Carol Platt Liebau: Fairness to Romney

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fairness to Romney

As I've mentioned before, I could be an enthusiastic supporter of Rudy Giuliani (so long, of course, as I was assured in particular that the Mayor intended to select judges like Roberts and Alito for the bench, and that there'd be no pro-choice crusading, etc). But the other candidate who's very compelling is Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

That's why it's deeply disturbing to read Bob Novak's piece about the trouble that Mitt Romney may confront in his quest for the presidency -- all as a result of the fact that he is a Mormon.

Many religious conservatives know first hand what it's like to be scorned, pilloried or deemed unfit for public service simply because they adhere to certain beliefs. And those of us on the right have been correct in criticizing the anti-religious (and/or anti-Catholic) bias on the part of some Democrats. Given all this, it would be deeply unfair for people of faith to then turn on Romney and hold his faith against him.

Don't get me wrong: I doubt I could ever vote for an atheist. But that's because I think it's important for anyone who holds the kind of power that the President does to believe that there's a higher power to whom he's accountable (aside from the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment proceedings begin). Belief in God is an essential moral check on the holder of the most powerful office in the world.

Mormons believe in God. They likewise believe in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Some other tenets of their faith strike me as somewhat hard to believe -- but, hey, isn't that how a Mormon or a Jewish person might likewise feel about my faith as an orthodoz Episcopalian?

Seems to me that so many of the conservatives who have fought so valiantly to have faith of all sorts permitted in the public square -- and respected there -- would do themselves and their cause great harm by opposing Romney based on theological differences alone. It would suggest (hopefully, inaccurately) that when religious conservatives fight for tolerance of faith in public life, they're only talking about their faith -- defined in the most narrowly sectarian terms.


Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

I'm with you on this issue. Romney's faith should not be an object of scorn. Anyone who would not vote for someone strictly because of their religion has some intellectual and spiritual "growing up to do"

1:33 AM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Mitt Romney the Mormon seems a more man than many others. Rudy has more questions to answer than any Mormon.

4:50 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

agreed. I would vote for Romney (and Allen) over Guiliani. Not that it matters to anyone but God and me, but I follow Jesus and I am beholden to no religious sect.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I read that piece by Novak. I was frankly, a bit surprised to hear of this religious bigotry on the part of Evangelicals. I've never heard of such a thing. I wonder what Evangelicals Novak's been talking to. And how many. I consider myself a fundamentalist Christian, and though I feel Mormonism is the unsubstantiated invention of a single individual (like Islam), the few Mormons I've met seemed, well, quite Christian in their behavior. It would not prevent my voting for him.

As a side note--I believe I've heard talk of some part of their belief culminating in the ruling of the world or nation. This might be what may be a red flag for some. But I can't say that it isn't the same as evangelizing until everyone believes as they do. Nonetheless, world domination by Mormons is many generations away to say the least.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Big Jay said...

This was a great post. I assume that most conservative religious people feel the same way you do. I am taking a wait and see attitude, because I have seen some fairly harsh things written on other parts of the blogosphere.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

As a Mormon, I can tell you that we do not belief that Mormons will one day rule the nation and the world. We're not planning any world domination. We do belief that Christ will rule and reign after his Second Coming -- but I think that is a fairly general Christian belief, isn't it?

4:47 PM  

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