Every human being possesses a guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct, and it is unfortunate, but what may be acceptable behavior to one person may repulse someone from a different culture or belief system. One of the values Americans hold dear is the fundamental right of free speech and it allows every American to express their ideas of what right conduct entails even when their ideas are steeped in religious bigotry. Over the past couple of days, Republican presidential candidate Willard Romney criticized President Obama and diplomats in Egypt and Libya for apologizing for American values and principles as if he is the arbiter of what is right and wrong, but if one listened carefully to the context of his statements, he exposed another personal character flaw that should be a warning to all Americans and the world.
When Willard told reporters that ”The Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles,” he was referring to the right of an Islamophobic film maker to impugn the Muslim prophet Mohammed. What embassy officials apologized for was the religious intolerance in the hate-filled video portraying Muslims and their prophet as violent monsters, and they specifically said that free speech was a “universal right,” but religious bigotry was not. Still, Romney continued on the same path accusing President Obama of making “an apology for America’s values,” and that “it’s a terrible course for America.”
Now, when Romney opened his mouth to reporters, he knew the embassies defended the “universal right of free speech,” and that the only American offense they criticized was the movie’s “efforts to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” and it begs the question; does he consider condemning religious bigotry an ”apology for American values?” Seriously, does Willard Romney regard religious bigotry an American value, or does he think it is un-American to condemn sleights against Muslims? It is unfortunate, but that is precisely the point Romney made, and it was either a subconscious nod to his church, or deliberate signal to neo-conservatives from the Bush administration.
It is well-known the Mormons believed African-Americans were cursed by god until 1978, but it is not common knowledge that the Book of Mormon teaches there are only two churches; of god or of the devil. Obviously, only the Mormon cult is of god, and every other faith is “of the devil” and “whores of the Earth.” The founder of the Mormon cult, Joseph Smith wrote in his First Vision that when he asked the Lord “which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt.”
A stake president explained that Mormons hate Jews because they killed Jesus, they hate Catholics, evangelicals, and Protestants because they refuse to acknowledge Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and they hate Muslims for following Mohammed and not acknowledging the Book of Mormon. It is noteworthy that Romney criticized the Obama administration’s condemnation of those who created an anti-Islam movie that sparked violence in Egypt and Libya, but in 2010 he said “burning the Quran is wrong on every level. It puts troops in danger” in response to Pastor Terry Jones plans to burn a Quran as a means of condemning Islam; an act that resulted in the death of 15 people in Afghanistan. Pastor Terry Jones began promoting the anti-Islam video with a proclamation of Sept. 11 as International Judge Muhammad Day, and there was no criticism from Romney except to condemn President Obama for “an apology for America’s values.”
The Obama Administration’s official statement said the U.S. “rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others” but defended the Islamophobic filmmaker’s right to free expression, and condemned violence as a response to offensive provocation. So the White House defended a real American value (free speech), and condemned demeaning others’ religious beliefs, and Romney’s response was, “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values” that in Romney’s eyes includes religious bigotry.
Throughout the campaign Romney has shown a predilection for racism from the earliest days of the Republican primary and he has continued by assailing the president for giving out welfare without a work requirement, using a KKK slogan, “Keep America American,” and scolding the NAACP “for wanting free stuff from the government.” It is obvious that after living, breathing, and eating Mormon racism until he was 31 years old had the desired effect of inculcating in Romney that African Americans are cursed by god, and he has taken it to heart and made it a staple of his presidential campaign; now he signals that his bigotry is not limited to African Americans.
When Romney first heard about the Cairo embassy’s statement, he heard them support “universal freedom of speech” and condemned the video that “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” but he still decried the Obama Administration for making “an apology for America’s values.” What Romney obviously cannot fathom is that religious tolerance, as much as freedom of speech, is a core American value that our embassies in Cairo and Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Obama Administration all acknowledged in their official statements.
Romney’s message to the Muslim world that religious bigotry is an American value informs that he is not, and never will be, ready to be on the world stage in any capacity. He insulted Palestinians who are predominately (93%) Muslims when he visited Israel on his world fundraising tour, and has been extremely provocative towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is entirely plausible that the reason Romney continues claiming the Obama Administration issued an “apology for America’s values,” is because his American values include religious bigotry that Quran-burning extremist Pastor Terry Jones espouses.
Religious bigotry is not an American value going back to the founding of this country where the First Amendment guarantees freedom of all religion. Founding Father John Adams said the “United States of America has no character of enmity against the religion of Muslims” and yet, Romney continued to imply that religious bigotry towards Islam is an “American value.” Willard Romney’s problem is that he has no concept of what American values are, and possibly lacks any real values of his own that are not steeped in greed, racism, and religious bigotry.