Many Americans will be headed to some form of worship service in this final weekend before the election. In the United States, the freedom to worship is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Obviously not all of us agree on who should win on Tuesday. But, as we head to church, synagogue, temple or mosque, and as we reflect on the historical importance of what’s happening in our country next week, we here at MittRomneyCentral invite you to make the outcome of the election the subject of prayer and, if it’s part of your religious tradition, fasting.
With Article VI blog and Evangelicals for Mitt, we’ve asked before for your prayerful support of Governor and Mrs. Romney. Those past calls for prayer were made on behalf of Evangelicals, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Presbyterians and members of many other religions. Today the call for prayer comes from a friend of MittRomneyCentral who is a devout Catholic, Art Grant (who, notably, has a member of his faith on both major tickets).
Our past calls for prayer were on the eve of the convention and the debates. At those times we took pains to make clear we were not praying for a victory, but that Mitt and Ann be favored as they carried incredible burdens. We called for prayers that they be able to communicate effectively and with extraordinary capacity. We called for prayers that the American people would be open to their message and have clear minds to make an informed decision when election day came. We believe those prayers were answered. Ann shone in her convention speech and Mitt’s debate performances were spectacular. Days of obfuscation on the part of Mitt’s opponents followed, but in those moments, Americans saw who Mitt Romney is, and what Mitt and Ann Romney stand for.
Today Art goes beyond what we’ve asked before and asks that we pray that Mitt win. With election day upon us, the time for the American people to decide is now, and we join with him. The authors of this website believe it is appropriate to work toward, and even pray for, causes we feel are worthy. Not all agree. While we will strenuously defend the rights of all people, even those who disagree with us, to do vote their conscience and solicit the help of the deity they choose, we obviously believe it would be best for Mitt to emerge victor on Tuesday, and that the country will be better off under his leadership, and so we claim this privilege for ourselves as well. If you don’t agree, everyone can join us in praying that Americans making up their minds will be influenced by the truth of the arguments made and not be swayed by falsehoods; that voters will be inspired; that voters will feel the weight of their responsibility and seek to understand the issues at stake; and that people will understand both major candidates, what they stand for, and where they would lead this country. And if you agree with us Mitt Romney is the right choice, we invite you to exercise your First Amendment rights and fast and pray for him, that God attend his and our efforts, and that, in the best interest of the country, he be elected as the 45th President of the United States this coming Tuesday.
From Art Grant:
If ever there was a time for prayer it is now. No matter your faith, the future of this great nation is at stake and it is time to take a collective moment, close our eyes, get down on our knees, and pray to God that Governor Romney wins this election on Tuesday. This is a call to every citizen who has even a glimmer of understanding of what this unprecedented, unique idea of a country called America is all about, who understands the founding principles that have guided us to this point in our history. For in our own Pledge of Allegiance we proclaim:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
A belief in God has been a part of this country since the beginning, and people from all walks of life, all nations, and all faiths have proven through our relatively short history that if you have faith, work hard, and lead an honest life, you will have the opportunity to be a success in America. Governor Romney not only understands this, he has lived it himself! It is this OPPORTUNITY that is the most unique and precious thing about living in this country, and must be preserved. We succeed as a nation because we can succeed as individuals, as families, as communities, cities, and states. And so we pray, as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, that Governor Romney can prevail on Tuesday.
The shocking revelation that the Democratic Party had removed any reference to “God” in their platform has been stepping all over the messaging party leaders wanted coming out of their Convention in Charlotte. Their problems didn’t stop there … they also removed essentially all “pro-Israel” language, including an omission of a long-standing position of BOTH parties that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. I’m sure the phones started burning over these points as media coverage was dominated by “WHY?” these were omitted. No good answers were provided (maybe because they don’t exist?). Spin and damage control ensued as will be detailed below, but what must be kept in mind is that OBAMA APPROVED THOSE PLATFORM CHANGES BEFORE THE CONVENTION.
Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, a campaign source said, but did not seek to change it until after Republicans jumped on the omissions of God and Jerusalem late Wednesday. And even then, it had to be forced through a convention hall full of delegates who nearly shouted down the change.
Headline on DrudgeReport.com on afternoon of Sept 5, 2012
Video of Democrats boo-ing addition of “God” and “Israel” into platform (Very bad optics … I can see the commercials being produced already).
It’s obvious that they didn’t have the 2/3 majority required and EVERYONE realized it. The Democratic party is in shambles, without a strong and effective leader at the helm.
The natives are restless … Huffington Post led with the original headline : “Pushover Party: Dems Cave; Re-insert “God” and “Jerusalem” into Platform.”
There is no doubt in my mind that Obama managed to lose BOTH Jewish AND Muslim votes through this debacle … That’s hard to do! Not only that, but, he also motivated the Christian base and gave them one more reason to get out and vote Obama out of office.
