It's Walter Shapiro's fine piece in Slate on Romney's religion speech and here's the opening:
Reading the advance text of Mitt Romney's speech this morning on "Faith in America," I came upon a very un-American verb. (No, it is not the transitive use of "torture" or "waterboard.") The verb in question -- which is normally innocuous, but in this context is ominous -- is "require."Now, I'm hard pressed to figure out why transitive torture and waterboard are more ominous than intransitive ones — the intransitive "the U.S. tortures" seems at least as bad as a version with a direct object, maybe more threatening. Beyond that, though, Shapiro is dead on the money, that the core statement ("freedom requires religion") "is historically ludicrous". And he decodes the real message, the dog whistle if we can nod toward Ben Zimmer: What Romney might have said is the far more truthful: "Republican politics and religion prosper together, or they lose elections alone."
Here is the passage that troubles me: "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."