Skip to comments.Catholic Editor Comments on Romney's Commencement Speech at Liberty University
Posted on 06/07/2012 9:52:42 AM PDT by Jeff Head
Mitt Romney: Mormon Candidate at Baptist Liberty University Moves Catholic Editor
By Keith A Fournier
May 15th, 2012
Full Story at: (THIS LINK)
Governor Romney did not attempt to argue the compatibility of his own religious faith and that of most of the graduates. I was relieved. He told the graduates and their guests, "People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview." He is right.
LYNCHBURG,VA (Catholic Online) - On Saturday May 12, 2012, Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party who will contend with President Barack Obama in one of the most important Presidential elections in the history of the United States, surprised many, including me.
The fact that a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would be the commencement speaker at the Baptist University founded by Dr Jerry Falwell speaks to the urgency of the hour. Add to this the fact that this Catholic Editor in Chief of Catholic Online would consider the speech important enough to make it the lead article, and the point is made even clearer.
Governor Romney addressed a graduating class of 14,012 and a crowd estimated at over 30,000 people. That made it the largest crowd of the 2012 campaign. His speech was deeply respectful. He affirmed the founder of the University, the late Dr Jerry Falwell:
"The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness"
He affirmed the Liberty graduates noting, "You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning."
"That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonheoffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide."
Mitt Romney even managed to weave in an affirmation of his former rival, my friend and preferred candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum. In his emphasis on the importance of the culture, he told the graduates, "You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life."
"The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family. The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Sen. Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters."
Then, in the line quoted most from the speech by the media, Romney stood firmly and squarely for marriage and the family and free society founded upon it noting, "As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman."
He was equally firm on the vital issue of religious freedom noting, "The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government."
"But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action."
"Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us. Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one's own life. We're not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life."
Full Story at: (THIS LINK)
AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
WHY I WILL SUPPORT MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT
This is a good article about the commencement speech Romney made at Liberty U.
ping for later
With the race between two non-Christians the choice is who will do the country the least harm. I think we all know the answer to that one. The election of Obama will be the end of this country as we know it. He is trying his damnest to destroy the country from within. The first thing to do is to destroy Christianity and that is the goal of all muslims.
Romney’s speech at Liberty U. was excellent.
This Catholic editor is right.
I abhor the Mormon faith, but I believe that Romney will be a better President for America than Obama.
Romney is proposing alliance on the same terms as the alliance between conservative Catholics and Evangelicals.
Well said, Mr. Romney!
So far, all I had done was post a marker to return to this thread when time allowed. Now that you have posted as you have and time allows, a fuller reply is in order. Also you are relatively new here. There are many other important issues I do not address below which also fully justify voting against the three triplets separated at birth: Romney and Obozo and Roseanne Barr: guns, judges, regulation, spending, restoration of western civilization, etc.
1. Deacon Keith Fournier is probably nice to his wife, kiddies and puppies and kitties as the case may be but he is not a Catholic authority. He was, IIRC, chosen by the Rev. Mr. Pat Robertson to head up a sort of Catholic auxiliary to Christian Coalition. I attended the founding meeting at Boston, the high point of which was a speech by the late US Rep. Henry Hyde.
2. Deacon Fournier is a resident of Massachusetts as I recall and well knows what Romney inflicted on the Catholic Church and its ministries and other pro-life churches and their ministries there through Romneycare via requiring all employers INCLUDING such religious ones to fund abortion, sterilization, abortifacient IUDs, abortifacient "morning after pills," and his absolutely overeager cooperation with the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that somehow John Adams' ancient Massachusetts constitution somehow GUARANTEED the right of rump ranging sexual perverts or their somewhat female counterparts to "marry" as freely as heterosexual couples. Call me narrow-minded but, whatever his failings, I don't really think that John Adams had any such thing in mind much less full blown abortion-embracing Romneycare.
3. I have no idea if you are a pro-lifer or a Roman Catholic. I am a pro-lifer and a believing and practicing Catholic. I will not vote for Myth Romney, for Obozo, or for Roseann Barr or any other infamous baby-killer or religion persecutor. I will not have to apologize to my Savior for selling my soul for a mess of pottage.
4. Given what Obozo is and given what Myth Romney is and the overwhelming likelihood of his nomination, this nation is already in intensive care (with the personnel on strike) on failing life support. Let's not make believe that Myth Romney and Obozo have any significant differences on issues that matter unless you think that the care and feeding of Muffy's trust fund is a big deal.
