Secular Values Are American Values


In Michigan, Tuesday, when asked what he would do as president to protect religious liberty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney claimed that President Obama has not been sensitive to religious freedom, saying that the administration has "fought against religion" because those the President "hangs around with" have a "secular agenda." Romney told the audience that he would be more sensitive to the issue.

How a president would protect religious freedom is an important question, but Romney's answer sheds light on some alarming misconceptions about what religious freedom is, why it is important, and what really threatens it.


Some have already addressed the underlying assertion that secularism somehow threatens religious liberty and use of secularism as a synonym for anti-religious. It is "disgraceful" - to borrow a word from the Obama campaign - to see nominees for the presidency who distort the meaning of secularism, ignoring the importance that secular values have played in defining the United States as a nation. Secularism simply provides for religious tolerance in a pluralistic society of many faiths - and none.

Just as troubling is the confusion that Romney displayed, within a single sentence, about why religious freedom is important. While addressing the crowd in Michigan, he commented that he "[is] someone who has understood very personally the significance of religious tolerance," seemingly referring to his status as a religious minority, being a Mormon. In that moment, his reference to tolerance seemed to show a true understanding of religious freedom.

However, Romney went on in that very same sentence to remark on the importance of, "the right to one's own conscience." This has become a catch phrase, it is code used by the deeply religious to mean "we should be able to choose not to recognize certain civil liberties of others," which is an egregious misrepresentation of the intention of religious freedom. By invoking their terminology, Romney is promoting privileged exemptions to insular religious groups from participating responsibly in our diverse society.

For its part, the Obama campaign called Romney's attack "disgraceful" and shifted the conversation by focusing on how President Obama is seeking to improve the economy. Though I understand the importance of addressing the very real economic issues the nation faces, I am disappointed that the Obama campaign's response did not clarify that secular values are American values, and how they protect religious freedom.

I hate to see the discussion sidestepped this way. Does the President agree that secularism is bad, or does he think it's unpopular? Either way, allowing a distorted view of religious freedom to continue to be the only view presented is dangerous. No matter how wrong or unpopular, without opposition, this message is bound to gain more credibility and acceptance.


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I have seen close friends fall away from their Trinitarian faith, and eombce Mormons. I certainly am no fan of the brainwashing techniques used by Mormon missionaries, and their false doctrine of confusion tends to draw in people who are churched but not discipled, while they clearly train on and adhere to their false doctrines. In regards to Romney though, I have no concern for him being a Mormon as it relates to his potential presidency. Bill Clinton, like me, claims to be a Southern Baptist and born again. Yet no president has done more to support the radical anti-life and pro-homosexual agendas.For me, I am voting on what policies a candidate promises to advocate for. He/She may indeed be a born again Christian, for each person knows their own heart, but they may also be advocating policies that are anti-God, anti-Family, anti-American, and of a Marxist origins. But the Bible clearly teaches that God can use the non-Christian for his purposes. And while I do not believe Romney to be a Christian, should he get the nomination, I will support him because the alternative (be it Obama or Clinton) is certainly more dangerous for America and for American families. For now, I support Huckabee though.
This is an excellent take on the core threat of American Theocracy, and how we must remain vigilant to it. I took these same potentials into account in my new book, The Mosaic: A Novel of Revolt Against the Righteous, just published. Here I envision a near-term world wherein the Fundamentalists are in charge, and depict a host of freethinkers struggling to counteract the ensuing tyranny. Much like Orwell's 1984 gave us a frightening glimpse into totalitarianism, or To Kill A Mockingbird exposed the realities of the Jim Crow South, The Mosaic takes us into this theocratic world through characters we can identify with. Sometimes fiction helps realize the problem we face, and gives us strength to surmount it. I hope you may want to read the ebook on Kindle or Nook. Thank you for your continued support.
What is SCA doing to combat this?

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