Friday, February 8, 2008

It's all in the terminology

Andrew Sullivan had a link to this Beliefnet article, which poses the question that maybe Romney lost because he was too Christian.

On reading the headline, I thought it was an interesting thesis. Was he too forgiving? Too humble? Too willing to turn the other cheek? Too focused on the Kingdom of Heaven rather than on temporal power?

But that's not what it's about.

Romney believed that to win the nomination he had to win over evangelical Christians. He figured the way to do that was to get all Jesusy. So he declared, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind." In so doing, he showed a fatal misunderstanding of the attitude of evangelicals toward Mormonism.
. . .
"When he goes around and says Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, he ticks off at least half the evangelicals,'' Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said. "He's picking a fight he's going to lose."
You see, the problem was, he used the wrong words in talking about his magic invisible daddy in the sky, using the same words other people use, implying that his magic invisible daddy in the sky is the same one as theirs, which they totally disagree with because there's, like, a different book of stories!

He had the temerity to suggest that everyone who follows Jesus is a brother in the spirit. And he used a label that didn't respect GOP identity politics. That's what "too Christian" means--nothing to do with your beliefs or behavior, everything to do with what label you use for your magic invisible sky-daddy.

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