Hiller Instinct: Mitt Romney\'s religion
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Mitt Romney's religion
For many people: being Mormon is mysterious.
Today Romney tries to uncover the mystery. Or did he?
"I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest," Romney said today.
Romney gave this political speech about his Mormon faith because he had to.
His lead in Iowa is gone. He now trails Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist Minister, with the caucuses there less than a month away.
So, Romney evoked JFK, who was running to become the nation's first Catholic president in 1960.
"I am not the Catholic candidate for president, I'm the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be Catholic," John F. Kennedy said back then.
"I do not define my candidacy by my religion,” Romney said. “A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith."
On religion, Romney is running uphill with one survey showing 25-percent of Republican voters are less likely to back a Mormon for president, and another revealing 46-percent have an unfavorable opinion of Mormons.
"I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it, some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy,” Romney said. “If they are right, so be it."
Which interestingly is very much what Huckabee says:
"I have deep convictions about what I believe, but I would never ever impose what I believe on you. Now would it influence and affect the way I think and believe? Of course it would."
And to those who want a bright line between church and state:
"It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America, the religion of secularism,” Romney said. “They are wrong."
For people who don't like to talk about politics and religion, this is the full monty!
What Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are saying is "yes, there is a separation of church and state, but there's a connection between church and state-of-mind."
Republicans and conservatives are more likely to agree with that than Democrats and liberals.
So, ironically Romney's attempt to diffuse religion as an issue may instead ignite it.
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