5. Calling Romney an actual Mormon and calling Obozo an actual Muslim, given their respective track records for gross dishonesty as to all moral matters, is giving entirely too much credit to each of them. Law or no law, I would bet that abortion mills are mighty scarce in Salt Lake City, in Riyadh, in Medina and in Mecca.
6. No, we don't all know who will do the country the least harm. Like each and every Demonrat POTUS candidate since McGovern's nomination in 1972, Obozo is manifestly a threat to everything that conservatives hold dear. So is Myth Romney. Stop lying to yourself and others.
7. Finally, note that Romneycare was enacted and signed by Myth Romney in 2006, one year AFTER he claims to have had a sudden conversion to pro-lifer while pondering embryonic stem cell research. Romneycare guaranteed that any abortion no matter how complicated cost no more than $50. Deval Patrick lowered the price to ZERO. The spineless Catholic bishops of Massachusetts cowered in the corner in fear rather than resist. Planned Barrenhood was placed PERMANENTLY on the Board of Romneycare to protect their "victory" over Church and babies. One year AFTER Romney claims to have become a pro-lifer.
8. Bear paragraph 7 in mind as Romney runs around the country making believe he is a man of religious principle. The Mormons should sue him for defamation. Republicans should deposit him in the nearest trash bucket.
9. If you worry about Christianity, as you should, take some time to decide what evasions you will tell Jesus Christ as he judges your performance on earth in supporting the likes of Romney (no better than Obozo or Roseanne Barr) for POTUS.
10. If your rationalization is that Myth Romney is a smidgeon better than Obozo, ask yourself whether you would be caught dead voting for Obozo because he is a smidgeon better than Roseanne Barr if Romney keeled over dead of a heart attack two days before the election. Would you trust Myth's hand-picked electors not to choose the head of NARAL or Planned Barrenhood to replace him on the ballot? Why? Why not?
11. Jesus Christ promised to be with us (however defined) all days until the consummation of the world. It was in all the Bibles. I trust Jesus Christ. I do not trust Obozo, Myth Romney or Roseanne Barr (other than to continue to be Obozo, Myth Romney and Roseanne Barr, respectively). Jesus Christ against any one of them or all three is a rather one-sided contest and we win. That was also in all the Bibles.
12. The coming of Christianity was inevitably the end of the Roman Empire. So what? The Bibles do not guarantee the infinite existence of the United States of America, either. So what? Whatever God's plan may be, it just has to be better than your plan or mine. Reserve your faith and trust for God. Mere politicians will break your heart every time.
Rhetoric is cheap. Especially for an etch-a-sketch politician.
He talks a good game against persecutors but is committed to be one. See Romneycare. He calls for compassion for "the child waiting to be born" but in Romneycare guaranteed the abortion on demand of any such child in Massachusetts for no more than $50 (and now ZERO) and forced your Church and mine to pay for it as a mortal sin for each premium check written by each Catholic administrator. If he actually believes in "compassion for the needy and the sick," doesn't his track record of forcing Catholic schools and Catholic charities and Catholic hospitals which are our way of serving the needy and the sick, to pay through Romneycare for abortion, sterilization, IUDs and "morning after pills" tend to drive those very institutions out of business and away from serving the needy and the sick?
Actions speak louder than words. His actions are an abomination. His sudden phony conversion on issues means nothing. Remember his resistance to "gay" marriage???? Neither does anyone else in Massachusetts. Today came the revelation that he ordered all Romneycare e-mails wiped from his administration's hard drives on his way out the door. Why did he do that? Was he being converted as to marriage being between one man and one woman as he was flying out to declare for POTUS in 2008?
No less than you, I wish WE had a candidate for POTUS on a major party ticket this year but WE DO NOT. As always, our best bet is humble, prayerful obedience to Jesus Christ and, for us Catholics, to His Church and His Vicar on Earth. I will be greatly relieved when this election is over and I can join in Resistance to the major party winner instead of arguing with fine and decent folks like SuziQ. This fever of false hope in Romney will pass.
In any event, continuing to value you as I truly do, may God continue to bless you and yours!
Time alone will judge if it just rhetoric or not.
Romney says he has changed. He has a platform and statements on the issues that give that statement of change some flesh.
He is being endoresed by many people who are well respected and not fooled, who are placing their own reputations on the line.
