Viewpoint — Religious discrimination not OK

Since when were we OK with religious bigotry? No one can get away with racist discrimination in a national election. Anyone who said anything about Barack Obama’s race during the 2008 campaign was given a well-deserved proverbial crucifixion by the media.

However, during this latest election, several disturbing incidents have occurred regarding discrimination amongst the Republican candidates. During one of the earlier Republican primary debates hosted by CNN, current candidate Herman Cain was asked about a past statement he made regarding whether he would allow a Muslim to be a part of his cabinet. When asked to clarify, Cain expressed concerns about whether a Muslim would be loyal to the United State and uphold its laws. He stated that he would ask any Muslim candidate questions that he would not ask Christian or Jewish candidates.

During the debate, two of the other candidates, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich, pitched in to the response, saying that they would also be hesitant to hire Muslims to their cabinet. Gingrich even compared Muslims to communists and Nazis. What was perhaps most sickening about this exchange, aside from Cain’s hypocrisy (he did grow up in the Jim Crow era) and Gingrich’s outright nastiness, was the seeming lack of focused outrage on these Republican candidates for the horrific things they had to say about Muslim Americans. These three candidates should have been attacked by the media to such a degree that they should have had to end their campaigns the next day.

More recently, dark horse Rick Perry has entered the Republican primaries and has surged to the top of the latest polls. One of the things that makes him do so well is his appeal to evangelical voters. One of the reasons he appeals to them is because many evangelicals are wary of voting for Mitt Romney because of, more than anything else, his religion. The Signpost is certainly not endorsing Romney or anyone else for president; however, the blatant discrimination he has been a victim of during this election, as well as the last one, must be pointed out.

During the 2008 campaign, Romney walked into a coffee shop, and was told by a potential voter that he would not vote for a Mormon. During both this and the previous presidential race, the main thing that seems to come up about Romney is the fact that he’s a Mormon. The main source of this religious bigotry is the evangelical community, which holds considerable sway over the Republican party. However, this is pure hypocrisy since evangelicals often claim to be victims of religious discrimination. Furthermore, any form of bigotry is wrong, whether it be racial or religious bigotry.