Governor Mitt Romney gave a much anticipated speech on faith today.  You can read the text of the speech hereMichelle Malkin also has the video of the speech embedded on her blog if you would like to watch it in its entirety.

Some excerpts:

“There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they’re at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams’ words: ‘We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.’ ‘Our Constitution,’ he said, ‘was made for a moral and religious people.'”

“As Governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.

“There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it’s more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith, and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

“We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they’re intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They’re wrong.

“These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King. I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. I’m moved by the Lord’s words: ‘For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me…’

“It was in Philadelphia that our Founding Fathers defined a revolutionary vision of liberty, grounded on self evident truths about the equality of all, and the inalienable rights with which each is endowed by his Creator.

“We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them in our Constitutional order. Foremost do we protect religious liberty, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of right. There will be no established church, and we are guaranteed the free exercise of our religion.

Overall I think it was a good speech.  It was a great reminder of the role of faith in our government and how it should inform our civic life.  I do not, however, believe it will give the Romney campaign the boost it was hoping for.

I have talked with evangelical Christians who would not vote for Romney due to his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I too believe that Mormonism is a cult, because of its denial of major tenants of orthodox Christian faith.  Does Mormonism offer excellent family values?  Sure.  My discomfort with Mitt Romney is not due to him being a Mormon.  When he said he wouldn’t disavow his Mormon faith in order to become President.  I respect that position.  While I would like him to see the truth of the Gospel and the error in the LDS doctrine (to see a chart of differences between Mormonism and Orthodox Christian faith go here) for him to disavow his faith would be the ultimate in political pandering.

While I believe that he follows a false gospel, I am not voting for a theologian-in-chief.  I would vote for him over a secular humanist or somebody who is running on a pro-choice record (like the entire Democrat field of candidates).   Melinda over at Stand to Reason said “we shouldn’t look to presidents for our theological guidance.”  That is true because even President George W. Bush, an evangelical, has made comments that are theologically inaccurate.

My main objection is his record.  I think Randy Alcorn summed it up pretty well so I’ll end this post with his thoughts on Romney.

Governor Romney, you are running as a pro-life, pro-marriage candidate, but you have a history of being strongly pro-abortion on demand and pro-homosexual. You supported Roe v. Wade and said abortion should be “safe and legal.” In 2002, you opposed a state constitutional amendment that would have stopped homosexual so-called ‘marriage’ in Massachusetts. You said homosexuals should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, and as governor, you officially celebrated ‘Gay-Straight Youth Pride Day.’ You sat on Marriot’s Board of Directors for 10 years while it profited off the sale of hard-core pornographic videos to its guests. Why should voters trust you after you spent so much of your career aggressively promoting anti-life and anti-family positions? I understand a “change of heart,” but a “change of position” on life, marriage, gun control, pornography, and immigration all preceding your run for president?

Update: I agree with Kevin McCullough’s sentiment about Romney’s line – “I do not define my candidacy by my religion.  A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.”

Update: The ACLU endorses Romney’s speech.  Interesting. (HT: Politics and Christianity)

3rd Update: Jim Rogers at the Third Moment Blog critiqued Mitt Romney’s comments in light of what the Book of Mormon teaches – so obvious inconsistencies.  (HT: Wayne Larson)

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36 comments
  1. I guess we should ignore the writings of Paul as he had a history of opposition to Christ. Sorry, but your logic is faulty. If Romney’s conversion to pro life is genuine, then maybe he will be as strong a convert as Paul came to be. Regan was a convert and a pretty fair one at that. We will all have to pray to be inspired as to the validity of Romney’s conversion. I for one feel convinced of his sincerity. Basing a candidate’s selection on his flavor of religion makes Jimmy Carter the hands down choice over Regan!! This is a slippery slope indeed. I thought his speech was very timely and focused on that which unites us as opposed to what divides us. We can still witness to Mormons without being blinded from the strengths he brings to the table.
    My God worked miracles through Cyrus as detailed in the book of Ezra. Can I handicap my God and say he could not work through someone else not of the faith? I think not!!

    Funny my first choice as was Chuck Norris’s was Newt Gingrich. Newt, like Romney is an outside the box thinker and knows the world that works. Fred seems dead. Tancredo is another I like, but needs the experience factor. Huckabee looks more and more like a Republican Jimmy Carter. I thought Mike’s attempt to help Rudy on the Bible question was condescending. I do not want a preacher of the United States. I want a president. If we go by religious values alone, Jimmy Carter beats Regan hands down. Mike appears to be a nice guy, so does Jimmy Carter.

