Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times offered a brilliant take on the Romney speech on religion which I have only now just read. His blunt read in “Press Preys on Wrong Question” of Huckabee’s flirtation with the anti-Enlightenment commitment to creationism is worth reviewing too.
But on Kennedy, the take-down of the media’s read on Romney is definitive. Here is a part of it:
. . .that sort of institutional blindness to what is at stake in the current struggle over religion and politics made it all but inevitable that Romney’s address Thursday would be misunderstood by much of the media. First of all, it was nothing like Kennedy’s storied speech in setting, intention or content.
Kennedy was straightforward; Romney was clever.
Kennedy spoke to a hostile audience of Protestant clergymen and took their questions afterward; Romney spoke to a hand-picked crowd at a Republican presidential library and took no questions.
Kennedy defended — indeed, insisted on — separation of church and state; Romney simply asked that what is essentially a religious test for office be expanded to include his religion.
Kennedy and his advisors sought the advice of one of American-style religious liberty’s foremost defenders — the great Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray; Romney sought the counsel of political handlers skilled in stage managing the religious right.
— Steve Clemons