Hooray for Romney and Paul for eschewing the politics of discrimination and hatred against Muslims and gays at the GOP debate

It feels awkward to praise in an ethics column somebody for showing simple decency, but considering today’s Republican candidates, simple decency is nothing to sneeze at.

So hooray for Mitt Romney for standing up for the rights of American Muslims. Romney dismissed the idea that Sharia law could ever be applied in American courts (“We have a Constitution”), and rejected Herman Cain’s position that Muslims should be singled out and treated differently (“We treat people with respect regardless of their religious persuasion.”)

By contrast, Cain and Newt Gingrich made it clear that they would be very reluctant to have any Muslims serve under them. The other participants, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul didn’t comment in the debate.

Bachmann has in the past shown suspicion toward American Muslims, while Santorum has stated that he considers Muslims to be as good American citizens as anybody. Paul has been downright heroic on this issue, blasting those in the conservative movement who use “hatred against Muslims to rally support.”

On another subject Paul earned praise from Ethics Alarms for his ethical and libertarian position on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He was the only candidate to reject the policy.

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