This past weekend, the Republican presidential candidates spoke to a gathering of Christian conservatives in Washington, D. C. under the banner of Values Voter Summit. All did themselves well and even the Mormon candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney impressed this tough crowd.
But the question still lingers around Mr. Romney and that Mormon thing.
Can it not be enough that Mr. Romney is a man of faith? Does it have to be the "right" one?
Clearly, out of the top tier Republican candidates, Mr. Romney is the most likely church-goer followed by Sen. John "F--- You" McCain. It is known that former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson rarely, if ever, attends church. Ditto for the alleged Republican front-runner, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
So what if there are profound differences between Mormon doctrine and traditional Christian doctrine? The fact is, Mr. Romney is a man of his faith, his understanding of Jesus in the Mormon tradition.
And, that is enough for me.
I am more confident in a man, or woman, who has a strong faith and can be counted on to be in the front line of defending the first amendment given right to have their freedom of religion, not from religion.
Hence, I have a lot of confidence that Mr. Romney and his faith will be a strong guide of his potential presidency. It may be a very profound deepening of that faith that made Mr. Romney more open about how that faith will sometimes translate into his social vision in regards to such hot-button issues as abortion, same-sex marriage, prayer in the public schools.
While the Values Voters tended to be traditional, evangelical Christians, no one can doubt that many Mormons are at the very least sympathetic with their agenda. Same for those who are traditional Jews and even Islamics. And it is that alliance that can and should lead to Mr. Romney eventually gaining the Republican presidential nomination.
There are a large minority of Republicans that would like nothing more than to dispatch these Value Voters. They are seen, short-sighted, as a liability. The question for these Republicans is simple. Would have Ronald Reagan won two terms as president without these voters? No way!
Values Voters are a part of the great conservative coalition that includes economic, defense and social conservatives. If one is pushed out, the rest splinter and the coalition falls apart. That is a real fact and those Republicans have nothing to back up their mythical theory that there would be any other voters to replace those social conservatives.
Back to Mr. Romney.
It is more important to have a serious man or woman of faith to be on our side. So what if they happen to be a Mormon? I, for one, do not fear that on Inauguration Day, suddenly 20,000 young, well dressed men will ride out of the White House to turn all of the United States into a Mormon fortress. I do not worry that a President Romney will consult Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints president, Gordon Hinckley, on any decision. Period.
So, I think that it is important that we who want to see the kind of judges that can rollback some of the excesses of the current socialists and their judicial allies support a candidate that has made a serious commitment to that end. And that candidate is Mitt Romney, a man of faith.