Mitt Romney—in a speech to Republicans on December 6, 2007—tried to drive secular people like me to America’s margins as the invisible and dehumanized others. I bring this up now, in 2010, because Romney is the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. David Brooks commented at the time:
Romney described a community yesterday. Observant Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Jews and Muslims are inside that community. The nonobservant are not. There was not even a perfunctory sentence showing respect for the nonreligious. . . . In this calculus, the faithful become a tribe, marked by ethnic pride, a shared sense of victimization and all the other markers of identity politics.
As for me, and as a member of the doubting community, I will not be treated as a second-class citizen in my own country. I am not here under the patronizing sufferance of religious believers, and I will not be closeted. In the civic square, and as a matter of law, I am the equal of Muslims, Hindus, Jews, pagans, and Christians living here, and I will speak my views concerning all matters of interest to me—including religious matters—and I am not going away.
Oh, and by the way, Abraham Lincoln seems to have been a member of the doubting community as well. He was an agnostic. Did you know that? See here.