Category Archives: Family

Pre-Speech Excerpts from “Faith In America”

The Romney campaign released the following excerpts this morning to wet our whistles in preparation for Mitt’s anticipated religion speech this morning.  (Note:  the speech is at 1030 EST, it should be streamed live on mittromney.com if you want to listen to it.)

“There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us.  If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator.  And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom.  In John Adam’s words: ‘We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people.'”

“Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God.  Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”

Focusing on the founding of our country is an extremely smart path to take.  If there is one things conservatives and most Americans are passionate about, it is the Constitution and our nation’s founding; what better authority to quote than John Adams!  

 Also, it is also wise to stress that religion is an essential component to America and freedom.  This may, however, be a bit risky when facing a Democrat in the general.  Could it be used against him?

“When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God.  If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest.  A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.”

Obviously addressing the concerns regarding Mormonism. This is his Kennedyesque statement, so to speak.

“It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions.  And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course.  Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.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.  Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life.  It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.“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. “We should acknowledge the Creator as did the founders – in ceremony and word.  He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.  I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.'”

A couple of thoughts from these quotes.  First, Mitt is being very careful here to not equate Mormonism with Christianity; this is smart, as many evangelicals would be quite upset if he were to equate them.  He then wisely builds from that into the moral standards that religious community shares. 

Diving into the constitution and the interpretation of ‘separation of church and state’ is risky water in the general election. However, for the GOP he nailed it.  He is being very shrewd by talking about the removal of God from our public sphere.  If there is anytime of year that this will resonate, it is Christmas time.  Every year controversies about Christmas trees or even saying “Merry Christmas” stir up the passions of conservatives like me.  This should prove to be an emotional string that he can use to build support. 

“These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours.  I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor.  I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.  I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements.”

Wow, tieing in race.  I think this is an obvious semi-preemptive defense regarding race and Mormonism.  However, bringing this up may just create more questions and controversy for him to deal with.

“My faith is grounded on these truths.  You can witness them in Ann and my marriage and in our family.  We are a long way from perfect and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self -same as those from the other faiths that stand upon this common foundation. And these convictions will indeed inform my presidency.”

His family is one of his greatest strengths in this race.  Highliting them and the way that they have consistently lived their faith should prove valuable.  He is also stressing the similarities between the values and morals of Mormonism and the rest of Christianity.

“The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed.


“In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this:  Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation’s symphony of faith.”

Optimism, the word that is resonating from all of this.  He is using national pride and the core principles of the conservative movement as the tools from which to base this speech.  From the excerpts here, it looks like he will knock it out of the park. 

However an important factor is how it is delivered.  If he can avoid looking fake and scripted, but instead look genuine and heartfelt, it will go over well.  If not, it will not matter what he says.

It will also be interesting to see what kind of coverage this gets from the media.  Is it highly or sparcely covered?  Is that coverage positive or negative?  The post-speech spin will likely be more important than the speech itself.  Look for supporters of all the candidates (including Mitt) to be actively supporting or criticizing the speech for the next couple of days. 

Well, I know that I am biased. I am reading these excerpts as both a Mormon and Mitt supporter.  I am very interested in what all of you think about them.  Leave comments below!

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Could Pat Robertson have clean hands and a pure heart afterall?

A well known comic and lesser known blogger, Scott Adams, coined a term (as far as I know) that I’ve adopted as it fits perfectly in the way I live my life. It’s called the sniff test. Basically, if something smells a certain way it more than likely is in fact that thing you’re smelling. In the case of Robertson’s endorsement, I think I’ll apply the sniff test:

Question: Is there any shred of evidence that Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Giuliani is of pure motive?

That’s a personal question I’ve been struggling with since I first read the news. I know a little bit about how Pat has spoken about the LDS faith historically, I know that there are plenty of ignorant people that buy into the palaver of websites like carm.org, I know that it’s very possible that Robertson is taking the enemy of my enemy is my friend approach. At least it smells that way, further investigation is needed.

