There are bigger issues than just Romney's 'economics."
The Romneyites are quick to point out that Mormon Romney is facing the same challenge
to his faith that JFK's Catholicism faced. However, Romney and JFK are in two different
spheres of church participation.
John F Kennedy was baptized a Catholic, and comes from a devout Catholic family (if we
ignore adultery and other sex-related indiscretions). However, JFK's church participation
level is where most of us are: Pew-sitter.
To ease tension, Kennedy gave his famous speech on religion and politics in Houston
during his presidential campaign.
"I believe in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither
imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a conditionto
holding that office," announced Kennedy. (Greenberg)
Now "when asked if the Vatican had approved his statement, Kennedy said that no such
approval was necessary. When asked what he would do if church officials tried to
influence his position on a matter of policy, he said in effect he would tell the clerics to
butt out." (Greenberg)
Shortly you will see the contrast to Romney flying to Salt Lake City to have council with the
Tricia Erickson comments on this:
"Just how committed is Mitt Romney to his Mormon faith? Mitt Romney was a graduate of
Brigham Young University and a Mormon Missionary. He was promoted twice on his
mission to Missionary Zone Leader and Assistant to the Mission President. Mitt also
became a Mormon Bishop and later a Stake President, presiding over a dozen Mormon
churches. You cannot get more Mormon than that." (Erickson)
Well I might add in that the Romneys are the equivalent of the American Mayflower
families. As the Romneys have ancestors who were with the orginal pioneers with
Brigham Young as he settled in the Salt Lake Valley. Also, the Romneys have an ancestor
who was a Mormon Apostle.
Mitt also was home with Daddy when the current prophet frequented the Michigan home
of the Romneys while he was an Apostle. The last prophet was a high school pal of Daddy, and frequented the Romney home.
This is a lot of exposure to Mormonism, and the very top leadership of Mormonism. Much
more than just a pew-sitter as Kennedy.
Pew-sitter versus all of the above. Who is more influenced by his church?
Kennedy promised that the Pope would not control his Administration. But what about
Romney? What does Romney's political history prove?
From as early as 1994 through his failed Senate campaign to defeat Ted Kennedy, Romney
made frequent trips to Salt Lake City to consult with the upper level leaders of the church.
Romney made so many trips that he became an irritant to his old time family friend,
Hinckley (the last prophet), that R.B. Scott, a Romney campaign worker quoted him as saying his many visits were "a little tiresome." (Barrett)
"These repeated visits raise questions about just how much the ever flexible Romney has
customized his social policy views to satisfy - even temporarily - the Mormon church."
"While we cannot know exactly what Romney discussed with church elders in the
meetings, the disquieting and under-reported side of this saga is that he made several
more vetting trips to Salt Lake City than John Kennedy ever made to Rome." (Barrett)
"I went to his office and I congratulated him on taking a pro-choice position. And his
response was - Well they told me in Salt Lake City I could take this position, and in fact I
probably had to in order to win a liberal state like Massachusetts. . . . I said, Mitt, it
doesn't make me happy to hear that. What you're suggesting is that you're not genuinely
pro-choice. It's a position of convenience," told Judy Dushku, a Mormon feminist, after
talking to Romney after a 1994 visit to Salt Lake City. (Saletan)
How much control would the Pope have over Catholic Kennedy? He kept his word, and the
Pope had no influence in the Oval Office.
How much control would the Utah prophet have over Mormon Romney? Immense control.
"But even if he (Romney) kept his faith completely private, the election of a Mormon
president would, ipso facto, swathe Mormonism into respectability that it has long
Barrett, Wayne, "Biographer Recounts Romney's Many Trips To Mormon Church To Discuss
Social Issues," The Daily Beast, May 11, 2012.
Erickson, Tricia, "A Mormon America, Brought To You By Mitt Romney," Christian News
Gibson, David, "Why Mitt Romney Can't Be The Mormon JFK," Huffington Post, Jan 25,
Greenberg, David, "How Santorum Misunderstands Kennedy's Catholic Speech," George
Mason University's: History News Network, Feb 28, 2012.
Saletan, William, "The Conversion: How, when, and why Mitt Romney changed his mind on
abortion," SLATE, Feb 22, 2012.