Friday, December 7, 2007

Romney's Mormon Speech

Romney's "Mormon Speech"

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Yesterday former Governor Mit Romney delivered a moving speech about the American spirit. I applaud him for this, and I agree with the basic principles of it.

Romney has been unfairly targeted by the mainstream press for his Mormon faith. Not since the days of John F. Kennedy has a presidential candidate been so attacked by a mean-spirited media over his religion. Romney displayed leadership ability by going against all of his advisors and making a speech none of them recommended. Giving credit where credit is due, The Catholic Knight tips his helmet to the courage of this man.

Romney reminded all Americans of our nation's founding, and the American spirit of religious pluralism and diversity. He reminded us that our nation's "freedom of religion" is not the same as "freedom from religion" and that all Americans in public life should be able to express their religious beliefs without the hysterical criticisms of militant Secularists both in the media and government. Finally he assured all people of faith, concerned about their religious freedom, that they have a friend in him.

In short, I believe him. His speech sounded like it was made in sincerity and humility.

Now having said all of that, The Catholic Knight will weigh in not on Mit Romney's religion, but rather Mit Romney's candidacy. Naturally, as a Roman Catholic you can expect me to have some significant disagreements with Mormonism. I personally have some extended family members involved in the 'Latter Day Saints.' We have had many passionate discussions about it, and in recent years we have come to a mutual understanding on the matter -- simply agreeing to disagree, and focusing instead on what we have in common.

That being the case, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Mormon ethic of faith, family and freedom. Mormonism is staunchly Pro-Life, and this is an admirable feature of the religion. Mormonism is staunchly Pro-Family, affirming that marriage is only between a man and a woman. (We could kid ourselves about the multiple wives thing, but the fact is that the LDS teaches monogamy now -- in accord with the laws of the land.) Mormonism teaches chastity -- reserving sex for marriage alone. It teaches honesty and respect for others. None of this can be denied, and I would challenge the credibility of anyone who tries to.

So if this is what Mormonism teaches, then let's examine Mit Romney according to the teachings of Mormonism. Let's hold him accountable only to the religion he espouses...

Mormonism is staunchly Pro-Life. Mit Romney claims his is currently Pro-Life, but he only came to this "epiphany" recently (in spite of being a Mormon all his life), and has a solidly Pro-Abortion political record as the governor of Massachusetts.

Beyond that, Romney's record demonstrates that of a successful liberal governor of a liberal New England state. If he were anywhere else in the country, (with the exception of the West Coast), he would have to run as a Democrat.

So while I applaud Romney's inspiring, and perhaps historical, speech as a Catholic voter I still have a problem with Mit Romney. Not because he's Mormon, but because he's not Mormon enough! I've been consistent about this from the beginning.  If only he obeyed the LDS teachings on Life and Marriage, standing up for the same dignity and decency the LDS Church does, then perhaps I could support him. But he did not. In spite of whatever he says now, his actions speak louder than words. I wish that Romney were a better Mormon. I know that nobody's perfect, but there are some standards that he could have stood for when he had the opportunity. If you think I'm being unfair in this, know that I only hold Romney to the same standard as I do the other Republican candidates. I hold them to the standard of their own religions. I hold former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to the standards of his Roman Catholic faith, which is why I cannot ever vote for him. I hold former Governor Mike Huckabee to the standards of his Baptist faith, which is why I can vote for him, because he has a political record that is consistent.

The message of Romney's "Mormon Speech" is a good one.  I suggest that everyone read it.  Though I don't think he should be president, I really do think he's hit the nail on the head with this speech.  We should all take note of it...

read full text of Romney's "Mormon Speech" here