What better place to start than Pat Robertson’s website to see what he really stands for as a religious leader. Deep down, does he personally believe that abortion is wrong all the time, most of the time with certain exceptions, or is it acceptable all the time? Does he believe that our 2nd Amendment should be a right that is earned rather than one that is lost? Does he believe that marriage should be a bond between man and woman, or are there acceptable alternatives? To my dismay I couldn’t find any content regarding these topics, so I’m left wondering what his personal stances on those topics really are.

So, assuming that his personal views on those topics are congruent to Giuliani’s, then an endorsement would be applicable. However, doesn’t it seem that he’d have to be conservative on those topics to consider himself an evangelical leader? Logic dictates that personally, he’d be a staunch conservative on those topics, and would be pushing for the conservative candidates (Romney, or anyone else for that matter). Potential, compromise number one; endorse a candidate he agrees with personally, but not religiously, or endorse a candidate that doesn’t appear to have any shot at actually winning, or the third option is endorse one of the front runners with whom you may disagree with on some topics, but overall the good outweigh the bad OR there’s something else.

Here’s the conspiracy that I call “SOMETHING ELSE”:

Reading his website again I started to read his biography, after perusing a short time I got two distinct impressions. One, I believe that he believes that politics is the next step for him. I believe, that he believes that he’s the man for the presidential position not these other guys. Two, I get the impression that as an evangelical leader he’s not a spiritual conservative. He’s a pragmatist. His teachings are about common sense (his teachings actually match up to the counsel given by the leaders of the LDS church, which he calls a cult). I also found this snippet that piqued my interest, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart…..”

That to me says that he sees himself as a business man first, and spiritual leader second. He would never publicly say it in those terms, but you get the idea. That’s why all of his books, teachings, etc, are all pragmatic. That’s what sells, leave the extreme viewpoints to Micheal Savage and the terrorists. Toe the middle of the road and people will support you, both vocally and financially; the perfect setup for a businessman.

Why do I bring this up? I (RationalZen) personally believe there are ulterior motives at play. They are of either a financial nature, Giuliani gave him the offer he couldn’t refuse for his endorsement (much like the other party candidates do with the unions), or they relate to his own political aspirations. Perhaps he wants to divide the Republican party, so in 5 years when Hillary has polarized the country he can be the pragmatist that saves America as the next great candidate.

I don’t think that Robertson is a bad guy, I don’t know him from Adam, nor do I know what’s in his heart (God looketh upon the heart). I respect him as a businessman, not necessarily as a spiritual giant, but for me something just doesn’t smell right with what he’s doing in this presidential primary race. If he is trying to position himself to fulfill his political aspirations, I fully support that notion. If you’ve got a goal, than do what it takes to accomplish it. I would congratulate him for that notion, rather than castigate, it may appear as a wolf in sheep’s clothing but that’s probably not the first time he’s been labeled that In this situation I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the more I analyze the scenario the more I believe that this endorsement stinks for both Giuliani and Romney. He’s too bright of a guy to not understand what ripple effect this endorsement might have, something is fishy and time will have to tell what he really is after.

Rational Zen (part-time contributor)

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Filed under Candidates, Christian, Christianity, Conservative, Election 2008, Family, LDS, Mitt Romney, Politics, Religion, Romney, Rudy Giuliani

This is Why I Like Mitt

Mitt Romney’s Campaign sent out the following press release today about the American home and family.  This, coupled with his uncomparable success in the private sector, is the precise reason why I am supporting him for President.  Many people call Mitt fake and refer to him as lacking substance.  Certainly, I think there is adequate evidence to support such a claim, however on the issue of family there is not.  His family may seem “beaverish”; from a different area, but they are not fake.  What you see is really what it is.  I have met various people who know Mitt from his time as an LDS Stake President in Boston; they have nothing but positive things to say about his family and he a man.  This is what we need in Washington.  A man of integrity and who will stand up for the basic structure of American society: the Family.