So WHY did these removed points get added back? Obama reversed himself and had it added back.
So, we’re left with two possible conclusions. Either:
1) Obama is incompetent and didn’t vet/read the Platform that he approved …
2) Obama really wanted those points removed (and is therefore “Anti-God” and “Anti-Israel), but caved to political and donor pressure and had them added back, against his core beliefs …
We will let the reader decide, but either conclusion is troubling.
Update - Mitt Romney today made the following statement on Passover:
“This Friday night, Jews around the world will join with their families and friends to observe the holiday of Passover. This ancient celebration of freedom reminds us that free people everywhere have a stake in ending oppression. Ann joins me in wishing everyone sitting down for a Passover Seder a joyous time with family and friends.”
April 6, 2012…
It’s an important religious day for Jews and Christians.
Christians in America and across the world are reflecting on the atonement and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Those of the Jewish faith in America and across the world are observing the first day of Passover.
Today also serves as a bold reminder of the gift of the United States Constitution – wherein religious issues are addressed.
The First Amendment guarantees Americans the freedom of religion. Article VI prohibits the imposition of religious tests as a condition for holding public office. These are our rights. This is the law. Untold treasure and lives have been sacrificed to make it so. Responsible, decent, patriotic American citizens cherish these laws.
Warty political tentacles – whether from the left or the right – are stretching and flexing to selectively choke and kill these guarantees for those with whom they disagree. Yes, as despicable as it is, fellow Americans are actively working to blunt these rights for other Americans.
It’s Un-American. Anti-constitutional. It’s the equivalent of spitting and trampling on the graves of all who have given their lives in the name of freedom.
America – the great religious melting pot of the earth – enables us to celebrate our own religious beliefs while recognizing others are free to do the same. Those living here, enjoying the benefits of our democracy, who seek to deprive the rights of others based on their religious affiliation – whether overtly or covertly – deserve to be shrouded in shame.
I intend to reflect and rejoice on this religious day and I celebrate the opportunity it provides to speak up. Without going in the weeds, I’ve held my thoughts on religious bigotry thus far in this presidential primary, but feel those days have ended. Speakers of religious hate and particularly bigots against Governor Romney’s faith will be outed in Hall of Shame posts. For today, I refer readers to the latest on Article VI blog. They’ve got it covered – but their topics deserve more coverage. Evangelicals for Mitt is another great source. They both have a friend in me.
A final thought before sharing a remembrance for the the day… Those seeking to become United States citizens are REQUIRED to take an Oath of Allegiance:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . “
Are natural born citizens exempt from the same standard?
Maybe religious bigots don’t consider themselves domestic enemies of the Constitution… but, they are. Yes, in the future, I’ll be naming names. It’s that simple – name names and induct them into the Wyatt Hall of Shame. Here are the first two: Lawrence O’Donnell and Santorum endorser Reverend Huey Mills.
Speaking of good – Governor Romney tweeted this today:
Praying for a quick recovery for Bella. Ann and I are keeping Rick, Karen and the entire Santorum family in our thoughts.
My prayers are for little Bella and the Santorums at this time, as well.
For the last four days, I have been meaning to publish a short video clip of an interview I saw on CNN, the night of the Florida primary, after the polls had closed (trust me, this is NOT stale). Ever since I first saw Ralph Reed on television many years ago, I have always admired his intelligent, insightful political analysis. Anderson Cooper interviews Ralph Reed, who is President of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, seeking his expert insight as to why so many voters of faith chose Governor Romney that day in Florida. In my opinion, this two minute video clip is the best piece of video explaining why Governor Romney is on his way to becoming our next President of the United States. If you do nothing else today, please take 2 minutes to see this video clip! (thank you to a good friend for directing me that night to watch this interview):
“An across the board sweep!” — “He split the evangelical vote with Gingrich” — “He won the Catholic vote by 26 points with two Catholics on the ballot!” — “He won women by a huge margin!” — “Very impressive”
[by the way, the FOX election coverage did not even compare with CNN's coverage, which was the most professional overall election night coverage that I have seen in many years]
Many of you may be visiting this site for the first time to learn more about what makes this guy Mitt Romney tick. You may have heard him refer to our “Creator” a few times in his speeches, especially when referring to the source of American rights. Many people do not know that as Governor, he worked closely with leaders of many different synagogues, churches, and faiths. You may be wondering why so many evangelicals and Catholics are lining up to support and promote the candidacy of Governor Romney for President of the United States. What makes this guy tick?
