Sally Quinn Declares Romney Debate Winner for Mentioning God

In the Washington Post’s On Faith section, Sally Quinn, whose last noticed piece of writing was a much-ridiculed lament about the decline of the Washington power dinner party, is out this afternoon with quite possibly one of the most slipshod treatments of religion in the presidential campaign to date.

Mitt Romney, writes Quinn, “owned” the debate because he stated that “We’re all children of the same God,” endowed by a “Creator.”

You don’t have to read more. Romney said “God,” Obama did not. It’s an open and shut case for Sally Quinn. Romney is victorious.

Here’s the sole basis for Quinn’s argument:

This is a religious country. Part of claiming your citizenship is claiming a belief in God, even if you are not Christian We’ve got the Creator in our Declaration of Independence. We’ve got “In God We Trust” on our coins. We’ve got “one nation under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. And we say prayers in the Senate and the House of Representatives to God.

An atheist could never get elected dog catcher, much less president…

Up until now, the idea of being American and believing in God were synonymous.

Is Quinn still hung over from one of those “five-course dinners a couple of nights a week, with a different wine for each course” parties she and Ben Bradlee used to go to, before bloggers and hashtags ruined everything, and before those dirty atheists dared to—horrors—claim their American citizenship? Quinn, whose doodles about God and such appear on the (web, at least) pages of one of the leading newspapers in the country, is just as easily flattered by a superficial mention of the Almighty as she was, as a young woman, by having Strom Thurmond grope her backside.

Quinn is disgusted by how “it offends” Obama to talk about God. It doesn’t matter to her that Romney’s principal religious claim, which he made for the first time last night (“making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can’t care for themselves are cared by—by one another”) bears absolutely no relationship to his policy proposals. It doesn’t matter to her that intertwining religion and politics is a complicated, fraught undertaking, in no small part because a good segment of our fellow citizens (yes, contrary to Quinn’s delusions, they can claim citizenship) don’t believe in God. It doesn’t matter to her that a great many religious Americans don’t want entangling of religion and government, and whose knees don’t go all wobbly when a candidate merely mentions God.

Worse still is Quinn’s insinuation that Obama is not a real American, one of those people not qualified to claim their American citizenship. “[T]here was Obama—grim faced, nervous, fumbling his words and wearing his American flag pin—letting Romney, confident and aggressive and in control, roll right over him at every turn,” she writes. Oh, the manliness of the believer! She continues: “But the God thing clinched it. If Obama wants to win the next debate, he needs to wear God, as much as it offends him to do so, the same way he captured the flag for this one.” (emphasis mine)

Get it? Just like Obama fumbled and faked his way through the debate with the American flag pin, he can fake his way through by fakely invoking God. 

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email