Thursday, December 6, 2007

Romney's speech

Here is the text of Romney's "Faith in America" speech. It is a good speech that says much that is both good and true about the relationship of religious conviction to American life, history and politics.

But like JFK's speech on the subject, Romney basically says that his faith [his most fundamental commitments in life, mind you, if they are genuine] won't affect the performance of his public responsibilities.
Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.

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.
But what if the demands of "the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law" conflict with "the particular teachings of my church"? Are we to believe that a person of integrity, who believes firmly in the tenets of his faith, would ignore those convictions? Fortunately, his beliefs, both political and religious, and the laws and political climate in contemporary America probably make such a fundamental conflict improbable.

In my last post on Romney, yesterday, the question of the peculiar LDS position on the person of Jesus was raised. Here is how he dealt with that issue:
There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.
"Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed...." He is surely right about that, and his beliefs about Our Lord are certainly not relevant to the question of whether he could make a good President of the United States. I'm sorry it was felt necessary to make the speech. It is a good speech.

I don't support him. If he is the Republican nominee next fall, I probably will. His religious beliefs have little to do with why I don't support him now — nor will they signify much then.

Governor Mitt Romney's "Faith In America" Address


  1. Curious: Would you support Huckabee if he won the nomination?

  2. I'd support any of the current GOP candidates, except Paul, against any of the potential Democratic candidates, but I'm not sanguine about the chances of most of them.

  3. My last answer wasn't very direct. I would support Huckabee if he were nominated. I don't think he will be, and I think he would be very vulnerable in a general election. Nevertheless, he would be vastly preferable to Senators Clinton, Obama or Edwards.

    My preferred choice, Thompson, might not be any more electable, but he seems to me the only candidate who has thoroughly thought through the issues and come to a consistent, intellectually defensible conservative agenda.

    I know his campaign has been disappointing to many of those who were waiting with bated breath, but imperfection of one kind or another is normal for humans. He isn't glib. He hasn't changed his positions facilely. He seems to me to operate from knowledge and conviction. I'd like to have a President like that.


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