The EFM Feature

Charles, nice editing on Haley Barbour’s postcard, though I never know your address so would’ve liked to seen it.

So, I’m having a nice cup of coffee while my entire family sleeps (except Naomi!) and I’m not at all bitter about the fact that I always have to get up while they get their beauty sleep. Not at all. It’s hardly worth mentioning.

Anyway, can I just say this? Jon Huntsman Jr. (U.S. ambassador to China and a former Utah governor, for those who don’t live in Utah) has been on my bad list since this ridiculous decision back during the last campaign cycle. Long time readers know I was a tad annoyed that he endorsed McCain, while his dad endorsed Gov. Romney… splitting the difference, I guess.

That being said, I found this article interesting about how “Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman Jr. mull Mormon dilemma.”

Writer Lisa Riley Roche described Huntsman as having “soft Mormon credentials,” in comparison to his dad:

In a recent Fortune magazine interview that appeared on CNNMoney.com, his Mormon credentials were described as “soft,” unlike his more devout family. His father, Jon Huntsman Sr., is an Area Seventy in the LDS Church.

The former governor noted in the interview that his children attend Catholic schools, and his adopted daughters come from different religious cultures, one Buddhist, the other Hindu.

“I can’t say I am overly religious,” Huntsman is quoted as saying in the interview, which refers to his consideration of a 2012 run. “I get satisfaction from many different types of religions and philosophies.”

Evangelicals, is this approach satisfactory to you? Or would you rather have someone who doesn’t hold his faith so loosely?

Also, Roche brings up the “Romney re-invents himself” meme, which is so 2008. The writer says that Gov. Romney is handling his faith differently than he did during the last campaign cycle, because of this quote:

“There are just some people for whom it will not be settled,” Romney recently told the Boston Globe. “That’s just the nature of who we are as a people. A lot of people have differing views.”

Of course, ever since the Boston Globe printed that quote, everyone is saying he’s going a new direction as he talks about his faith. Roche even quoted people that say — unoriginally — that his faith is not the issue, rather his “reinvention” of himself is.

But is this admission that some people aren’t settled about his faith really that big of a “switch?”

I had the pleasure of hearing his “Faith in America” speech in College Station, Texas, which was an explanation of where he was coming from… a plea for people to consider faith in the right light.

Far from belittling his religious convictions (like Huntsman), he explained that he refused to provide that distance that Huntsman is trying to provide:

There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers — I will be true to them and to my beliefs.

Evangelicals, think about this for a minute. How many times will the world ask us to change or distance ourselves from our faith? It happens more than you think.

How would you respond if your faith was challenged? Rather, how would you hope you would respond? Like Huntsman? Or like Gov. Romney?

Another thought. He’s already addressed this issue. The media is going to try to goad him into conversations about his faith all the time, knowing he takes it seriously.

Saying that some people don’t get it, and never will isn’t some sort of new thing. Don’t evangelicals also believe that truth is spiritually discerned, and not a credit to the believer for “figuring it out.” For example, 1 Corinthians 2:14:

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, Gov. Romney’s modest statement that people don’t agree on matters of faith is hardly a new reinvention, but rather an obvious statement of fact evangelicals have known all along. (Whether or not you agree on which path to take spiritually!)

Casting this statement as a “flip flop” is tired political analysis, spiritually tone-deaf, encourages politicians to not to take their religions seriously, and just plain lazy.


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