FIRST TIME VISITORS TO MITT ROMNEY CENTRAL:
***** Read the courageous speech by Mark DeMoss: CLICK
***** An evangelical’s words to Mitt Romney skeptics: CLICK
***** Deep South evangelical’s journey to Mitt: CLICK
***** Moral authority lost by Gingrich (by evangelical): CLICK
***** Letter by 5 ambassadors to the Vatican about Romney: CLICK
***** The Window to Mitt Romney’s Soul (a woman): CLICK
***** Open letter to Evangelicals — by an Evangelical: CLICK
***** What does Mitt do with his free time (he has some) to serve others?: CLICK
***** Book on why Evangelicals should back Romney (by Evangelicals): CLICK
***** Major affirmation of Romney’s pro-life credentials: CLICK
Would you like to keep up on all aspects of the Republican campaigns this year? I highly recommend that you take 10 seconds out right now and subscribe to MRC (it really takes only 10 seconds). Go to the top right corner of this website, find the T-shirts, look below the shirts box and you will see this question: “Want MRC Delivered to Your Inbox?” and just below that is a tiny box to type your email address. If you subscribe, you will only get one summary update a day and you WILL NOT receive any spam mail. Find out why so many people are talking about Mitt Romney Central and you too will soon be able to educate your friends on the race.
“When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness and your own duty.” — Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924) Twenty-eighth President
To see some GREAT political cartoons by Michael Ramirez …………….
Five years ago, I discovered the amazing resource Article VI Blog, founded by John Schroeder and Lowell Brown. Their reporting and Op-Ed writing, in my opinion, have proved an important contribution to this nation and to the American ideal of freedom. Their tireless research will continue to enlighten Americans who treasure the blessings of diversity.
John and Lowell traveled to the Bush Library in Texas for Governor Romney’s historic Faith in America speech December 6, 2007. It was there we met and discussed their work and our hope of a Romney presidency.
Following is a candid view into John’s childhood, youth, and adulthood that I found most revealing – especially as relates to his arriving to understand Mitt Romney’s tremendous leadership skills and experience. I am grateful to him for this guest contribution to Mitt Romney Central.
From Protecting The Church To Electing A President — This Evangelical’s Story
By: John Schroeder
The story is now old about how Article VI Blog got started. We have grown from the original team of me, an evangelical Presbyterian, and my Mormon partner Lowell Brown to include John Mark Reynolds, notable Greek Orthodox academic and scholar. All three of us have our individual reasons to be there; let’s talk about mine.
When I started, I really did not care much for Mitt Romney, but I also hated bigotry. Frankly, one of Romney’s key talking points for the ’08 election was what has now come to be called “RomneyCare” and I was aghast. When Article VI Blog started I was in the process of losing about 200 pounds. That gave me a unique view of the health care system – the last thing I wanted was to give the government the power to tell me about my weight, and let’s face it, you put someone in charge of your healthcare, and that is where they are going. But again, I hate bigotry.
See, I am a son of the Deep South. I was born in 1957 in Oxford, Mississippi. My father soon finished law school and we left Mississippi, but my mother’s entire extended family was there so rarely a year has gone by in my life that I have not spent some time in the state. I grew up with “Whites Only” signs, and segregated water fountains. Most importantly, I saw the racial prejudices of the Deep South routinely turn some members of my loving and wonderful family suddenly ugly. We could be having the most wonderful evening in a household full of love and good cheer and the topic would come up and well, let’s just say I saw the good cheer leave the room.
So, on that fateful day when Hugh Hewitt introduced me to the idea that Evangelicals would oppose Romney, not because of something like RomneyCare, but because of his faith, I did not want to see the good cheer leave the “evangelical room” and decided to get involved. Right up until the day before Super Tuesday in the 2008 primary campaign, I worked hard to fight the religious bigotry that was so obviously aimed at Romney, but that did not mean he had my vote. He ended up with it, but he had to earn it.
So-called RomneyCare really was the only serious obstacle to his having my vote. John McCain was, well, not a team player with Republicans, and governance is a team game. Rudy Giuliani was waaaay too far left. Fred Thompson was a joke, and Mike Huckabee really did take the good cheer from the evangelical room. But….
In ’08 Romney ended up with my vote largely because as I studied the RomneyCare issue I came to discover that what was passed in Massachusetts was a far cry from what Romney proposed. What Romney proposed was a hybrid system between private enterprise and public health care. Most importantly it offered subsidies for people to get private healthcare; the government never became the provider. Not ideal from my perspective, but enough to make him far more palatable than the alternatives, particularly when you consider that the public, showing a lack of wisdom in my estimation, was demanding something. A reasonable politician has to act when the citizenry demand, even if the result is less than ideal. Those in elected office are, after all, servants of the people, not rulers.