    Google Huckabee and ethics or Huckabee and Jesus juice.

    A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?

  2. I guess we should ignore the writings of Paul as he had a history of opposition to Christ. Sorry, but your logic is faulty. If Romney’s conversion to pro life is genuine, then maybe he will be as strong a convert as Paul came to be. Regan was a convert and a pretty fair one at that. We will all have to pray to be inspired as to the validity of Romney’s conversion. I for one feel convinced of his sincerity. Basing a candidate’s selection on his flavor of religion makes Jimmy Carter the hands down choice over Regan!! This is a slippery slope indeed. I thought his speech was very timely and focused on that which unites us as opposed to what divides us. We can still witness to Mormons without being blinded from the strengths he brings to the table.
    My God worked miracles through Cyrus as detailed in the book of Ezra. Can I handicap my God and say he could not work through someone else not of the faith? I think not!!

    Funny my first choice as was Chuck Norris’s was Newt Gingrich. Newt, like Romney is an outside the box thinker and knows the world that works. Fred seems dead. Tancredo is another I like, but needs the experience factor. Huckabee looks more and more like a Republican Jimmy Carter. I thought Mike’s attempt to help Rudy on the Bible question was condescending. I do not want a preacher of the United States. I want a president. If we go by religious values alone, Jimmy Carter beats Regan hands down. Mike appears to be a nice guy, so does Jimmy Carter.

    Google Huckabee and ethics or Huckabee and Jesus juice.

    A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?

  3. I guess we should ignore the writings of Paul as he had a history of opposition to Christ. Sorry, but your logic is faulty. If Romney’s conversion to pro life is genuine, then maybe he will be as strong a convert as Paul came to be. Regan was a convert and a pretty fair one at that. We will all have to pray to be inspired as to the validity of Romney’s conversion. I for one feel convinced of his sincerity. Basing a candidate’s selection on his flavor of religion makes Jimmy Carter the hands down choice over Regan!! This is a slippery slope indeed. I thought his speech was very timely and focused on that which unites us as opposed to what divides us. We can still witness to Mormons without being blinded from the strengths he brings to the table.
    My God worked miracles through Cyrus as detailed in the book of Ezra. Can I handicap my God and say he could not work through someone else not of the faith? I think not!!

    Funny my first choice as was Chuck Norris’s was Newt Gingrich. Newt, like Romney is an outside the box thinker and knows the world that works. Fred seems dead. Tancredo is another I like, but needs the experience factor. Huckabee looks more and more like a Republican Jimmy Carter. I thought Mike’s attempt to help Rudy on the Bible question was condescending. I do not want a preacher of the United States. I want a president. If we go by religious values alone, Jimmy Carter beats Regan hands down. Mike appears to be a nice guy, so does Jimmy Carter.

    Google Huckabee and ethics or Huckabee and Jesus juice.

    A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?

  4. Thanks for your comment.

    Sure sounds like Huckabee bashing to me.

    “A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?”

    First off, I don’t drink Jesus juice – I am a follower of Christ. Secondly I have done plenty of research on Huckabee. I also looked at Romney before making my endorsement. I hardly think the MSM is doing any such thing, but you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t want New York values, but I don’t want Romney either. I want who I think would be the best candidate, and I believe that is Huckabee.

    I’ve said before that I would vote for Romney in a general election.

    I’ve always wondered what makes one presidential caliber? I guess in your mind one has to be a northeastern elite to be of presidential caliber.

  5. Thanks for your comment.

    Sure sounds like Huckabee bashing to me.

    “A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?”

    First off, I don’t drink Jesus juice – I am a follower of Christ. Secondly I have done plenty of research on Huckabee. I also looked at Romney before making my endorsement. I hardly think the MSM is doing any such thing, but you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t want New York values, but I don’t want Romney either. I want who I think would be the best candidate, and I believe that is Huckabee.

    I’ve said before that I would vote for Romney in a general election.

    I’ve always wondered what makes one presidential caliber? I guess in your mind one has to be a northeastern elite to be of presidential caliber.

  6. Thanks for your comment.

    Sure sounds like Huckabee bashing to me.

    “A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?”

