When the Nazis came for the communists,-Pastor Martin Niemöller
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Although this poem was written to portray the rise of Nazi Germany, it also has application to religious bigotry.
"Bigot" is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to their prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false. And "bigot" is the term I would use for anyone who would rule out a candidate based solely on his religious persuasion.
I have read several articles that proclaim Mitt Romney to be the ideal candidate with just one problem: He's a Mormon. Can this statement reveal anything other than religious discrimination? Such an attitude threatens not only a Mormon candidate, but candidates of any religious persuasion.
Joseph Smith, himself a victim of severe bigotry, said it well:
The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon," I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.And so in that spirit, praise be to the website Evangelicals for Mitt! The founders of that site have looked past their religious differences to add their support to Mitt Romney. I believe that good people of all religions are stronger when united...and weaker when divided. The E.F.M. have not only demonstrated their willingness to support a candidate of any religious persuasion, but they have also picked a man of integrity and one of the most promising candidates of our time.