STRATEGY FOR A STRONGER AMERICA:
THE FOUR WALLS OF THE IOWA HOME

“And it is the strength of this nation’s families that ultimately determines America’s strength in the family of nations.  That is why I believe that the most important work for the future of America is the work that goes on within the four walls of the American home.” – Governor Romney (Gov. Mitt Romney, Remarks At The Family Research Council, Washington, D.C., 10/19/07)


Governor Romney’s Conservative Plan To Strengthen And Empower Iowa Families:

Today, In Iowa, Governor Mitt Romney Outlined His Conservative Plan To Strengthen Families In Iowa.  There is much our nation can do to strengthen families because our future is determined not just by heads of state but also by heads of households.  As President, Governor Romney will ensure that Washington stands alongside parents in Iowa who are building stronger families.

  • Governor Romney Believes Our Nation And Iowa Are Stronger When We Have Stronger Families.  The source of most of society’s social problems can be traced to a breakdown of the family.  Iowa is wealthier, healthier and stronger when it has strong families.  It is the strength of our families in Iowa and across the country that ultimately determines America’s strength in the family of nations. 

WALL #1:  Championing Marriage:

Governor Romney Will Champion A Federal Marriage Amendment To Protect Marriage As The Union Of A Man And A Woman.  In Massachusetts, Governor Romney fought to promote traditional marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage.  The importance of defending marriage was made even more critical with the recent Iowa court decision on same-sex marriage.  Governor Romney believes marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children.  Every child deserves a mother and a father. 

  • Governor Romney Is The Only Major Republican Candidate Who Supports A Federal Amendment Because It Is The Only Way To Truly Protect Marriage.
  • Governor Romney Spoke Out Against The Iowa Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage.  “The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.    This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”  (Romney For President, “Governor Mitt Romney On Iowa’s Defense Of Marriage Act,” Press Release, http://mittromney.com/News/Press-Releases/Iowa_DOMA , 10/25/07)

Governor Romney Will Realign Government Incentives To Encourage Marriage, Not Penalize It.  Today, a single mother with child care who marries the father of her child can lose as much as $6,000 a year in government benefits.  Their combined incomes can disqualify them for Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps, and welfare. It is time to make fathers responsible for their child’s health and care. Furthermore, we need to end the tax penalty on married couples. 

WALL #2:  Protecting Our Children:

Governor Romney Will Fight The Modern Plague Of Internet Pornography.  We must clean up the culture that surrounds our children across the country.  Computer pornography has given new meaning to the words “home invasion.”  As President, Governor Romney will work to ensure that every home computer has an easy to engage pornography filter so that parents can protect their children. 

  • Governor Romney Has Proposed A New “One Strike, You’re Ours” Law Toughening Sentences Against Online Predators.  Predators who use the Internet to sexually assault children will be subject to a new “One Strike, You’re Ours” law of imposing long prison sentences followed by lifetime GPS tracking.  According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as of April 2007, there were over 6,000 convicted sex offenders in Iowa.

Governor Romney Will Take The Campaign Against Drugs To A New Level.  We can do a better job educating our kids on the perils of drug use.  Parents may be the best anti-drug there is.  A study last month showed that young children who come from homes where families had dinner together five times a week or more were 1/6th as likely to have used drugs.

Governor Romney Will Work To Better Schools And Better Education For Our Children.  Governor Romney believes in school choice and that every child should have an equal opportunity to have a good education.  He supported school choice and fought for charter schools in Massachusetts, and he will do the same thing in Washington.

  • For Parents Home-Schooling Their Children In Iowa, Governor Romney Proposes A Federal Tax Credit To Help Defray The Cost Of Home-Schooling Expenses.
  • Governor Romney Will Help Iowa Parents Save For Their Children’s College Education.  He has proposed a middle-class tax-free savings program for every Iowa family earning $200,000 a year or less.  Under his plan, their tax rate on interest, dividends and capital gains will be absolutely zero.

