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Romney's Speech

Mitt Romney gave his anticipated speech on religion and politics today. He barely mentioned anything about Mormonism, but did profess his faith in Jesus. He also took a very different approach from that of John F. Kennedy's famous speech nearly fifty years ago (which has led some commentators to declare that Romney "is no Jack Kennedy"). Kennedy spoke to his protestant critics and took questions, while Romney spoke to his invited guests and did not take questions. Additionally, while Kennedy stressed the importance of separation of church and state, Romney only gave it lip service and dismissed some attempts to preserve true religious liberty.

It will be interesting to see if the speech will stop his dropping poll numbers. However, I wonder if it was a good idea since Richard Land, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, urged Romney to give the speech. Land, however, has not had too great of a record on political pronouncements this year. He claimed that Fred Thompson was a great speaker (he is not) and regularly attends church (he does not). Land also claimed that Mike Huckabee was not able to win, which is not true and is why Romney decided to give the speech now instead of later. And yet, Land was there in the audience at today's speech after being invited by Romney.

For some interesting opinions on Romney's speech, check out these pieces: former JFK aide Theodore Sorensen, Baptist Joint Committee leader Brent Walker, author Randall Balmer, and Americans United leader Barry W. Lynn.


  1. Anonymous10:43 PM

    I don't care about his faith, I care about his deception. He's clearly lied about his Mormon religion. That's what we point out. You can't possibly know just how duped you are by him and his pandering comments.

    Outlined all here:

  2. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Freedom requiring religion and vica versa ? Anybody who knows history an the woord "Inquisition" knows thats not true - I'm sure i wasnt said by Galleo as he sat in his cell for saying how the planets revolved, which didnt agree with the church.

    Religion on many fronts is lack of Freedoms.

  3. Anonymous9:24 AM


    In the matter of presidential candidacy, consider the merits of Romney's moral, economic and defense positions--not his spiritual testimony.

    When Romney--as any devout Mormon would--verbalizes faith in Jesus, he refers not to the Jesus revealed in The Bible. To the Mormon, Jesus was a created spirit brother to Lucifer, later conceived metaphysically through Mary's relations with God.
    He further, and more fully, revealed himself to Joseph Smith in a recent (relatively) return to earth (North America). This gives creedance to another authoritative testament of Jesus Christ--The Book of Mormon.

    In the extra-biblical account, God himself is not the one god, but one of many. "As man is, God was; as God is, man can become." Add in a dose of universalism, three levels of heaven, baptism for the dead . . . it's no wonder Romney and most Mormons, in public, stop at declaring their faith in Jesus.

    I'm disturbed when a "Baptist leader" like Jimmy Carter declares a Mormon relative a Christian based on her wealth status and devoutness to her Mormon faith.

    Carter needs to clarify his unwise response to Newsweek's question, or he needs to stop teaching Sunday School and start attending a good Sunday School class. He needs to bow out or be removed from leading a new "Baptist" movement, or the movement needs to redefine itself as "new Baptist" rather than a movement upholding traditional Baptist values, offering a "new prophetic voice," and giving an "authentic Baptist witness."

    Since Carter's repentance isn't likely to happen in the next 50 days, the Atlanta gathering--like Romney's candidacy--should be considered on its political merits, not its spiritual testimony.

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    1st anonymous: I am not duped; I have not written positively about Romney and linked to several critiques of his speech. I suspect that you have been dumping this comment on a lot of blogs today to promote your website. As a result, I will not go to the website. Next time please actually read the post.

    2nd anonymous: You are correct that freedom can come from different perspectives and be squashed by different perspectives. Christianity should always offer freedom but sadly has not.

    Chuck: You are correct that the Mormon teachings about Jesus are not all biblical and should not be accepted as accurate.

    As for Carter, go back and read his response. He did not say that Mormons were Christians but mentioned one individual Mormon that he thought was a Christian. Although I do not believe that Mormon teachings are Christian, it is possible that a Mormon could be a Christian in spite of their church. Unless you believe that absolutely no Mormons can be Christians then you do not actually disagree with Carter's remark. He did not actually answer the question, but then again neither has Mike Huckabee (who you have praised for leaving the Celebration). He has been asked if Romney is a Christian or if Mormons are and talks about religion but does not answer the question. Carter did the same thing. Not answering is not the same as agreeing with the premise.

    By the way, have you ever heard Carter teach a Sunday School class or read any of them that have been published? He actually probably has a deeper understanding of Scripture than many Baptist Sunday School teachers and offers deeper insights than many Baptist Sunday School materials. I do not understand why you are grasping at straws to attack Carter.

  5. Anonymous11:12 PM


    I think I do understand why you are grasping at straws to defend Carter. But you shouldn't.

    Again, you're choosing to be ruled by emotion rather than your journalistic standards.

    Without having the man speak for himself, you're extrapolating a rather grasping-if-not-gasping meaning of Carter's response to Newsweek's simple question.

    I could read it a hundred times, and never conclude that your take is likely. And I absolutely disagree with his response to the simple general question "Do you believe a Mormon is a Christian?" which--as I said in the previous comment--at face value "declares a Mormon relative a Christian based on her wealth status and devoutness to her Mormon faith."

    Mike Huckabee is being asked questions about Mormonism in the political arena, not the faith arena. Don't try to equate the two.

    Do not accuse me of attacking Carter. I am attacking his theology based on reports of his recent pluralist-sounding comments to Newsweek, a reputable source, and Rabbi Lerner, a questionable source.

    As you yourself have said should be the standard: if Carter was misquoted or misrepresented, why doesn't he refute the reports and the reporters?

  6. Chuck: I'm not grasping at straws. Instead, my position is supported by the vast majority of the evidence and the most credible evidence. Thus, it is you--who rely on a couple of items, including non-credible ones--that are grasping at straws.

    Do you believe that any individual Mormons are Christians? As for equating Huckabee and Carter, that makes sense. They are both political figures. Carter is still seen as a political individual and remember that Huckabee withdrew because of political remarks by Carter. You cannot honestly give one a pass and not the other.

    As for Carter not responding, I wish he would but understand why he has not. If you were as public as a figure who gets attacked as often as he does, you would not have the time or energy to respond to all of the attacks. And your attacks are pretty minor in voice compared to most of the attacks he gets. Maybe if you had a legitimate and reputable item then he would respond.

  7. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Actually I did read your article. The point we're trying to make with and why we criticize Mitt Romney, and to some degree Mike Huckabee is that the First Amendement had an original intent, though it seems it is lost on most Americans.

    I'm not one of those people that says you can't put up a Christmas tree in public or say Merry Christmas, but listening to Romney and Huckabee you would think the US had an official religion. We do not - that is the intent of the First Amendment - no state sponsored religion and I'm happy for Huckabee, he seems like a nice., and as for Romney, OK sure you can be Christian, I guess anyone can if you throw "Jesus Christ" in the name of your organization. listening to Romney you would think there was no place for an agnostic or atheist in America. Some of the founding fathers would probably not be welcome in Romney's house or country.

    If you think the antics of either one of these candidates have ingratiated themselves to the intelligentsia of America, then you're sadly mistaken. Will people in mega-churches around America be more likely to vote for one of them... probably. But these are the same people that think Jesus was a conservative. May they better read their Bible.

  8. Anonymous9:44 AM


    None of your points are well-taken, either.

    Merry Christmas, nontheless.


  9. Thanks for coming back and clarifying your point. I agree with your comment as you note very well the problems with Romney's remarks. Thanks for the comment.

    Chuck: Apparently you do not take the truth too well ;)
    Merry Christmas to you as well!


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