What ought to interest us about Romney’s faith are not the vagaries of Mormon theology, fascinating as they are, but how he understands that theology, how his faith informs the way he lives, his sense of responsibility toward others and how that might affect the way he governs. Granted, there are relevant political questions peculiar to Mormon teaching. The Latter-day Saints, for example, teach that the United States Constitution is divinely inspired. It’s fair to ask Romney how that affects his understanding of the Constitution. Although Mormons are hardly the only group that claims to be the “true” religion, how does that teaching inflect Romney’s notions about pluralism and toleration?
But the more pertinent question applies to all presidential candidates who make declarations of faith: How does religion shape your policies? Unfortunately, Romney has remained studiously tight-lipped about all matters of faith, referring only vaguely to “my church.”
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Randall Balmer, an historian and Episcopal priest, says that Mitt Romney will eventually have to give us a peek at how his devotion to his church would influence his conduct of the presidency: