Friday, December 07, 2007

Mitt Romney -- Misses the Point

He looks like he could be president.

But, I think it's pretty safe to say, he won't be. Despite his very conservative positions on just about everything, I'm betting that evangelical Christians will not vote for him because he is a Mormon. As one Southern Baptist friend told me, "I learned in Sunday School, that the Mormons were a cult."

Yesterday, Mr. Romney gave a speech about his religious views. As a minister who values the separation of church and state, and a person of faith who upholds the rights of others to have no faith, I found his speech a sad combination of a call to uphold religious diversity while pandering to the very people, who against the Constitution, would make religion a test for national office. Mr. Romney is caught between his own faith and those who are trying to make the U.S. a "Christian nation."

I don't believe "secularism" is a dirty word. I believe that people who practice no faith at all are Americans too. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that religious voices have an important role to play in the public square, but never as a litmus test for public office. Mr. Romney, I can't help but wonder who you think was going to be more favorable to you after this speech.


Anonymous said...

I learned it from experience..not in Sunday School

your anonymous friend

RGVprof said...

I think you have a good point. I think he may have alienated a lot of people - religious or otherwise - that are tired of the same intolerant and narrow rhetoric of the religious right.

I talked about his speech on my blog in some length. I have kind of a unique perspective on Romney since I'm a Mormon-turned-UU. I don't even know how representative his speech would be of how Mormons see these issues. It's obvious what he was trying to accomplish with his speech - convince those super-conservative evangelicals in the GOP that he's OK to vote for.