WALL #3:  Strengthening And Empowering Families:

Governor Romney Will Convene A White House Summit On Strengthening Families.  As President, Governor Romney will act to strengthen the family, particularly in the inner cities of America.  This White House Summit will be a springboard to develop new initiatives to strengthen families across the country. 

Governor Romney Will Reinstate The Family Impact Statement.  In an effort to keep government from doing things that hurt and weaken families in America, President Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order establishing a requirement that new government policies and programs be subject to the Family Impact Statement.  However, this Executive Order was rescinded by President Clinton.  As President, Governor Romney will reinstate the Family Impact Statement and initiate an audit of all current programs and policies which may negatively impact families. 

  • Governor Romney Will Support The Rights Of Iowa Parents Who Are Not Always Consulted About Decisions Affecting Their Children.  The work of being a parent is hard enough without the government making it harder.   

Governor Romney Will Ensure That Families In Iowa Have Health Insurance.  Using proven, free-market principles, Governor Romney’s plan will ensure every citizen has health insurance, without new taxes, a government-run HillaryCare style system or socialized medicine.  More than 270,000 people, or nine percent of Iowa’s population, lacks health insurance.  In Massachusetts, Governor Romney put conservative principles to work and the number of uninsured has been cut in half.

Governor Romney Will Defend Our Religious Heritage.  As President, Governor Romney will ensure that his Attorney General defends the free exercise of religion.  The United States is a nation under God and should remain that way. 

As President, Governor Romney Will Lead By Example.  The First Family represents America to the world and represents America to our children and grandchildren.  As President, Governor Romney’s family will live up to a higher standard and always try to make the American people proud.

WALL #4: Promoting A Culture Of Life:

Governor Romney Will Be A Pro-Life President.  Governor Romney will appoint and fight for judges who follow the law and Constitution, who understand judicial restraint and will not legislate from the bench.  As President, Governor Romney will promote pro-life polices.  He will oppose taxpayer-funded abortion, partial-birth abortion, abortion in military clinics and funding of abortion in international aid programs.  He will work to ban embryonic cloning.  He will work to increase adoptions by making the adoption tax credit permanent and raising awareness about embryonic adoption, or snowflake babies.

Read Governor Romney’s Full Strategy For A Stronger America :

To read more about Governor Romney’s agenda to change Washington, please click on the Strategy for a Stronger America, a compilation of his policy proposals for conservative change and to meet the new generation of challenges confronting our nation.  Since January 2007, Governor Romney has outlined more than 50 different policy proposals.  From defeating violent Jihadists to protecting traditional values, Governor Romney believes we can build a stronger America by taking Washington apart and putting it back together based on conservative principles that strengthen our national defense, our economy and our families.

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Filed under Candidates, Election 2008, Family, LDS, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Religion, Republicans

Thomas S. Monson’s Priesthood Session Intro of Pres. Hinckley

Request For Information:  I have been scouring the Internet looking for a transcript or, ideally, an audio or video copy of President Monson’s off the cuff mini-talk while introducing Pres. Hinckley at Priesthood Session of LDS General Conference.  In this, he told the story of the red-headed boy and also very passionately expressed his love and admiration for President Hinckley.  It was extremely touching and I would love to have some sort of full record of it.   Hopefully they will put it on the CD’s when they are released or in the Ensign.   Thanks for your help!

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LDS General Conference: Ballard speaks on media and others’ inquiries, Nelson Aids Wirthlin

It is the beginning of the 2nd session of LDS General Conference.  Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 is speaking on outside inquiries regarding the Church.  He cites events like the Salt Lake Olympics and individual members of high profile as catalysts for these inquiries.  I get the feeling that this was spurned largely because of the questions resulting from Mitt Romney’s Presidential candidacy.

