Election 2008


Romney Discusses Mormon Faith

December 06, 2007 02:30 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
In a speech entitled "Faith in America," Mitt Romney focuses on the common ground Mormonism has with other religions and refrains from describing the tenets of his faith in detail.

30-Second Summary

On Dec. 6, in a much anticipated address, Mitt Romney explained that despite the strength of his religious convictions, his faith will not dictate his presidency, if elected.

"Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin," Romney stated.

Political pundits have compared this moment in Romney’s campaign to the time, on Sept. 12, 1960, when John F. Kennedy spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association about being a Catholic and presidential candidate.

Kennedy explained, “I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters—and the church does not speak for me.”

In a recent forum on Mormonism and politics organized by independent think tank the Pew Foundation, Richard Bushman, author of several books about Mormon history, explained his views on the subject: “I believe that we should truly be able to lay aside fears that Romney will receive directions from Salt Lake City. There is nothing in the record of the past century that would lead one to think otherwise.”

In comparison to most of the world's major religions, Mormonism was founded relatively recently, in the 1900s, by Joseph Smith, who led a band of followers from New York to Ohio to Missouri, and then to Illinois, where close-knit communities were established.

Following the murder of Smith by a mob in 1844, the Mormons were led by Brigham Young to settle in Utah. They abandoned the practice of polygamy in 1890.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the full title of the Mormon church, states that it has 12,868,606 members worldwide.

Headline Link: ‘Faith in America’

Background: Comparing the predicaments of JFK and Romney

Historical Links: JFK’s 1960 speech and the contemporaneous press

What is Mormonism?

Opinion & Analysis: Mormonism and Democracy

Related Links: Evangelicals for Mitt and the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research

Reference: Watch Mitt Romney's speech


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