December 24th, 2007 04:35 EST
Analyzes Romney's Symphony of Faith Speech
Governor Romney gave a major speech this week explaining how his religious faith impacts his campaign for the Presidency. "All the candidates," said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, "will benefit from Romney's declaration that freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. All candidates will benefit from his clarification that separation of church and state does not include removing God from the public square."
"Ironically," said Crouse, "Evangelical candidates face more obstacles from the media and the elites than Governor Romney, the Mormon candidate. The hostility and distrust of Evangelicals far exceeds that faced by the Mormons. Let us hope that acceptance of what Governor Romney called the 'symphony of faith' will extend to Evangelicals."
Dr. Crouse, an authority on presidential rhetoric and campaign debates, said, "One of the major accomplishments of Governor Romney's speech was that he showed that he cared about his beliefs while at the same time respecting other people's beliefs. Liberals have a hard time understanding that respect doesn't depend on people thinking alike. He was successful in making the point that while there are theological differences among various faiths, most share the same moral ideals. Further, he established the need for people of faith to be allied against 'Godless secularism.'"
"While he glossed over the theological differences between Mormonism and Christianity," Crouse continued, "Governor Romney acknowledged that the two groups hold different beliefs about Jesus and went on record that he would not allow church authorities to dictate to him on government policy. While these remarks are necessary, they are not sufficient to end the speculation about how his Mormon heritage would affect his political positions. Discussion over these issues will, no doubt, continue throughout the campaign. The Governor's remarks provide an excellent springboard for explaining that liberty comes from God and that reason and religion are allies."
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
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