the same tack as does the NYTimes, most notably the leadTimes editorial as well as the David Brooks column. They argued that Romney was essentially promoting a political version of the "ecumenism of the barricades," similar to that which has brought together many of those notorious former mutual anathematizers, Catholics and Evangelicals. So Neuhaus' take makes sense, as well as giving himself cover to vote for one of his own political stripe, I would guess. But as Neuhaus and Brooks and others note, Romney makes such an effort to avoidodium theologicum that he winds up doing a disservice to theology, and religions, whatever they may be. I tend to agree. This is what happens when we demand that politicians be religious leaders as well. Both vocations lose. Now, discuss amongst yourselves...PS: As evidence for that last statement, it seems Romney has gone from pastor to attack dogwith somecampaign ads in New Hampshire.
David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.