Since ObamaCare has come to pass, RomneyCare is no longer an issue for me. There are many similarities in the Massachusetts healthcare system and that which ObamaCare shall bring to pass, but in the end there is no comparison. Many legal scholars think ObamaCare is unconstitutional – I am inclined to agree with them. States have a lot of power that the federal government does not. But more importantly to my mind Massachusetts healthcare now has little resemblance to what Mitt Romney originally proposed. He had some vetoes overridden and has been out of office for quite some time now, giving that heavily liberal legislature, and governor, plenty of time to fiddle about. What Mitt Romney wanted, and what Barack Obama shoved down our gullets is radically different. Romney has promised to minimize the impact of ObamaCare as much as the power of the presidency will allow and to make repeal of it a priority in his agenda. That’s all I can ask.
Let’s get back to my youthful sojourns to Mississippi and to bigotry. You cannot be about in Mississippi and not know African-Americans, lots of them. One of the reasons things seemed to turn so ugly in the family gatherings when it came up was because the blacks that I knew in Mississippi were certainly poor and generally undereducated but most of them were decent good people. As an infant, I was cared for by a woman (my mother worked while my father was in law school) who remained in service to the family her entire life, as did several of her children. Now my parents were dirt poor at the time. Mom made a pittance as a production assistant at a Memphis television station and Dad had the GI bill. That they could afford a caretaker for me explains a lot of the poverty in the African-American community of the time. Regardless, I saw that woman (Fannie was her name) on every visit I made to Mississippi until she passed away, which was about the time I graduated high school. She could not read or write, but she was a good woman – having cared not only for me, but for many of my generation. She was a decent person. But the things some of my family members would say when she was out of earshot…. Their words simply did not match the reality I witnessed, and it made some loving, beautiful people look very ugly.
Schroeder & Brown at Faith In America Speech
You cannot live in southern California, one end of the so-called “Jello Belt,” and not know Mormons – lots of them. When I contemplated my evangelical brethren discarding a candidate for POTUS because he was a Mormon, it just looked ugly to me. They were good, decent people. Politically most that I know stand right where I do. They are contributing members of the community, often leading on things that my brethren seemed too pre-occupied to tackle. As the African-Americans of the Mississippi of my youth were poor and under-educated, the Mormons of my adulthood were theologically misguided, but they were good people, even preferable as neighbors. To discard Romney on the basis of theological wrongness reflected very poorly on my evangelical brethren.
I am tempted at this point to go on about the proper relationship of theology and religious affiliation to our citizenship, but that is a scholarly topic, and this is a personal reflection. Besides, it’s getting too long anyway.
I grieve for all those that would discard Romney, or Jon Huntsman for that matter, on the basis of their Mormon faith. To do so, from my perspective, shows little faith in the God who saved me and whom I claim to serve. The New Testament is full of the message that Christ came to free us from the drudgery and ugliness of legalism. Such is not license for debauchery, but rather a reflection of the fact that Christ’s ministry transforms us. We are changed from people who obey the law out of obligation, fear and tenacity to people from whom behavior in compliance with the law flows as a natural consequence of who we are.
If we still operate out of a mindset that demands strict compliance in an obligatory and tenacious manner, then we have yet to experience the deep reality of what Jesus can do for us. Christ, it must be remembered, chose the company of sinners over the religious elite of his day. In plain speak, it is not about theology or membership, but character.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
The years since Article VI Blog started have been very interesting years in my life. Among the more interesting occurrences has been the opportunity to get to know Mitt Romney just a little and some of his extended family quite well. These are people, who when judged by the content of their character, deserve the same shot at the White House, or any other part of the American dream, that the rest of us enjoy.
I do not pretend to know what God thinks of Mormons or Mormon theology – I do not know what will happen to any individual Mormon in eternity, or anyone else for that matter – I am no where near that smart. I know what I believe and what my prayer and study has taught me, and yes, it is quite different than what they believe. But I also know that to deny them their place in our nation, based on that difference, reflects far more poorly on me than it does on them.
All said and done, that is why I started with Article VI Blog. I did not want the prejudices of some in the Evangelical community to reflect poorly on all of us. I wanted anybody that bothered to listen to know that we’re not all that way.
Some six years later the only thing that is different is that Mitt Romney is now unquestionably the best candidate qualified to steer our nation back in the proper direction. Economically, his skill is unrivalled. As an executive, his experience is unmatched. As a politician, his current victories speak for themselves – as does his character. This cycle Mitt Romney has more than earned my vote. I am proud to be behind him – 100%.
[Emphasis added by Lundquist]
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. — C. S. Lewis
Dave P with Governor Romney: an evangelical for Mitt
An open letter to evangelicals, from an evangelical
After months of campaigning, the Iowa caucuses are finally just a week away. The Hawkeye State’s caucus is the first of several GOP primaries where evangelicals will make up a substantial portion of the voting bloc. Since Mitt Romney first ran for the presidency in 2008, there has been the question of whether evangelicals can and/or will support him. I would like to make an appeal to my evangelical brothers and sisters across Iowa and the rest of the nation to not use Mormonism as the reason to oppose Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.
