Last week Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave a speech to try and calm the evangelical Christian base of the party over his religious beliefs. Romney is a Mormon. To many evangelicals, that is the same as being a Pagan or worse – an atheist even though in actuality, Mormonism is a sect of Christianity.
Romney has pandered to the evangelicals on other occasions, like his flip flop on abortion, and with evangelical poster boy Mike Huckabee nipping at his heels, the speech was seen in similar light as one given by John F Kennedy during him campaign in 1960.
Of course Romney’s speech really wasn’t anything like Kennedy’s absolute separation of church and state speech.
My favorite reaction to the speech was a quote by Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and now considered a GOP strategist (whatever that means):
“We have been conducting doctrinal frisks and theological GI-tract exams of our candidates and we have to remember that these candidates are not running for president of the seminary and they’re not running for pastor in chief. They’re running to be commander in chief at a time of global war on terrorism.”
Ralph Reed: Religion questions are getting invasive
The quote got the following comment when it was mentioned on the Yeas and Nays blog:
C-dog: There’s more to the job than being Commander-in-Chief Ralph! And since you started the whole “holier-than-thou” Religious Right movement: behold what you have bred…
For comments on Romney’s speech from a secular perspective check out the following links:
Gov. Romney’s Speech, “Faith in America”
Mitt Romney is No Jack Kennedy
Mitt Romney Under God
Candidates And Scripture: Bumping Into God On The Campaign Trail