A Fox News anchor declared today that Mitt Romney isn't a Christian, proving once again that the only qualification for office considered important by the conservative right in this country is that a candidate is an evangelical fundamentalist Christian.
While discussing polling differences between Texas governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said of Romney: "I think Rick Perry can get a lot of money from that base [the Christian Coalition] because of Romney obviously not being a Christian. Rick Perry, he's always on talk shows, on Christian talk shows, he has days of prayer in Texas."
There has always been a feeling amongst evangelical Christians that Romney's Mormon faith excluded him from the Christian club, but the sentiment being expressed by Fox (and many pundits who discount Mitt Romney's religion as not being 'real') isn't that they're concerned about some doctrinal differences, but rather that they don't believe Romney will support their extreme fundamentalist viewpoints on issues like abortion and gay rights.
Romney's Mormonism differentiates him from the Taliban-like Christian right. Romney, unlike most of his co-candidates, concerns himself with policy matters that are important to the country. The rest of the Republican field is concerned with how best to shove their extremist faith down the throats of the rest of America through fascist social legislation.
Earhardt's off-handed comment (which wasn't disputed at all by her co-hosts) is right-wing code for "he won't hate homosexuals and liberals as much as we'd like him to."
No candidate's faith should matter whatsoever when it comes to running for office. An inter-party squabble amongst Republican candidates over who the best Christian is shows the Republican party for what it really is: a bunch of over-churched brats.
And the joke's on them--Mitt Romney's the best of the lot, and throwing him under the bus now will all but hand the 2012 election to Obama.