In this episode, we review Mitt Romney’s much anticipated religion speech entitled ” Faith in America “, delivered on December 6, 2007.
Panelists include: John Fowles, John Hamer, Tom Grover, Russell Walker and John Dehlin.
All music from my podcasts are provided by Clayton Pixton and Skye Pixton.
Interesting conversation. I especially liked the thoughts on electing a ‘moral person’ as being more important than a ‘religious person’.
Although Romney’s speech will become part of US political history, I don’t think it will do much good in evangelical/baptists circles no matter how many pastors support his speech . As Dr. Noah Feldman said back in Nov, the evangelicals have become the gate keepers to the GOP nomination and as such it’s only evangelicals who need convincing that its OK to have a Mormon president. Republicans in Mass & NH probably don’t need convincing.
I doubt evangelicals will change their views on this based on Romney ‘speech’ because he didn’t address basic problems, like the Trinity. And no evangelical was actually complaining about Salt Lake running things, they just see us as cultist and as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
I agree with some of the panelists who agreed that, in the final analysis, Romney’s speech will not be a “historical speech”. However, it served its immediate purpose — to rhetorically change Mitt’s Mormon problem into the GOP’s intolerance/bigotry problem. In my opinion, this was one of the most remarkable things about the speech.
It may be on Part II, but I am interested in the panel’s view on the priority between a Presidential oath of office and other sacred covenants that Romney would think about before including it in his speech.
Mitt Romney should have taken a lesson from John Kennedy and been forthright about his religion . He was not.
He seems like a nice man, but I think he was essentially dishonest in his speech.
It was a bust in my opinion.
Religion may not be required for someone to be moral, just as schools are not required for someone to be educated — but it sure helps. The social and institutional aspects of schools make them more effective at educating people than if they are left to educate themselves. The same is true for churches and religions. With schools, entire nations can be better educated. Through religion we have a moral society.
btw- John Hammer, it is not ‘obvious’ that you can have a society that does not have religion but does have freedom. I have never heard of one, have you?
Nice theory, though.
Ron: Of course I have heard of free societies without religion. You may not be aware of it, but most of the countries of Europe would qualify as being free and lacking religion. For example, in Sweden (according to the official Sweden.se website), only 1 person in 10 think that religion is important in daily life, and fewer than that attend church. According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll only 23% of Swedes even believe there is a God. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe
The United States is a peculiar among developed countries in that a large proportion of its population still is religious (believes in God and attends churches regularly).
I was going to say Sweden! Really, I was. Of course, Thursday is a big Swedish holiday (which we will be celebrating in my house as my oldest daughter will don a white dress and crown of lights and bring me breakfast in bed–now there’s a holiday tradition I can get fully behind). So, it’s not totally without religion. But Hamer’s point is still a good one, I think. BTW, John, I think you are great in those UPS commercials. 😉
Excellent podcast. Well rounded discussion.
I think the speech was a bust because Mitt didn’t address the core issue. It’s not enough for him to say he wants to be part of the “in group” of Republican religionist, he’s got to demonstrate what part of his core beliefs mesh with the evangelicals he’s trying to swing. The Trinity isn’t the problem. The Restoration is the problem. The church can’t be out sending missionaries door by door trying to convert people to “Truth Restored” while at the same time Mitt is saying “I’m one of you”. If he and the church are one of them – then why the missionaries?
If Mitt wins the GOP nomination he’s going to need another faith speech, and one much better than this one, to swing women and non-white voters. I can envision Hillary pummelling Mitt over the Julie Beck GC talk and likewise Obama hitting Mitt hard over the PH ban. Those issues are formative parts of Mitt’s life. He needs to explain where he differs with the church on women and people of color because clearly the church doesn’t align itself well with public policy on equality of gender and race.
John M – maybe true about Europe for now, but they are in decline — their populations are shrinking and aging, their economy weakening, they’re intimidated minority populations, they are unwilling and unable to defend themselves militarily or intervene on behalf of their own neighbors.
Europe is increasingly irrelevant in world affairs, while their churches rot. We’ll see how long a society without religion can remain free.
Ron — You couldn’t be any more wrong about Europe and the US. The whole world is overpopulated and whereas there is arguably some excess space in North America, there isn’t any in Europe. “Sustainability” is the way of the future, not mindless “growth.”
Unfortunately, it’s the US that is a state of catastrophic decline — income inequality has become staggering, the middle class is shrinking, and the land of opportunity has ceased to value the concepts of education and citizenship, focusing instead on tribe, family, and creed.
JohnH – overpopulation has no meaning. Malthus cried overpopulation 200 years ago. There is TONS of wide open space in Europe. Have you ever been there?
Poor people in the US are better off economically and standard of living wise than ever, and better off than most poor people who have ever lived anywhere else in the history of the world – and their standard of living continues to rise, allong with their oportunities to advance. Most poor people in the US don’t stay poor – only a tiny percent do. Inequality today means nothing more than jealosy and demagogery. Our secondary education is the best in the world.
Where’s the catastrophic decline? It’s in your mind. Where are virtues of Europe? same place.