Here are some highlights:

Helpful things to help explain what we believe:

– Have a few facts about the church on a page to give people and copy of the Articles of Faith

–  Mormon is a nickname of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The term Saint means member.

– Church was resored in 1830 by Joseph Smith; it is HQ’d in Salt Lake City, UT; Gordon B. Hinckly is the Prophet and President of the Church.

– 13 million members, 6 million in US; 4th largest in America.

– The church complete a new chapel each day on average

– Members pay tithes to help fund the Church.

– Congregations are lead by volunteers, there are no paid clergy.

– Mormons are well represented in Government and Politics, in high positions in business, medicine, law etc.

What about our faith:

– We believe in the eternity of the soul. God is father, we will return to hom

– Christ is our personal savior, we commemorate Christ in our Sunday services.

– We accept as fellow christians all who believe in Christ.  Jesus is the core of our beliefs.

– We believe Christ’s church was lost after the death of the Apostles and the priesthood was restored anew with apostles and prophets as well as all necessary ordinances in our day.

We believe in and use the Bible and BOM and other scripture that testifies of the divity of Christ.  The BOM is another testament of Jesus Christ.

– Our theology is family centered.

– The basic unit of church and society is Family

– We have a deep commitment to marriage; one man and one woman. Polygamy  was a limited practice and discontinued in 1890’s.

Everyone is welcome to attend Sunday services.  

– LDS families should hold Family Home Evening, it provides a regular and predicitive time for parents to teach values to children and have fun together. We invite all people of every faith to participate in this practice.

– We focus much on family history and geneaology

– The highest and most sacred ordinaces of our faith relate to the family, both the living and the dead, some of these take place in the temples.

The Savior said, by their fruits ye shall know them.  The Church should be judged by results that it generates.  

Practicing Mormons (regular Church and Temple attendence) have on average:

                                      Longer and healthier lives.  

                                      Divorce rates far below the world and national averages

                                      A higher education level than the national average


Perhaps the best way to answer questions is through how we live and the example we can  be.

Don’t be afraid to bear your testimony.

There was much more, but my son woke up from his nap in the middle of the talk, I will link either an audio copy or a text copy of the talk when released (whichever comes first).

This talk should be interesting for both LDS members and people not-affiliated with the Church.

—————-

UPDATE:

A very touching moment, Elder Wirthlin, who is very frail, started shaking a lot on the stage while continuing to deliver his message. Elder Nelson walked up to hold him steady.  My eyes teared up.  What great and wonderful men lead this church. (It is also fitting that Elder Nelson is a doctor by trade (heart surgeon).

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President James E. Faust, 1920-2007

 

 President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, passed away this morning, August 10, at the age of 87. President Faust was a man of deep faith, conviction, and love for his Savior, even Jesus Christ. He held the same love for his family and for the Church that he dedicated his life to serving.

Excerpt of the official press release from the LDS Church:

“(President Faust) had previously served four years as an Assistant to the Twelve (the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest presiding body) before being appointed a member of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (other senior leaders in the Church) on 1 October 1976.

His most recent assignments included vice chairman of the Church Board of Education; the board of trustees of Brigham Young University; the Welfare Services Executive Committee; and Deseret Management Corporation.

Bruce Olsen, managing director of Church Public Affairs, said this morning that President Faust’s ‘gentle manner and depth of knowledge, which was an important part of his ministry for nearly 35 years, will be missed.’

‘He was a true Christian who spoke and wrote with wit and wisdom,’ Olsen said. ‘Many members of the Church loved his unique way of teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ at General Conference.’

Olsen said that Church members around the world are calling to extend to President Faust’s family their heartfelt condolences.

President Faust was born 31 July 1920, in Delta, Utah. He participated as a member of the University of Utah track team in 1938 and ran the quarter-mile and mile relay.

