James Fallows over at the Atlantic says, “Just for the Record: Anti-Mormonism Is Bigotry Too.”
No. No it is not.
Fallows sums his position up:
To be against Mitt Romney (or Jon Huntsman or Harry Reid or Orrin Hatch) because of his religion is just plain bigotry. Exactly as it would have been to oppose Barack Obama because of his race or Joe Lieberman because of his faith or Hillary Clinton or Michele Bachmann because of their gender or Mario Rubio or Nikki Haley because of their ethnicity. (source)
If a candidate believes in trickle-down economics, and you are against him for his beliefs, that isn’t bigotry. That’s looking at his views, realizing that they are incompatible with logic, and dismissing him because he’s an idiot.
If you are against someone for being Hispanic or Black, that’s bigotry. The color of someone’s skin doesn’t necessarily say anything about their beliefs or how they will behave.
But being against someone for what they believe, that’s not bigotry. That’s being a rational person. And there is no way I want someone leading my country if they believe that some snake oil salesman found magic gold tablets, that only he could see, and read some magic words from it, and discovered that people should wear magic underwear. I am perfectly comfortable with someone who believes that having dinner at my house, or even teaching my kids, and marrying my sister, but I don’t trust them with the nuclear launch codes.
That’s not bigotry. A Mormon can change his views, if he wants to.
Marco Rubio can’t wake up tomorrow and say “y’know, I’m sick of being Cuban. I think I’ll be Irish now.” Hating on him for being Cuban — that’s bigotry.
Don’t mistake this for a post singling out the Mormons. Their beliefs are no different than those of any other cult. If you believe in a magic space zombie Jew, you’re not rational enough to be president either. At least not in my eyes. Islam? It doesn’t have any edge over Mormonism or Christianity.
The analysis gets a little tricky with Jews (sigh, doesn’t it always). You have to figure out if you’re dealing with a secular Jew or a religious one. Sammy Davis Jr. would have been unqualified to be President in my eyes, not because he was black, but because he believed that there is a magic space man who, after creating heaven and earth, decided that he didn’t want people to eat bacon, but he did want people to cut the tips off of little boys’ penises. Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, and Golda Meir were qualified to run things. Joe Lieberman? Fuck no.
If you believe in some magic voodoo shit, good for you. If it works for you, believe it. I don’t care if you believe in a magic pink monkey that flies out of the ass of whales with a blue bucket on its head singing show tunes.
If you believe in such things, you still might be the coolest guy in the world. I would fight with everything I have to protect your right to believe in those things — no matter how I feel about them. I might even want to be best friends with you. I have friends who believe in some of the goofiest shit ever, from Orthodox Jews to Christians to Muslims, and I even think I have a Scientologist in there somewhere. Being religious is no disqualification from being on my good side.
But there’s no damn way I’d vote to let them run the country — not until they wake up from their self-imposed delusion.
If you disagree, you’re in good company. My view is totally screwed. I doubt we’ll ever have an openly-Atheist president. Not until there is a revolution.
As an Atheist, I don’t call that “anti-Atheist bigotry.” If you wouldn’t let me run things because I don’t believe in goblins, it doesn’t make you a bigot. It just makes you disagree with something that I have chosen to believe (or not believe, as it were).
That’s not bigotry.