I am not a Mormon. I just poured a cup of coffee, something I won't part with for a shot at paradise. Nevertheless, I have friends who are Mormons and they are mostly good, honest people. There aren't very many Mormons to whom I'd have trouble lending $20 until next payday. I have seen sentiments on these pages to the effect that some DU members would never vote for a Mormon, a sentiment I find narrow minded and not in the progressive spirit.
Like any other religion or ideology, Mormonism is not monolithic. Put a dozen Mormons in the same room together and they will express a dozen different views of the world, even a dozen different ideas of what it is to be a Mormon. That is something to keep in mind when presented with a candidate for public office who is a Mormon.
I am not voting for Mitt Romney. He thinks corporations are people, people who receive government assistance are hopeless moochers and ran a business whose business it was to run other businesses into the ground and outsource their manufacturing to cheaper labor markets. There are many other reasons I'm voting for President Obama and not Mr. Romney. Not among the reasons that I am not voting for Mr. Romney is that he is a Mormon. I wouldn't vote for him if he were a Presbyterian, a Roman Catholic or a Parsee. What church he attends and his relationship to it is neither here nor there.
Since when does free speech mean that we have to give the one freely speaking a free pass? Mr. Romney certainly wouldn't give the press agent at the Cairo embassy a free pass for his or her remarks.
Yes, I support the right of Rev. Terry Jones and the mysterious Sam Bacile the right to say what they please. I can also exercise my free speech to call Rev. Jones and Mr. Bacile a couple of irresponsible sectarian bigots and right wing morons. I'm not going to suggest that either of them should be locked up in a dungeon or strung up on a lamp post over it, or even participate in demonstrations in front of Mr. Bacile's house. There are idiots and villains in this world worthy or more attention.
Among the idiots or villains more worthy of time is Mr. Romney. For from condemning him from merely exercising his right of free speech, I would encourage him to exercise it more. He can start by freely telling us how he proposes to balance the budget and exactly which deductions he plans to eliminate. Perhaps we will discover that his expertise in government finance is better than his expertise in foreign policy. But I doubt it.
I'm good with Mr. Romney's defense of free speech. I'm not so good with his implication that Rev. Jones and Mr. Bacile should get a free pass expressing hatred of somebody else's religion, or to the billion people or so to adhere to that particular faith. While free speech is an American value, Mr. Romney could have taken the opportunity to remind everybody that sectarian bigotry is not. The omission of such a remark may have all but ended his chances of being president at home and made him an ugly American elsewhere.
All I am doing to show my displeasure with Mr. Romney's remarks yesterday is to urge those considering voting for this irresponsible idiot to please reconsider.