His college career was interrupted first to serve as a missionary for the Church in Brazil and later by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Army Air Force and was discharged as a first lieutenant. In 1948 he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degree. He began the practice of law in Salt Lake City and continued until his appointment as a general authority of the Church in 1972.

He served as a member of the Utah Legislature from 1949 to 1951, as an advisor to the American Bar Journal, and president of the Utah Bar Association in 1962-1963. He received the Distinguished Lawyer Emeritus Award from the Utah Bar Association in 1995. In August of 1997, he received an Honorary Doctors Degree of Christian Service from Brigham Young University. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumni at the University of Utah in 1999, and was awarded the Honorary Order of the Coif at Brigham Young University in 2000.  In 2003, he was given the Marion G. Romney Distinguished Service Award by Brigham Young University Law School, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctors of Law degree by the University of Utah.  President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1962.”

President Faust gave many speeches to the body of the Church, speeches that I always found inspiring and uplifting.  In this past General Conference of LDS Church in April, Pres. Faust’s talk was the most memorable for me.  He spoke on the importance of forgiveness and not holding grudges.  In the talk he spoke movingly of the wonderful example of the Amish community near Lancaster, PA.  A couple of years ago a traged struck when a deeply troubled young man murdered many of their young women and girls at a small school.  It was a heart wrenching and terrible report to hear, yet the response of the Amish was incredible.  Rather than call for the criminal’s head and demanding justice, they called for forgiveness and love to be shown the family of the murderer.  Their example of forgiveness and love is one that we should all aspire to.  President Faust will be missed dearly, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is resting with the Savior and his Father in Heaven. 

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Romney Gets Feisty

Over the weekend, Mitt Romney entered into a heated discussion with Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson. The interview started to get heated when Mickelson pressed Romney on his former pro-choice stance and how it correlates to Mormonism. For Romney, who is usually very structured and, almost, scripted in everything he says, this is one of the few times that we will get to see him this exposed and it is wonderfully refreshing. I, for one, loved seeing this. He stood up for what he believes, he would not cower or skirt the questions posed. He was absolutely right to say that it is not his place to discuss the LDS Church’s stance on abortion. He was right when he said that simply being pro-choice does not subject one to Church discipline. In no way is/was Romney distancing himself from the Church. One of the things the Church prides itself on is “teaching correct principles and allowing the people to govern themselves.” People have the right to choose what to believe, the Church will not punish/discipline an individual for personal belief. The church disciplines members for their actions. There is nothing wrong in the Church’s eyes for one to be pro-choice, there is something wrong if one participates in the carrying out of an abortion (with the exception of incest, rape, or the life of the mother is in jeopardy).

Where Romney hit a home run was when he said, “You do not understand my faith like I do, so give me for the moment, the benefit of the doubt that having been a leader in my Church, a Bishop and a Stake President, I understand my Church better than you do…” And then he procedes to explain the Church’s position. He was bold, steadfast, and unshakable. He refused to both distance himself from the Church and to apologize for his and the Church’s stances on abortion.

For those of you who are not too familiar with the Church, the office of a Stake President is a high office in the Church. The Stake President is responible for a specified region of the Church, it usually makes up 8-14 different congregation. In Utah the geographic area of a stake may be a neighborhood, but in the East, say Boston or Annapolis (the Stake I belong too), the areas are quite larger. Not just anyone becomes a Stake President, in order to be called to this position one must have extremely strong leadership abilities, understand church doctrines, be a local representative of the Church, and be completely worthy and have a high moral character. Stake Presidents usually know what they are talking about. Mitt Romney having been a stake president more than qualifies him as being an expert on Church doctrine, practices, and standards. He certainly understands the doctrines and intricacies of the Church better than Mr. Mickleson.

All in all, Romney was spot on and it was healthy for the electorate to see this. It shows him off the cuff and demonstrates his skills, education, and communication abilities. While there may be a few people who are put off by this, I think that ultimately it will help Romney by making him more human and real in the eyes of the voters.

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