    First off, I don’t drink Jesus juice – I am a follower of Christ. Secondly I have done plenty of research on Huckabee. I also looked at Romney before making my endorsement. I hardly think the MSM is doing any such thing, but you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t want New York values, but I don’t want Romney either. I want who I think would be the best candidate, and I believe that is Huckabee.

    I’ve said before that I would vote for Romney in a general election.

    I’ve always wondered what makes one presidential caliber? I guess in your mind one has to be a northeastern elite to be of presidential caliber.

  7. Thanks for your comment.

    Sure sounds like Huckabee bashing to me.

    “A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.”

    I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

    Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of “Jesus juice” really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy. Too slick!

    Right now I am in the Romney line. I believe the MSM is using Huckabee to deep six Romney in order to secure Guliani. Just like Yankees vs. Mets, they want an all New York series for president. New York values, is that where we want to go?”

    First off, I don’t drink Jesus juice – I am a follower of Christ. Secondly I have done plenty of research on Huckabee. I also looked at Romney before making my endorsement. I hardly think the MSM is doing any such thing, but you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t want New York values, but I don’t want Romney either. I want who I think would be the best candidate, and I believe that is Huckabee.

    I’ve said before that I would vote for Romney in a general election.

    I’ve always wondered what makes one presidential caliber? I guess in your mind one has to be a northeastern elite to be of presidential caliber.

  8. I couldn’t care less about the beliefs of Mormonism. Romney’s hate-speech was disgusting, and anyone who supports this hatemonger should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. I couldn’t care less about the beliefs of Mormonism. Romney’s hate-speech was disgusting, and anyone who supports this hatemonger should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. I couldn’t care less about the beliefs of Mormonism. Romney’s hate-speech was disgusting, and anyone who supports this hatemonger should be ashamed of themselves.

  11. Kip,

    Did we watch the same speech? I’m not sure how you can it a hate speech? I’m not used to being in the position of defending Mitt Romney, but I think his speech had a very respectful tone.

  12. Kip,

    Did we watch the same speech? I’m not sure how you can it a hate speech? I’m not used to being in the position of defending Mitt Romney, but I think his speech had a very respectful tone.

  13. Kip,

    Did we watch the same speech? I’m not sure how you can it a hate speech? I’m not used to being in the position of defending Mitt Romney, but I think his speech had a very respectful tone.

  14. Kip,

    Did we watch the same speech? I’m not sure how you can it a hate speech? I’m not used to being in the position of defending Mitt Romney, but I think his speech had a very respectful tone.

  15. I think kip is commenting on how Romney believes religion should be part of public life instead of a private affair. I’ve no problem with religion, but, as I’m not religious, I’d really rather not have to worry about being profiled for not believing in God.

  16. I think kip is commenting on how Romney believes religion should be part of public life instead of a private affair. I’ve no problem with religion, but, as I’m not religious, I’d really rather not have to worry about being profiled for not believing in God.

  17. I think kip is commenting on how Romney believes religion should be part of public life instead of a private affair. I’ve no problem with religion, but, as I’m not religious, I’d really rather not have to worry about being profiled for not believing in God.

  18. I think kip is commenting on how Romney believes religion should be part of public life instead of a private affair. I’ve no problem with religion, but, as I’m not religious, I’d really rather not have to worry about being profiled for not believing in God.

  19. I see your point Cody. The constitution clearly says that there is not to be a religious test when running for office. At least in the process so you could register, collect the required signatures to get your name on the ballet and go through the political process, yada yada.

    The constitution does not speak to what the individual voting does. That person can have a religious test. Now I personally am not supporting Romney, and it isn’t because he is a Mormon. I’m not supporting Huckabee because he is a Baptist and fellow evangelical (but I can’t say it hurts him). I’m looking at their records and position on issues I care about.

    I agree with Romney though, I believe that religion should be a part of public life. I feel that way because if I ran for office I don’t want to compartmentalize myself. I do agree with the establishment clause, I don’t want a Church of the United States. I don’t want a religious test for office. I think what Romney was getting at is that the free exercise clause in the First Amendment has been neglected, and in some circles has taken a beating.

  20. I see your point Cody. The constitution clearly says that there is not to be a religious test when running for office. At least in the process so you could register, collect the required signatures to get your name on the ballet and go through the political process, yada yada.

