The famous conservative pundit and long time host of Firing Line, William F. Buckley, once said words to the effect that the reason we don’t burn witches at the stake anymore is because we no longer believe in witches – not because we are better people. I have to agree. Which leads me to a few comments on Mitt Romney’s run for the U.S. presidency. In some circles, Mr. Romney is taking a fair amount of flack for being a Mormon. Some of the attacks are subtle – such as suggestions that good Americans should only vote for ‘true’ Christians. But other attacks are blatant appeals to religious intolerance. How strange for this to be happening in America.
Many people immigrated to America in the 16 and 17 hundreds to escape religious intolerance and outright persecution in Europe. The Thirty Years’ war between the Protestants and the Catholics was fought mainly in Germany from 1618 to 1648 and took the lives of approximately 8 million people. This was, of course, only a few decades after the French Wars of Religion from 1562 to 1598 where an estimated 3 million were killed. No wonder so many people risked life and limb to come to that savage new continent called ‘America.’
I wonder what those early pioneers would think if they could see the current presidential race. I suspect they would be shaking their heads in dismay to see that same old prejudice at play – the one they voted against with their feet by making the long and dangerous journey to America.
As a digression, let me say that I’ve recently read two Michael Connolly thrillers: The Lincoln Lawyer and The Fifth Witness, both about ace defense lawyer Mickey Haller. Dang, they were good. The Lincoln Lawyer was made into a very good movie with Matthew McConaughey – in fact, the movie screenplay changed the plot around a little at the end and did a good job of it – in my opinion. The Fifth Witness had some great courtroom scenes. I highly recommend both – for mature readers.
In my next post, I will give a little more information about my sequel to Einstein’s Trunk. Have I mentioned before that I’ve changed the title and am now calling it “A Thousand Suns.” I’ll tell you why next week.