Today is the second day of the Values Voters Summit being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The good news is that Governor Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak this morning at 9:50 AM EST.
A transcript of the speech may be read here.
A look at the morning schedule:
9:00 a.m. – Noon
MORNING PLENARY SESSION – Regency Ballroom
Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate*
Dr. Bill Bennett, Host, Morning in America*
Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate*
Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association*
Straight Talk on Gay “Marriage”
– Moderater: Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action*
– Daniel Avila, J.D., Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family , U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
– Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage*
– Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance*
– David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Lt. General William Boykin (Ret.), Former Commander, Delta Force*
Note who is scheduled to speak right after Romney – Bryan Fischer:
Conference planners have scheduled Romney to speak right before Bryan Fischer, the spokesman for the American Family Association and who the Times said “is known for his strident remarks on homosexuality, gay rights, Muslims and Mormons.”
Fischer claims that First Amendment protections of religious freedom do not apply to “non-Christian religions,” a category in which he includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asserting that it is “very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths.”
Latter-day Saints worship Christ, as the church’s full name denotes.
So the Times found it noteworthy that Romney, a Latter-day Saint, has been asked to speak right before Fischer, someone who doesn’t think he is entitled to religious freedom.
(emphasis added )
Who are these ‘conference planners’? They also scheduled anti-Mormon Baptist bigot preacher Robert Jeffress to introduce Rick Perry when he spoke at the summit yesterday.
In his introduction, Jeffress alluded to Romney as a “good, moral person” but said Perry is “a born-again follower of Christ.”
Perry said Jeffress had “knocked it out of the park,” referring to the pastor’s overall speech.
After both spoke, Jeffress told reporters that Mormonism is a cult and Romney is not a Christian.
“Every true born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian,” the Dallas pastor said, predicting that many conservative evangelicals who say they might vote for Romney really won’t.
“There are a lot of Christian voters who don’t want to appear bigoted, and so what they say to the pollsters is not necessarily what they’ll do in the privacy of the polling booth,” Jeffress said. “If Gov. Romney is the nominee, I believe Barack Obama will be the next president.”
While speaking, Perry took the opportunity to allude to Romney (who is solidly pro-life):
For some candidates, pro-life is an election-year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds.
I could attempt to say something pointed and pithy here, maybe even strive for something eloquent, but no. I will just ‘summit’ up by saying that the engagement of hard and soft religious bigotry by Perry, Jeffress, and Fischer, in my opinion, significantly reduces their value in the public arena.
GOVERNOR ROMNEY, WE’RE CHEERING FOR YOU!
► Jayde Wyatt