    The constitution does not speak to what the individual voting does. That person can have a religious test. Now I personally am not supporting Romney, and it isn’t because he is a Mormon. I’m not supporting Huckabee because he is a Baptist and fellow evangelical (but I can’t say it hurts him). I’m looking at their records and position on issues I care about.

    I agree with Romney though, I believe that religion should be a part of public life. I feel that way because if I ran for office I don’t want to compartmentalize myself. I do agree with the establishment clause, I don’t want a Church of the United States. I don’t want a religious test for office. I think what Romney was getting at is that the free exercise clause in the First Amendment has been neglected, and in some circles has taken a beating.

  21. I see your point Cody. The constitution clearly says that there is not to be a religious test when running for office. At least in the process so you could register, collect the required signatures to get your name on the ballet and go through the political process, yada yada.

    The constitution does not speak to what the individual voting does. That person can have a religious test. Now I personally am not supporting Romney, and it isn’t because he is a Mormon. I’m not supporting Huckabee because he is a Baptist and fellow evangelical (but I can’t say it hurts him). I’m looking at their records and position on issues I care about.

    I agree with Romney though, I believe that religion should be a part of public life. I feel that way because if I ran for office I don’t want to compartmentalize myself. I do agree with the establishment clause, I don’t want a Church of the United States. I don’t want a religious test for office. I think what Romney was getting at is that the free exercise clause in the First Amendment has been neglected, and in some circles has taken a beating.

  22. I see your point Cody. The constitution clearly says that there is not to be a religious test when running for office. At least in the process so you could register, collect the required signatures to get your name on the ballet and go through the political process, yada yada.

    The constitution does not speak to what the individual voting does. That person can have a religious test. Now I personally am not supporting Romney, and it isn’t because he is a Mormon. I’m not supporting Huckabee because he is a Baptist and fellow evangelical (but I can’t say it hurts him). I’m looking at their records and position on issues I care about.

    I agree with Romney though, I believe that religion should be a part of public life. I feel that way because if I ran for office I don’t want to compartmentalize myself. I do agree with the establishment clause, I don’t want a Church of the United States. I don’t want a religious test for office. I think what Romney was getting at is that the free exercise clause in the First Amendment has been neglected, and in some circles has taken a beating.

  23. I can definitely agree to that last part. Free exercise of religion (or lack of one) should be protected above all. Certain groups can just be so rabid in trying to prevent government sponsorship of religion that they try to wipe out any mention of religion entirely. I certainly don’t agree with that, but I also don’t want it to get to the point where everyone is forced to be religious.

  24. I can definitely agree to that last part. Free exercise of religion (or lack of one) should be protected above all. Certain groups can just be so rabid in trying to prevent government sponsorship of religion that they try to wipe out any mention of religion entirely. I certainly don’t agree with that, but I also don’t want it to get to the point where everyone is forced to be religious.

  25. I can definitely agree to that last part. Free exercise of religion (or lack of one) should be protected above all. Certain groups can just be so rabid in trying to prevent government sponsorship of religion that they try to wipe out any mention of religion entirely. I certainly don’t agree with that, but I also don’t want it to get to the point where everyone is forced to be religious.

  26. I can definitely agree to that last part. Free exercise of religion (or lack of one) should be protected above all. Certain groups can just be so rabid in trying to prevent government sponsorship of religion that they try to wipe out any mention of religion entirely. I certainly don’t agree with that, but I also don’t want it to get to the point where everyone is forced to be religious.

  27. As an evangelical I don’t want to force anybody to be religious either. I want to freely exercise my faith in Christ, and share it with others in a natural way, but not manipulate or coerce anybody to place their faith in Christ.

    So I don’t think we are that far apart in our view of religion in public life.

  28. As an evangelical I don’t want to force anybody to be religious either. I want to freely exercise my faith in Christ, and share it with others in a natural way, but not manipulate or coerce anybody to place their faith in Christ.

    So I don’t think we are that far apart in our view of religion in public life.

  29. As an evangelical I don’t want to force anybody to be religious either. I want to freely exercise my faith in Christ, and share it with others in a natural way, but not manipulate or coerce anybody to place their faith in Christ.

    So I don’t think we are that far apart in our view of religion in public life.

  30. As an evangelical I don’t want to force anybody to be religious either. I want to freely exercise my faith in Christ, and share it with others in a natural way, but not manipulate or coerce anybody to place their faith in Christ.

    So I don’t think we are that far apart in our view of religion in public life.

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