Why do I have the authority to make this appeal? Well, let me take just a brief moment to list my credentials. I was raised in a small Protestant denomination whose first word is “Evangelical”. I attended a Christian college where renowned evangelist Billy Graham was once president. I have even worked for three different denominations of Protestant churches. So, not to infringe upon the now infamous Christine O’Donnell commercial, but “I am you”.
As Governor Romney embarks upon his final campaign swing through Iowa, why does this evangelical feel completely comfortable supporting him to become the leader of this great nation?
Morals and Values
While there may be some theological issues dividing evangelicals and Mormons, we still share morals and values in common. I believe that this is more important in selecting a President than simply having a candidate whose denomination or religion corresponds with my own. The question we ought to ask is, “how will this person’s faith influence his or her decisions once they are in the Oval Office?” And whether someone is Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, Evangelical Free, or Mormon, we all share a common moral code which subscribes to the same Ten Commandments, the institution of marriage, and a strong belief in the sanctity of life to cite a few examples. That is what will give a very good indication as to how a President addresses an issue when it arises. Yes, theological differences do exist, but these shared morals and values transcend the differences in doctrine when it comes to trusting someone with the Presidency of the United States.
For example, if a bill dealing with the sanctity of life comes to President Romney’s desk, it won’t matter if he believes in speaking in tongues or continuing revelation. What matters is that he agrees with us that the lives of unborn children should be protected, which indeed he does. Will a different opinion on theosis come into play when addressing our budget deficit or getting a balanced budget amendment passed? Absolutely not. The differences in theological doctrine between evangelical Protestants and Mormons will not result in a differing viewpoint on the tough issues facing our nation today.
Governor Romney’s 42-year marriage to his wife Ann and devotion to his family is a perfect example of the values and morals he possesses. Recent statistics show that almost half of marriages now end in divorce. What a great example it would be to have someone in the White House who has not only talked about family values, but lived it as well. That is something we as evangelicals would be proud of in a President and aspire to in our own lives.
When I attended a campaign rally in 2008, Governor Romney spoke about the importance of marriage before having children so that the child could have the stability and advantage of having both a mother and father present in their life (and also why marriage should be between a man and a woman). Again, something that we as evangelicals can rally behind. A difference in religion does not mean that a difference in morals and values exists. As I have discovered by closely watching Mitt Romney over the past four years, there is certainly not a difference between his values and my own.
Once the connection of shared morals and beliefs with a candidate has been established, it makes sense to look at his or her actual qualifications to become President of the United States. I happen to believe that based on his accomplishments and life experiences in the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney is the most qualified candidate in the race.
If you are an evangelical and a business owner, here is something to consider: when you are looking to hire somebody for your business, do you look to hire the person most qualified to complete the task at hand, or do you narrow your search to only other evangelicals? I’m guessing most would say that they desire to have the most qualified person for the job regardless of religion, because ministry jobs aside, when does simply being an evangelical Christian make you more qualified for a job? It doesn’t (just look at Jimmy Carter’s presidency). The Lord has gifted each one of us uniquely and differently. And just as being an evangelical does not make somebody more qualified to be a sales associate, truck driver, or attorney, neither does it make someone more qualified to be President of the United States.
There’s no question that it’s comforting and exciting to have someone of the exact same religious beliefs running for office, but that by itself doesn’t mean he or she is the best fit for the job. I’m an evangelical, but I can honestly tell you that if I jumped into the presidential race right now I would not be the most qualified person. Far from it! It is equally nonsensical to support someone by looking only at their religious affiliation and not take qualifications into account. If those evangelical business owners we talked about previously hired without considering an applicant’s qualifications, their businesses would likely be in serious trouble.
We as evangelicals shouldn’t be afraid to support someone for President who shares the same morals and values we do and is best qualified to lead this nation, even if he doesn’t subscribe to the exact same faith that we do. Evangelicals have voted for and elected Latter-Day Saints before, without bringing about ruinous results.
It would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to put Mitt Romney in the White House, who in my opinion has within him the ability to be a tremendous President of the United States, simply because of theological doctrine. There is much more that unites us than divides us.
The panel on Fox and Friends this morning ( FOX News) consisted of Dave Briggs, Ainsely Earhardt, and Clayton Morris. The conversation turned to discussing Rick Perry’s fundraising capabilities when Earhardt dropped a shocker…
@1:12: Earhardt: “Well, the Christian coalition, I think, he [Perry] could get a lot of money from that…
Briggs interrupts: “Big time!”
