“Faith may hamper Romney.” That’s the headline of this story in South Carolina’s The State newspaper. Now, I used to edit a little college paper, so I know headlines can’t be 85 words long, but the truth is more like this: “Faith may hamper Romney if evangelicals judge him in isolation from every other candidate and every other variable, which they won’t.”
Check it out. The article quotes Bob Taylor, who is identified as “a Bob Jones University executive” and notes that if it comes down to Romney vs. McCain, evangelicals will go with the former. No kidding. As we’ve pointed out before–and will again–one has to pick a presidential candidate in comparison not to some non-existent perfect person, but to the rest of the field.
Then there’s this:
Rick Beltram, chairman of the Spartanburg County GOP, said if he had been asked the question last year, he would have said Romney’s religious problem is “insurmountable.”
“But I think he’s going to get past that,” he said.
Mmm hmm. There are going to be a lot more people saying the same thing next year. Because as we put it when we started this site:
Here is the bottom line: the 2008 election is for president, not pastor. We would never advocate that the Governor become our pastor or lead our churches–we disagree with him profoundly on theological issues. But we reject the notion that the president of the United States has to be in perfect harmony with our religious doctrine. In fact, that is not a test that has been applied before–after all, Jimmy Carter was probably more theologically in line with evangelicals than Ronald Reagan, yet we believe that Reagan was clearly the better choice in 1980.
Let’s leave the absurd religious litmus test to the Democrats. What we want is a president who shares our moral and political values and will put them into action. A President Romney would do that—just as he’s done in Massachusetts—making him stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field.