Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was actually trying to resolve questions in his recent speech on religion. Instead, he may have raised more.
This week on Utah NOW we're exploring some of those questions. Among them, does freedom really require religion? And in a so-called enlightened 21st century, is our political system still rife with religious bigotry?
Studio guests include Dr. Robert Millet from Brigham Young University, Rev. Greg Johnson from Standing Together Ministry, philosopher and author Jeffrey Nielsen, and The Rev. Mary June Nestler of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.
Very unhappy with the Mclaughin Group and the Mr O'Donnell interview about Mitt Romney and the LDS faith. If you sponser any more programs as that one I'll not contribute any more. I was offended by his tiraid.
Posted by Karen Johnson, Thursday December 13th, 2007 @ 5:16 pm
Thank you for a very engaging episode of Utah NOW.
The irony of this discussion, of course, is that one of the most unethical, areligious, and sociopathic persons (still) embedded in the executive branch of government, is the selfsame person to have managed to cast, almost entirely, all national issues in terms of religion. That person is Goebbels disciple Karl Rove, who has attempted to energize a specific segment of the population for bankrupt political reasons in his typically misguided 'the ends justify the means' kind of criminal logic. The second irony is that people who so vociferously proclaim to uphold supposed Christian values so easily play into the hands of this Machiavellian character who has no character.
All guests had excellent points to make, but no one discussed who most recently framed this debate. The answer is Rove. Although the Mormon faith has been its own worst enemy in terms of prolonged mismanaged public relations and an inability to embrace a flawed history---which does not negate the commonly accepted moral values and family values most religions engender---the third irony is that Rove is of Romney's own party: yet another shot in the foot. Rove is no genius, and we are seeing that his futureless, myopic predatory behavior is bad news in the long run for everyone, even his closest friends.
Posted by Jeffrey Gold , Friday December 14th, 2007 @ 10:14 pm
A few weeks ago you had Dr Tyson on Utah Now, who stated that 35% of the scientists in the USA were religious, while 65% must then be either agnostic or atheist. Since religion and science never had a good relationship in the past, you could come to the conclusion that Mr. Romney also does not want any input from 65% of the scientists. I also wonder if similar numbers are available for the different population groups based on levels of education? Probably not, as nobody wants to know.
Mr. Romney also stated that in Europe the beautiful cathedrals (mostly built prior to the 19th century by autocracies) were empty , but he omitted to say that religions in Europe are conducted in a more individual spiritual context and not as much in a social context as they are in the USA.
I agree with Rev. Nestler that we should know more about history and that we have a lot to learn about other people's religions. It all boils down to having respect for each other.
Posted by Peter Maier, Friday December 14th, 2007 @ 11:25 pm
Utah now is one of the finest programs on the air in this market.
Today's program with the panel discussion about Romney's speech was thought-provoking. Unfortunately, thoughtful discourse in this country is at a premium. The average citizen rarely thinks about the disinformation or semi-information hurled at them daily.
Good work and keep up the thought provoking programs.
Posted by Dennis Kay, Saturday December 15th, 2007 @ 9:55 am
One voice of reason about THE TRUE ISSUE we are addressing. When religion, any religion(s) interject themselves into the election arena, they will always open themselves up to political debate about their theologies. That is unfortunate because it is precisely WHY the founders who won the constitutional and bill of rights debates (not the ones who lost those debates)separated into two spheres religion and the state....and mandated no religious test. That meant NO TEST. not even whether or not you even believe in God. Check out the colonial So. Carolina constitution. Mitt could not even get the principle correctly named in his speech. he called it "state affairs". We are dealing with the decendants, viewpoint wise, of those who lost the debates at our founding as a democratic republic.
The theologies are of no consequence. the point is the relationship between our secular government of laws and our common or uncommon individual and collective beliefs. Separate spheres said our constitutionalists. There is a huge misunderstanding of intent. Today we think of the spheres as being two...public and private. We say that public means like public schools, public property, etc. this is incorrect. Our founders recognized three. Our individual private lives, our common public spaces and the government. "...nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." refers to private and public common space. It does not refer to government property or arenas or mandated places all funded by tax dollars.
Utahns of faiths other than LDS or of no particular religious faith are able to see clearly the relationship between Mormonism and our State government. That is the point which, of course, Mitt did not honestly address. He apparently thinks that swearing the oath of office of the Presidency is his "highest commitment to God". That is the prohibited religious test. He is supposed to be swearing an oath to the American people to uphold and preserve the Constitution. People swear oaths on the Scripture of their choice to say that they are placing profound meaning, honesty and commitment into their pledge.
Our founders were uncommonly brilliant and inspired and EDUCATED. We see today the results of our violations of their government philosophy that is best to preserve liberty. Foreign policies that include threads of religious prophesy (I said that nicely, huh?), a Christianized pentagon, and a false creed prevalent in the nation that secularism is a religion. Our constitution is about the science of government not the belief of religion. the losers back then tried to establish that only a moral people could flourish under this new experimental form of government. One of the winners back then succeeded in establishing that precisely BECAUSE men are not moral (angels) this form of government would check and balance our immoralities. The limited powers that the people did grant to government would be divided and divided some more and always able to overide each other if need be, as determined by we the people.
Mitt Romney's speech was either uninformed or insincere.
Posted by claudia tayborn, Saturday December 15th, 2007 @ 7:13 pm
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