Friday, August 17, 2012

Do I Owe the GOP Voters a Round of Applause? Nah.

I feel like I should give the GOP some credit here. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe.

The GOP is the party that questioned Obama's religion in 2008. And 2009, and 10, and 11, and today. For some reason, the possibility that Obama might even maybe be Muslim, despite all evidence otherwise, seemed to be a topic of much concern to the members of the Grand Ole Party.

Sure, they been concerned about Obama's birth certificate, too. More so, even. But the amount of concern over his religion has not been slight.

Now, though, the Republicans have selected a 100% non-protestant presidential ticket. Mitt Romney is Mormon.  Paul Ryan is Catholic. A surprise from this party in many ways.

My initial reaction is to wish to applaud the GOP. After spending the last few years concerned about the potential non-Christian beliefs of Obama, they seem to have finally set those religious concerns aside. They have, themselves, chosen a presidential candidate that isn't Christian. And his Veep choice, although Christian, isn't Protestant.

It feels like a huge leap.

But I'm skeptical. I'm sorry, but I just have my doubts about how "accepting" the traditionally Christian Right Republicans have become with other religions.  My concern is this: just how accepting would the Republicans be if the Mormon candidate wasn't one of their own? I'm afraid the answer is, "not very."

I'd bet a paycheck that if the GOP ticket was Protestant-Protestant that the GOP voters wouldn't be near as cool with a pair of candidates that weren't the same. I have little doubt that there would be a thousand memes floating around on Facebook that make fun of Mormonism and Catholicism (especially Mormonism), and indicating that the candidates were unworthy of your votes because of it.

The Republicans simply don't have a history of religious tolerance. Quite the opposite. Year after year, candidate after candidate, issue after issue, the Republicans seem to find fault in those that are not Protestant, or at least Christian.

Because of that history, I just don't buy what is currently going on. I feel like there are probably tons of Republicans out there right now that are offended by the religious choices of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I feel like if it were Obama or another Democrat that all sorts of hell would be being made of this. (All unofficially, of course, which is why I'm speaking of GOP voters instead of the official Party.) But since it's a pair of Republicans, they are turning a blind eye.

If you're a member of a non-Protestant religion and you have political aspirations, don't expect the same respect for you in the future. Unless you're a Republican, of course. Then you get a pass.

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