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Monday, October 1, 2007
posted by Anonymous | 3:40 PM | permalink
I realize Kyle has posted already about the Newsweek article where they decide to openly criticize Mitt Romney for not talking more about his faith, while simultaneously questioning his commitment to his faith. I personally found this segment the most offensive:

"Mindful of the sway of evangelical Christians over the GOP base, he has positioned himself as the candidate with conservative principles and strong faith, even adopting evangelical language in calling Jesus Christ his "personal savior" (vernacular not generally used by members of the Mormon Church)."

I am not sure what vernacular is "generally" used by Mormons (maybe we should have a poll) but what got me was that the article seems to cast doubt on Mitt's sincerity in professing his faith in Jesus. The article continues with this theme later:

"At a meeting with 15 top evangelical leaders in Belmont in October 2006, he stressed commonalities between Mormons and other Christians. Most important was a single phrase: 'I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior'—a phrase that backfired in certain quarters. Although it is a true representation of Romney's beliefs, some conservative evangelicals were offended that he appeared to be co-opting their language for political gain."

I have no idea what Mitt's status with God is, but who are these writers to question his sincerity?

The article continues with something of a compliment about Mitt's business acumen, but then concludes that his abilities are really Mormon, as if to suggest that Mormon's have a monopoly on hard working and thoughtful decision makers.

"Romney's genius as an investor, colleagues say, came from having the discipline to say no to most deals, even some that promised big windfalls in the short term. Bain's ethic was essentially Mormon: make good choices because you'll have to live with their consequences."

Finally, the real thrust of the article comes to a head, it isn't just that Mitt isn't sharing himself, its that nothing is there:

"So what kind of president would Mitt Romney be? It often seems that Romney himself doesn't know. More disturbing, he is also unwilling to truly look to his own history for the answer. Asked by NEWSWEEK how he is most like his father, Romney saw only an opportunity to recite a familiar talking point about his own style as a manager, noting that George "did not just ask for opinions but for thoughtful analysis and data." Everything his family has lived through—religious persecution, the traversing of a continent, a noble tradition of service and the depths of political disappointment—it all pales in comparison with data. This is the man who in the great wisdom of political insiders is seen as congenitally presidential?"

Actually, if I was asking Mitt about how he was most like his father, I would expect an answer about his leadership attributes and how they relate to the kind of president I want. What were these folks looking for?

I don't know the particular biases of the authors of this article but I think it is safe to say they aren't Mitt fans. They aren't suggesting he talk about religion more to help himself out, they are using his religion as an indirect way to attack him personally. Mitt is a person who believes in a pluralistic society where people practice their religion in the manner they see fit. He is guided by this ideal. In running for President, could it possibly be that he merely desires to serve his countrymen and help America continue to be a great place; for love of Country? These writers seem to have not considered that possibility.
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I think the issue is the use of the term, "personal," rather than Savior. The reference of Christ as a "personal Savior" isn't at all contrary to any Mormon doctrine by any stretch of the imagination, but it is true that in the Mormon church we don't generally use the term "personal" Savior; our language is usually more collective: we more commonly say He is OUR Savior and Redeemer.

People ought not read too much in to this, doctrinally speaking, since Christ IS, in fact, the personal Savior of Mormons. I think the author was just addressing the frequency with which that particular phrasing is used among Mormons (i.e., less than among evangelicals).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 1, 2007 at 4:59 PM  

I am Mormon and we have always spoken like our fellow christians (evangelicals). The reporters at Newsweek are so out of touch they think they need a passport to visit redstate cross-over country.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 1, 2007 at 5:21 PM  

"personal Savior" not a Mormon term?

What are these people basing that on "Mormonism for Dummies" Edited by Dr James Dobson?


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