Earhardt continues: “because Romney obviously not being a Christian… Rick Perry, he…”
Briggs interrupts: “Oh, yeah!”
Earhardt continues: “he’s [Perry] always on talk shows, on Christian talk shows. He has days of prayer in Texas…”
Briggs: “Next month in Houston…”
Are Ainsely Earhardt and Dave Briggs ignorant regarding Article VI of the United States Constitution? Do they think they know better than those early American patriots – our Founding Fathers – who dedicated their lives and fortunes and sacred honor to free themselves from a religiously oppressive government?
“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Some of the first colonists of the nation for which the Constitution was written had been seeking to escape religious persecution. The constitutions of several of the states prohibited public support of religion (though some did explicitly support or demand adherence to Christianity). Above all, the many varying sects of Christianity in America required that to be fair to all, there could be preference to none. It would have been disgraceful for anyone to wish to leave the United States because of religious persecution. So the authors decided it best to keep the government out of religion. This is not to say that the United States was not or is not a religious nation. Religion plays a big role in the everyday life of Americans, then and now. But what the authors were striving for is tolerance… something I fear contemporary Americans are lacking.
Earhardt’s comment was bigoted (yes, bigoted) and outrageous. The enthusiastic chiming in of Dave Briggs was equally repulsive. The very idea that the United States of America could return to rule by ‘religious clique’ is reprehensible and un-American. Romney’s faith is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They believe in Jesus.
Romney supporters know this election must be about the very serious issues that face our nation. Let FOX News hear from you (often!). Send emails to: Friends@foxnews.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. You may phone FOX at 1-888-369-4762. Leave comments on Earhardt’s Facebook page here.
“Let’s face it; Romney simply doesn’t have a consistent worldview and much of what he does believe is contrary to the conservative and Christian worldview,” states an open letter being circulated on July 14, according to Michigan Messenger. Some prominent religious right leaders, including Gary Glenn of the American Family Association’s Michigan chapter, have signed the letter.
“That (Romney’s faith) might be fine for someone running for city council, but he’s running for the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world. To accept his multiple conversions as authentic and then give him the keys to the White House would be foolish. At this critical time in American history, we need a leader more than ever who has spent a lifetime defending and promoting conservative principles. The last thing we need is someone whose ideology abruptly shifted only after he and his consultants decided to prepare him for his first Presidential campaign,” it adds.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, pastor and author Mark Driscoll said Christian leaders needed to be careful about publicly supporting candidates lest they “turn out to be not that moral.” Driscoll said he could understand the struggle Christians would have considering Romney for president. “He supports our values; he doesn’t worship our God
The American Family Association (AFA) has teamed up with Rick Perry to sponsor his upcoming prayer rally in Texas.
Mr. Cain on Monday became the first of Mr. Romney’s nine declared and potential nomination rivals to say publicly and explicitly something long whispered: namely, that the former Massachusetts governor’s Mormonism is an obstacle too big to overcome in the most solidly Republican region in the country. The South has a high concentration of evangelical Protestants, many of whom doubt the legitimacy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This is the way I look at it: I want the best possible candidate to lead this nation. I want someone who believes in the principles of our Forefathers; someone who has the ability, experience, and knowledge to bring our nation back to greatness. This person’s particular theology is really an afterthought for me. I put more weight in a person’s family values and how he or she conducts their life.
As a Roman Catholic and Pro-Lifer myself, I believe most Evangelicals and Fundamentalist Christians feel the same way I do. Sure there are fringe elements of every group — those that will spread lies and put all sorts of misinformation out there about good people such as Governor Romney, merely because he is a Mormon. They’ll dress up the hatred for his religion by attacking him on an old forsaken pro-choice stance and how they believe Romneycare supplies cheap abortions. They’ll never tell you the whole truth, just what they want you to believe. Anything to keep the Mormon out of the White House. But again, they are in the minority.
Nobody explains better, especially from a non-Mormon perspective, why this country needs a Romney presidency than our friends at Evangelicals for Mitt. From their site, the reasons that they (and their large Evangelical network) support Mitt Romney:
Bob Abernethy host of Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly on PBS discuses issues ahead in 2011 with Kevin Eckstrom (Editor of Religious News Service), Kim Lawton (Managing Editor of Program), and EJ Dionne (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution). Among the topics that were discussed were the upcoming race for the Republican nomination for President.
Here is the text from the Romney segment:
ABERNETHY: Now you were referring earlier to the fact that the beginning of 2011 may well seem like the beginning of the election campaign of 2012, E.J.
