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December 06, 2007

Romney Speech: Not About Mormonism

UPDATE: Full Text Here

Excerpts from Romney’s long anticipated speech on religion are flying around.

He’s not going to address Mormonism specifically…

"There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines," Romney said. "To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes president, he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

But rather the role of faith and religion in general…

"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," Romney said.

"The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust," he added.

Obviously Kennedy is the precedent for something like this but it seems his challenge was rather specific, assure voters he wouldn’t be taking orders from the Pope. Given that, a speech about the relationship between church and state made sense.

It seems Romeny’s "problem" is of a different sort. I don’t get the feeling his challenge is to convince people that he won’t be taking orders from the President of the Church of LDS but rather that he’s not a member of some kooky sect. Does a general speech alleviate those concerns or is it even possible to reconcile the people who care about this to his faith?

Not being a particularly religious person, it never crosses my mind to worry about these things, so I am not sure how it will play.


The speech starts in about 10 minutes at 10:30 eastern.

I should add that I get what he's trying to do is say without actually saying it, 'religion shouldn't matter' but I don't see how that plays well. Fairly or not, it obviously does matter to enough voters or he wouldn't be giving this speech. I don't think it would play well for a candidate tell voters what they may or may not consider in selecting a President.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:20 AM

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