The Boston Globe is out this morning with yet another editorial against Mitt Romney’s nascent run for the presidency. The Mormon lame-duck governor of Massachusetts has been talking with leaders and other figures in the Church about his campaign. They remind us that the “separation of church and state” is designed to not only keep the government from meddling too much in churches, but churches from meddling in the affairs of government.
It’s a refreshing change of attitude for them, and I welcome it.
I also look forward to seeing it applied more universally (or, dare I say, “catholically”) in the future.
I can’t wait to see them use the same standards on the political ambitions and machinations of the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who often campaigned in churches and used their clerical status to reach out to voters.
Or on those noted Catholics, Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who routinely go against official church doctrine on such matters as abortion, infidelity, divorce, or the ethics of leaving young campaign workers to drown in submerged automobiles while constructing an alibi.
Or against clergy members who argue against the death penalty, or the war in Iraq, or abortion, or a host of other issues that churches routinely disagree with.
The Constitution is clear: the government can NOT establish an official church, nor can it interfere too closely with the practices of any faith. Likewise, a church cannot grow too embroiled in politics, lest it endanger its tax-exempt status and forfeit the blessings thereof.
So if Romney’s outreach to his fellow Mormons is a foul, then that is the standard. And let’s apply it fairly, across the board.
Personally, I suspect that this is the Globe’s latest attempt to sabotage Romney’s presidential aspirations, as they’ve done so often in the past and will undoubtedly do in the future. Their constant focus on his Mormonism, though, is starting to seriously push the boundaries of propriety.