Carol Platt Liebau: Blaming Romney for Falwell?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blaming Romney for Falwell?

Of course, it was too much to believe that an entire column by Tim Rutten could ever be on the beam. Rutten starts off fairly enough, condemning the anti-Mormon bigotry manifesting itself in response to the Romney campaign.

But then he leaps to asserting that this kind of bigotry is only acceptable because Jerry Falwell encouraged people of faith to be politically active. Huh?

Obviously, Rev. Falwell elicited a wide range of emotions (and more virulent and vocal hatred on the left, it appears, than Pol Pot, Stalin and Saddam Hussein combined). But he and his brethren in the leadership of the Religious Right didn't initiate a process of probing into candidates' personal theologies; what they did was to assure people of faith that they had a right to be heard and to petition their government for the redress of grievances -- even if their opinions and grievances were founded in their religious beliefs.

In fact, it's significant that Rev. James Dobson is praising Mitt Romney even as he expresses reservations about Rudy Giuliani. This stance isn't based on their personal Mormon or Catholic theologies; frankly, Dr. Dobson probably is in greater agreement with Catholics than with Mormons. Instead, it's based on Giuliani's political stand on abortion -- and Dr. Dobson's political beliefs are explicitly based on his own religious convictions.

Nor is there anything wrong with that. In fact, for too long before the rise of Rev. Falwell's Moral Majority, people of faith were essentially told by the political and media elites in this country that their religious convictions barred them from participation in the political life of this country and delegitimized their policy preferences. That might have been convenient for liberals everywhere, but it was terribly, terribly wrong.

That's something Rutten should condemn -- and don't usually lefties like him applaud people who "speak truth to power" (power being in the shape of the media and political elite)?. But, of course, it's so much easier to blame those who brought conservative Christians back into the political process. Nevertheless, it doesn't make people like Dr. Dobson or Rev. Falwell responsible for anti-Mormon bigotry like this -- unless, of course, these leaders are so powerful that they are secretly controlling liberals like Jacob Weisberg.

1 Comments:

Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

(and more virulent and vocal hatred on the left, it appears, than Pol Pot, Stalin and Saddam Hussein combined)

That's still a Godwin breaking comment in my books.

C'mon Carol, go all the way. State clearly that you think the Democrats love and support terrorists and Nazis.

8:04 PM  

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