We miss you in Washington, and based on your post, clearly your calling is to be a court reporter, which does not require a J.D. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone copiously write down my words before…!
In all seriousness, Steve conveyed pretty much what I’m thinking right now. Governor Romney’s speech was magnificent. It did what he needed to do — and more.
What do I mean by that? Well, as I’ve suggested elsewhere on EFM, I think he needed to speak to those evangelicals who don’t have a really good idea of who he is and are not sure they should go ahead and vote for a Mormon. He didn’t need to speak to the person who — I’m told — called Bill O’Reilly’s radio show today and said she could vote for an agnostic, an atheist, or pretty much whatever else, but not a Mormon, because those people are nuts. Such folks are, sorry to say, beyond reaching — but thankfully, they’re not as numerous as they are loud.
(As an aside on that point, I hate how the media love the loudmouths. We got a call from CNN today asking us to go on with the televangelist in Florida who thinks a vote for Governor Romney is a vote for Satan. That’s the kind of voice they think deserves to be on the air on a day like this?)
And Governor Romney did speak to that great middle today. He said in no uncertain terms that he does prize and actually believe his faith — but he also said that the way it would affect his presidency would be to underline the values he shares with evangelicals and other people of faith, not to promote Mormonism’s particular doctrinal oddities.
But he didn’t stop there. He also juxtaposed America’s tradition of religious freedom with Europe — where state churches have given way to empty churches — and the Middle East, where jihadist fanatics kill anyone whose views they don’t like. So he didn’t just summarize the American tradition, and how he would fit into it — he made a rousing case for why America is so special, and why we need to be so careful to protect our religious heritage, which includes religious liberty.
As David would say, it was tremendous — and as all of us EFM-ers in attendance agreed, it wasn’t just a good day for us, or for Governor Romney and his campaign. It was a good day for America. And I would even add that it was a good day for God’s kingdom. America got a chance to see that Mitt Romney understands the special blessings God has given the United States, and that if he is elected president he will defend them with all his might — not, as some might previously have feared, try to upset the apple cart in the name of his particular sect.
On that point, if you’ll indulge me, let me post my favorite portion of the speech:
Recall the early days of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, during the fall of 1774. With Boston occupied by British troops, there were rumors of imminent hostilities and fears of an impending war. In this time of peril, someone suggested that they pray. But there were objections. ‘They were too divided in religious sentiments’, what with Episcopalians and Quakers, Anabaptists and Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics.
Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot.
And so together they prayed, and together they fought, and together, by the grace of God, they founded this great nation.
Governor Romney is just the kind of man Sam Adams was talking about then — and just the man America needs today.