Contrary to advice from David Brody, Romney seems not keen at all about describing with any specificity -even any generality- his faith. This I think is perfectly appropriate under most circumstances but neatly highlights the dilemma he faces. If : 1)he says his faith informs who he is and all he does and 2) his faith is not one most are familiar with (and some are downright uncomfortable with) can he simultaneously say " but I'm not going to tell you anything about my faith"? Well sure he can say it, but with such an approach whose minds will he put at ease? Likely, people who already think religion shouldn't be a factor or people who have satisfied themselves that Mormonism is not a "cult" were fine with him before and will be fine afterwards. I share James' head scratching about what Romney can/should say that will not be off putting or pablum.
My AmSpec piece 11 days ago on evangelicals' concerns with Mitt Romney's Mormon faith drew many rebuttals from his defenders. Over the weekend Drudge noticed an Associated Press article about how Romney's political consultants are advising him against giving a special speech addressing his religion:
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said Saturday his political advisers have warned him against giving a speech explaining his Mormon faith.
During a house party overlooking Squam Lake, Romney was asked by voters if he would give a speech outlining his religious beliefs and how those beliefs might impact his administration, much like then-Sen. John F. Kennedy did as he sought to explain his Catholic faith during the 1960 election.
Yes, James, to some on the Left, it really is scandalous if you believe in the core teachings of the Catholic Church. Note how quick the Left was to assert that the only reason the Supreme Court refused to outlaw a law against partial birth abortion is that five members of the Court are Catholic. Note how quickly Chuck Schumer repeatedly says he worries about the "deeply held beliefs" of Catholic court nominees while almost never using that language about non-Catholics. Note how, in the battle over Bill Pryor's nomination to the court, a very confused Dianne Feinstein was all aflutter about a Pryor speech to his Catholic high school alma mater because she thought Pryor was suggesting that American government ought to be Christianized, when in fact Pryor was quoting Thomas Aquinas to argue that the graduating students, as Catholics, have a duty to participate in civic and political life--in other words, to be good citizens.