DIONNE: Right, and I think you’re going to see some sort of interesting positioning inside the Republican Party. I mean, we still don’t know if Sarah Palin is or is not going to run for president. Sarah Palin seems to be more representative of the Tea Party side of the right, although she has clearly some Christian conservative support. Mike Huckabee is going to be competing with her as the spokesperson for Christian conservatives, but every Republican running for president wants a piece of that vote, because it is such an important vote in the Republican primaries, and that’s going to start right now. It’s already started, before the show went on the air
ECKSTROM: And I think something worth watching there is Mitt Romney, who is at the front of a lot of these polls, these straw polls, whether or not he tries to make the case about his Mormon faith again with the evangelical base. A lot of people say, you know, he did that; he doesn’t need to do it again. Other people say that he’s never going to win them over; there’s a certain amount of the base that’s just never going to accept a Mormon candidate. So I think it will be interesting to watch how he navigates the Mormon question.
Here is the video of the entire program. To view the 2012 race comments fast forward to the 15:00 minute mark:
As far as I’m concerned, the answer to the Mormon faith question for Mitt Romney in 2012 is, been there, done that. I believe it’s only an ongoing issue for those folks with a personal agenda or those who would prefer one of the other candidates instead.
Anyone who puts a high priority on family values, a strong work ethic, fiscal conservatism, and a vast and successful background and experience in business, the private and public sectors, and takes a hard look at Mitt Romney, will know immediately that he is equipped to help turn around the economy and to put America back on the right path towards better times.
As a Romney supporter and blogger I have very seldom written about faith and religion, whether in the general sense or as it applies to Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate. I’ve always known Romney’s religion to be a stigma to some. I’m sure it is even a boon to others, especially those who share his faith. Today, in remembrance of the 2nd anniversary of Romney’s speech “Faith in America”, I’m going to take a rare moment to share my thoughts on subject.
Full disclosure: I am a life-long member of the LDS (Mormon) church. Now let’s proceed.
I consider myself a strong social conservative. My social views aren’t limited to just abortion and same-sex marriage, but I also place strong emphasis on the morality of a politician or a candidate. How a leader comports him or herself in office and in their private life has a huge effect on our lives, whether they like it or not. Political leaders, sports heroes, and pop culture icons all set the trend as to what is acceptable behavior in our society. My religious belief that the family is of vital importance and is the basic building block of society causes me to decry behavioral impropriety, particularly marital infidelity, amongst those in the spotlight because of its lasting affect on many, many people. Behavior that becomes commonplace among celebrities is all too easily emulated by fans and constituents.
Back in the year 2000, when I was 9 years younger and more naive than I am now, I recall watching the GOP primary debates and being delighted with George W. Bush and some of the religious rhetoric he employed. It was refreshing to hear such talk, especially in the wake of a Clinton presidency and the scandals that had ensued. At the time I thought mostly of the character of the candidate and much less of what their actual knowledge and experience was. In retrospect, and being a little wiser now, I realize that probably wasn’t the best approach to choosing a candidate. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Bush greatly still, but there were many things that he could have done better, especially in terms of the economy. Even so, he was the best candidate available at the time.
In mid 2006, I began to look for a potential candidate to support for the 2008 GOP nomination. I knew I didn’t like McCain, mostly because of bad memories of the 2000 campaign. And I wasn’t keen on Giuliani either because of his highly publicized affairs. I recall thinking about rumors I had heard that Mitt Romney might run for president. Even though I’m from Utah, I knew absolutely nothing about him besides that fact that he was highly involved in the Olympics. In fact, I was away serving an LDS mission when the Olympics scandals happened, so I knew nothing about them.
My first thoughts upon hearing that Romney might run for president were, “Great, he’s probably going to embarrass us (Mormons) on the national stage, and just give people more reason to publicly ridicule us.” A couple weeks later, after reading everything I could about him, it didn’t matter to me anymore whether he was Mormon or not, or whether he would “embarrass” us on the national stage. I knew that he was qualified, and had the business and economic resume I wanted to see in a candidate, and that he had a fabulous record of turning large entities around, whether it be a business, a state, or the Olympics. And I could feel confident that he would not get involved the extracurricular antics Clinton tangled with while in office. Basically, I felt he was qualified AND would be a good role model, and this was/is very important to me.
Of course there were obstacles to Romney’s path to the presidency. A USA Today poll in February of 2007 showed that of Republicans a full 30% would not support a qualified Mormon candidate. An additional 12% would do so with some hesitancy. Those combined make 42% at least that had a problem with Romney’s faith. I would consider that a substantial obstacle. I recall being somewhat dispirited from that bit of news, but was sure that once people got to know Romney better, and they certainly would, we might see those percentages fall. Fortunately many came to find that they could support a Mormon, especially one as qualified as Romney. Unfortunately, I believe it required from Romney a lot of money and campaigning to slowly break those shackles. That process won’t be nearly as staggering next time around in 2012. It certainly won’t be a cake-walk either.
