Thursday, December 6, 2007
Romney speaks about his religion
Republican Presidential Candidate and Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made a speech today to address "concerns" about his faith, Mormonism. Romney, who has been slipping in the polls, decided it was time to address these "concerns" head on. Taking a book out of President John Kennedy's Presidential Campaign, Romney said,
"If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."
Because Mormonism is considered by many to be a Cult, there has been skepticism according to numerous polls about having a "Mormon President". In attempting to quell this skepticism that some "rogue religious man" could become President, Romney stated,
"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."
But the most important statement of Romney speech was just a simple statement:
"Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree."
This is the real issue about Mitt Romney's religion. The First Amendment of the US Constitution says:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."
The Freedom of Religion clause in the US Bill of Rights is based upon the idea that any citizen is free to practice any religion without the government telling him how to practice his religion or the government having a religious preference. No matter what one's perspectives or feelings may be about Mormonism, the fact is that we are suppose to be a nation of Religious Tolerance. The only time a religion or religious sect might not be tolerated is if that group has creeds or dogma that is harmful to society (i.e. human sacrifices; suicide as a way to immortality).
People can debate faith, religion, creed, and dogma day and night, but still will not answer that if you were to take religion out the equation, answer the question honestly: Would you vote for Mitt Romney for President? Sadly, for some people, his religious preference is more important than his politics. All these people running around talking about Mormon conspiracies seem to forget that there just as much, if not more, conspiracy and secrecy (fiction and non-fiction) that overshadows the history of other religions such as Roman Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, along with others. No religious system or creed is without its closet of "dirt".
I say lets give Mitt a chance. Who knows, in the long run, he may be the better of the Republican candidates. But the fact that some will not vote for him or exclude him from discussion just because he is Mormon gives the impression of narrow mindedness.