No, I'm talking about replacing obsessive dog-pack coverage of stuff like "the Mormon issue" - the overblown attention to which makes me pray for the Rapture - with something only slightly sillier.
It's just been nuts.
Ever since Dallas Baptist minister Robert Jeffress, a pal of Gov. Rick Perry's, last Friday said that Mormonism is a "cult," the politicosphere is awash with whether Mitt Romney's religion can cost him the Republican nomination and/or the presidency.
Jesus (or Joseph Smith) save us.
First, it's not news. Evangelicals have long disdained Mormons. The Washington Post reports on a poll taken last year but released Sunday showing that 67 percent of evangelical ministers don't think that Mormons are Christians.
To which I say: So what?
When an evangelical minister runs for president, I'll care what he or she believes, but not until then and never about somebody else's religion.
I understand the clatter. I know that the 24-hour news cycle needs feeding. It's an easy story. It draws on opinion, and nobody needs to know anything to offer one.
Plus, it's easier to bloviate about wedge issues than to offer substantive reporting on, let's say, specifics of candidates' plans to deal with the ailing economy.
What are they, by the way? We know what President "Pass This Jobs Bill" Obama wants. We know that Mitt offers a 156-page plan based on "free enterprise, hard work and innovation" (readers? show of hands?).
But where's the serious evaluation? Where's the thorough examination of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 proposal, which seems intriguing since it wipes out the current tax system, eliminates payroll taxes and claims to produce as much or more revenue?
(I can't resist this: a Catholic priest I know jokingly says he'd like to see Cain run against Obama: 9-9-9 vs. 6-6-6.)
Isn't there an editor, producer or publisher of a news organization with the resources to do so responsible enough to assign full-time, intelligent, balanced, nonpartisan analyses of these plans?
I want just one media power person to look in the mirror and say, "You know what? More Americans will be affected by the economic policies of whoever is president than will ever be affected by that person's religion."
When will we be done with picking at the differences among us and offering them up as blockades to public service? We elected a Catholic. We elected an African-American. Pennsylvania, no national model of tolerance, twice elected a Jewish lawyer from Philadelphia.
The things that are parts of us, our ancestry and faith included, are just that, parts. If someone has a way to put the country on a path to recovery with a fair tax system and employment opportunities for all citizens, I don't care what, who, how or if that person worships.
Pennsylvania was founded on religious freedom for a persecuted sect, the Society of Friends, or Quakers. The First Amendment to the Constitution begins with a guarantee of religious freedom.
These are serious foundations. They ought to be honored and treated that way: by politicians, by media, by all of us.
And the-thea-thea-the-that's-all, folks.
For recent columns, go to
philly.com/JohnBaer. Read his blog at philly.com/BaerGrowls.