My own experience as an LDS missionary in Southern Jersey taught me that folks can have wild misconceptions of what a Mormon really is. Then there were others that were well informed of our beliefs and remained strongly opposed to them. In both cases I was often the first Mormon they had ever talked to and they were surprised to find that I was a normal person, as opposed to being a socially degenerative schmoe stuck in the 1800’s. I share my experience because it coincides with a study on religious tolerance that was also revisited this last week in a USA Today column:
The study was an online survey experiment with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 respondents. We provided randomly selected respondents with different statements about Romney and then asked whether they would vote for him.
Some were given a boilerplate biography that did not mention religion; others were told that he has been a local leader in his church; others were told he has been a leader in the Mormon church. Still others were told, “Some people say Mormons are not Christians.” By comparing reactions to these various statements, we could see how each one affected a person’s willingness to vote for Romney, and also how different kinds of people responded to the statements.
The claim that Mormons are not Christians was particularly potent. […] the results of our study — conducted not long after Romney’s [Faith in America] speech — suggest that his religion was a liability. When respondents were told about the claim that Mormons are not Christians, nearly one-third said they were less likely to vote for him.
Interestingly, the claim that Mormons are not Christians had virtually no effect on those people who reported a close personal relationship with a Mormon.
People who objectively know a lot about Mormons — that is, those who scored 100% on a short quiz on facts about Mormonism — were much less likely to be bothered by the claim that Mormons are not Christians. In contrast, respondents who claimed they knew a lot about Mormons, but who actually did not, were bothered most of all by claims about Mormonism.
Bottom line: those who were well acquainted with Mormons, whether personally or informatively, were not affected by the debate of whether Mormons were Christians or not. Yes, ignorance is the greatest inhibitor of tolerance. The study shows that this is unfortunately true for other less-known religions as well. This really ought not to be, but misinformation will always abound, and until the public becomes generally educated on these minority religions we’ll continue to see similar results.
I believe these findings to also be consistent with the results from the GOP primary elections. There is and undeniable pattern that Romney is well-liked western states, but he is not so well received in parts of the south. Nevada is a state that has an LDS population of about 10%. It’s not a large percentage but it’s enough that most people are at least acquainted with Mormons. I’ve often heard people say that Romney only won Nevada because of the large number of Mormons in Nevada (I wouldn’t call 10% a dominant slice of the pie). But the fact remains that if every vote from a Mormon were discounted from the tally, Romney still won the state handily. The point again: in situations where people were familiar with Mormons, they were much less hesitant to vote for one.
One can see why Romney ultimately decided to give his speech on faith in December of 2007, a speech that he hoped he would never have to give. I believe the decision to give the speech was driven by the fact that Huckabee had emerged on the national stage and portrayed himself as the “Christian Leader”, coupled with the fact that the once strong Romney state of Iowa was slipping away from him.
So what was the purpose of the speech? Merely for people to get acquainted with him on a large scale. Perhaps many wanted Romney to explain certain tenets of his faith to assuage their concerns. Romney wisely did not fall into that trap. In matters regarding doctrine he referred people to the LDS Church itself, which is the proper manner to handle this situation because as a political leader it is not his duty to educate people on all the points of his beliefs. Perhaps also the buzz around the speech would draw folks to see it and realize “Hey, that Mitt is not a crazy Mormon like I thought him to be.” Many people got to hear from his own mouth that he was a Christian in the sense that he believed that Jesus is the savior of all mankind. But that wasn’t even the main point. The main point to get across was that Americans by and large want a person of faith to lead the country, and that he fit in those parameters. Was it effective? I think so. But it obviously didn’t yield the desired results of turning Iowa back in his favor.
I have embedded Romney’s full speech below so you can revisit it. I recall vividly watching this speech live on TV. I rarely get emotional, especially in the realm of politics, but this speech hit home with me. Regardless of Romney’s future, I believe this speech will hold it’s place in history as one of the most regarded speeches of the 2008 campaign cycle, and will be held by many as an inflection point their lives.
So did Romney lose the ’08 GOP primary because of religious intolerance? Who knows? I think there are valid arguments for both cases. I DO know that no one likes a sore loser and Romney has lead well by his example. Never has he tried to claim that he was discriminated against because of his religion. He lost because in the end he didn’t get the most votes, and it all happened fair and square. I think his supporters would be wise to follow suit. I recommend removing the word “bigotry” from your vocabulary. Even if you do see true cases of religious bias against Romney I would ask you to consider your reaction. By yelling “bigot” at every corner you do much more harm to your cause than good. Be an adult and just let it go.
For those interested in following the topic of religion and how it pertains to political office (especially in regards to Romney) I recommend reading the Article 6 blog run jointly by a Mormon and an Evangelical Christian.