Bill Keller, Just Asking Questions

New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, who never expressed much curiosity about the religion of Democratic presidential candidates, is suddenly burning to find out more about the Republican field’s religious beliefs:

This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public life — and to get over them. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a “cult” and that many others think is just weird. (Huntsman says he is not “overly religious.”) Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity, which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.

It will be interesting to see how the left responds. When Obama’s spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright and his father’s Muslim religion came under fire in 2008, the immediate response was to condemn it as similar to the anti-Catholic paranoia JFK dealt with in the 1960 election.

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Bill Keller, Just Asking Questions

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