It is not credible to me in the least that he has “taken them all in” somehow, that he is just sucking them in so he can turn 180 degrees.
I know this, all that Romney is claiming and committing to is something we will see not one iota of from Obama. Noy one centilla.
OTOH, if Romney is elected and makes good on his promises and the stances he has taken on this issues and published and talked about...like at this speech...then things will change dramatically for the better.
Why would he turn away and not do that? I can think of no rational reason.
Given those commitments, given the destruction that Obama is pouring out on this Republic...my course is clear.
I cannot by my action or my inaction do anything that will help Obama obtain another four year term as Presidwent if I can help it.
Time will tell; 1st if Romney can win (and I believe he can), and 2nd, if he will preside over a turn around in this country that we so desprately need (and I believe he will do that too.)
AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
Jeff, I’m a graduate of the LU law program. I’ve got friends there. I know for a fact that Mat Staver, Dean of the Law School, did not approve of this decision. I was in the law school when another professor, a man of arguably stellar character by contrast to Romney, was removed from his teaching post, ostensibly for advancing theological positions far less dramatic than the Christian contrast with Mormonism.
I am also aware that despite all the public happy talk, there was a real fight going on behind the scenes between the student body and the administration. Jerry Junior got out there to push PR that Liberty had no position on Mormonism being a cult, but I know that to be untrue. It is routinely taught as being an unbiblical cult in the apologetics courses sanctioned by the school. So is Jerry Junior lying, or hiding behind semantics? Based on my personal knowledge of how the school administration operates, I would guess it to be the latter. They never lie. They just tell the truth so it always gets them where they want to go.
So if your point in posting this is to try and mend the rift between evangelicals and Mitt Romney, forget about it. Not gonna happen. Many evangelicals are so weak in their understanding of the faith once delivered they make easy prey to blatant doctrinal mutations. But many are well trained in the truth, and will not trade their monotheism or their Jesus for any substitutes, no matter how urgently pressed upon them. This war doesn’t end until Romney converts. I’m not holding my breath.
Romney being allowed to speak at Liberty is every bit of scandalous as Obama being allowed to speak at Notre Dame.
Not at all. My point in posting this is simply to note that a lot of people there, and particularly this Catholic Editor has some good things to say about the speech and potential prospects of Roemny as President as opposed to Obama.
I believe that we can in fact join together on basic, shared funamental values and service to our Republic and one another.
If we do that, we can oust Obama, win control of the House and Senate, and have a much better chance at beginning to turn this around than if we have four more years of Obama. That was my purpose.
Some folks are not going to agree with or believe that...I do believe it is possible and believe the chance for that to occur, which I believe if he wins is a good chance, far outweighs doing anything to allow Obama to win.
That's my own stated purpose and opinion...I understand how others can come to different conclusions even if I do not agree with them.
I’ll sum this up quick. I am a practicing Catholic, and try to live my life according to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
I have no intention of voting for either candidate representing the two major parties. My faith will not allow me to. Both are liberals.
With that said, one of them will be the next president.
I feel that Mitt Romney can do less damage to the country that Obama. Maybe not, but we have already seen what Obama can do, and that is absolutely destroy this country, starting with destroying Christianity.
It’s that simple.
One other thing. This weekend I will see For Greater Glory about the Christero War against the Mexican communist regime of the 1920s. I am convinced it will be the best Catholic movie at least since Braveheart other than the more generally Christian Passion of the Christ. If either of these two (Romney or Obozo) really want to insist on persecuting thee and me and our bishops, we will know what to do with the backing of our many brethren who are of many morally sound other faiths and sometimes no faith at all. Those who have gone before us (some martyred and some not) have taught us to bury our enemies and so far we have and our Savior promises that we will with His leadership.
I felt I did not have standing as a Catholic to say that although I generally admire Liberty University. I did the hionors on Notre Shame though. Thanks.
God bless you and yours!
I did my share of exposing and acting against the compromised leadership at ND too. And, even though I’m an evangelical, I could get away with it. Why? Because I had a large number of principled Catholics standing right beside me. Folks who know from long and varied experience that I’m just as hard on compromised evangelicals.
It’s self-evident truth and the moral principles of the republic that matter in the political arena, not denomination.
Although, I will admit, there were aspects of that scandal that I did leave to my Catholic brethren to address. It was only fitting.
Thanks for all you do.