Mitt Romney

Romney's Faith Leaders Rip Gingrich's 'Despicable Behavior'

On Wednesday, Newt Gingrich held a conference call with faith leaders during which he declared that the push for marriage equality is an example of "the rise of paganism" while his supporters warned that failure to elect Gingrich would quite literally spell the end of America and Western Civilization.

On Thursday, the Mitt Romney campaign held its own conference call with its own faith leaders who ripped Gingrich for his arrogance, recklessness, and "despicable behavior":

The Mitt Romney campaign held a conference call this morning with social conservative Republicans in Florida, touting the former Massachusetts governor's integrity and values and contrasting him to Newt Gingrich. Leading the call were Pastor David Janney of Orlando Baptist Church, the largest church in Orlando, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon of Indialantic, and Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and a prominent advocate for religious freedom.

Pastor Janney said he's watched Romney being vetted and noted his marriage of 42 years, five children and 16 grandchildren: "When I look at his life I'm not concerned about being embarrassed or distracted by his personal issues."

Weldon said he was one of the members of congress who tried to oust Gingrich as U.S. House Speaker. "With Newt it was kind of like every day we didn't know what he was gonna say, we didn't know what he was going to be doing, he was just a little bit unpredictable," Weldon said. "It worries me the idea of him being in the oval office."

...

State Rep. Dennis Baxley, former leader of the Christian Coalition of Florida, also spoke on the call, saying Romney "shares our Christian values and will protect our religious freedom."

"When your choosing a leader it's about integrity. The hardest thing to maintain in any leader is those essential qualities of humility and purity. ... I'm very concerned about Newt Gingrich on that front." Baxley called Gingrich "very arrogant on his moral failure - calling the press despicable for covering him instead of humbly seeking the forgiveness of his former wife and others for his own despicable behavior."

Romney Blasts Obama's 'Assaults' on 'Life', 'Religion' and 'Marriage'

On a conference call last night with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mitt Romney laced into President Obama, arguing that he is leading an “assault on life,” an “assault on religion” and an “assault on marriage” as part of a larger “assault on American values.” With Gingrich quickly moving up the polls in Florida with the support of more conservative, evangelical voters, Romney used the conference call to pick up the same rhetoric used by unsuccessful candidates like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann and dish out red meat to Religious Right voters.

Romney, once a stalwart defender of Roe v. Wade, said President Obama shows a “disregard for the sanctity of human life [that] is absolutely appalling” and is leading an “assault on life” by rescinding the Mexico City Gag Rule, which bars the government from funding NGOs that use their own finances for family planning which include abortion services or referrals. Romney also distorted Obama’s statement marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, claiming that the President thinks pregnant women “can get rid of the child and therefore have an equal opportunity,” when actually Obama concluded his statement by saying that “we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

He went on to say that Obama is conducting an “assault on religion” through the administration’s opposition to employment discrimination on religious grounds and attempts to ensure that women cannot be refused birth control coverage in their insurance plans or medical procedures because of loopholes, calling it “an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen.”

Romney concluded his diatribe by attacking a push for equal rights for gays and lesbians as an “assault on marriage,” and pledged to promote the Federal Marriage Amendment and stop Obama from paving “the path to same-sex marriage.”

Listen:

Romney: I think he is detached from reality when he says that he wants to ‘reclaim American values.’ There has been in my view an assault on American values since the beginning of his administration. Clearly from the beginning the assault on life with his abandonment of the Mexico City Policy and with the Vice President being sent to China and saying we understand the one-child policy there and of course the abuses associated with that policy are alarming and disturbing, and then on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade just a couple of days ago he said that the wonderful thing about Roe v. Wade is that it provides an equal opportunity for girls to equal boys, meaning that they don’t have to have a child anymore, if they become pregnant they can get rid of the child and therefore have an equal opportunity. The disregard for the sanctity of human life is absolutely appalling.

Then of course there’s the assault on religion. I think a lot of people were surprised that he felt that the government should be able to determine who is and who is not a minister and fortunately the Supreme Court disagreed with him on that, but now he’s gone forward and said that religious institutions, universities, hospitals and so forth, religious institutions have to provide free contraceptives to all their employees, even if that religious institution is opposed to the use of contraception, as in the case of the Catholic Church. Even in that regard, fighting to eliminate the conscience clause for health care workers who wish not to provide abortion services or contraceptives in their workplace, in their hospital for instance. It’s an assault on religion unlike anything we have seen.

There’s been an assault on marriage. I think he is very aggressively trying to pave the path to same-sex marriage. I would unlike this president defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I would also propose and promote once again an amendment to the constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

Santorum Accepts, Romney Declines Invitation to Religious Right Forum Hosted by Gingrich Campaign Co-Chair

To the surprise of nobody, Mitt Romney is ignoring an invitation to participate in the presidential candidate forum at Liberty Counsel’s Florida Awake! conference on Saturday. So far, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted the invitation, while Ron Paul respectfully declined because he will be outside of Florida at the time. Romney has already skipped the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa and two Personhood USA forums, and his decision to skip the Liberty Counsel debate earned him a rebuke from Personhood USA, even though Romney at one point endorsed the group’s extreme anti-choice legislation. The slam from Personhood USA, a cosponsor of the forum, implied that he wouldn’t be a strong opponent of abortion rights:

Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Rick Santorum are confirmed to participate in Florida Awake! Congressman Ron Paul regretfully declined, as he is not scheduled to be campaigning in Florida at that time. The event is already sold out, with over 1800 tickets reserved.

Governor Romney, again expressly invited, has again neglected to notify organizers of his willingness or disinclination to participate.

"Following President Obama's statement celebrating the Roe v. Wade decision -- effectively celebrating the deliberate killing of 54 million innocent American citizens -- Personhood USA recognizes the urgency of ensuring that we know where our candidates stand," stated Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. "We need a president who values life, and will defend the innocent in word and in deed. We certainly don't need a candidate who cares nothing for the Sanctity of Life, nor one who will join President Obama in celebrating the deaths of millions.'

But Romney may have a not terrible reason for skipping the forum led by Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, as Staver is Co-Chair of the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition. Staver endorsed Gingrich earlier this month, calling him the “clear choice for conservatives.”

While Romney’s decision to not participate is nothing new, it is far more bizarre that Santorum would accept the invitation to a forum hosted and moderated by a Gingrich campaign leader.

Cass: Romney Must Renounce "Mormon Hostility to Christianity"

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission is an anti-gay, anti-Islam Religious Right activist who dedicates an inordinate amount of effort to attacking the faith of leaders like Barack Obama.

So it should come as no surprise that Cass is also anti-Mormon, as he is now saying that Mitt Romney's faith should be an important issue in evaluating "his fitness for office" and calling on Romney to "renounce the historic Mormon hostility to Christianity":

Mormonism has always been at odds with Christianity and openly denies the Trinity and the gospel of grace.

As a Bishop in the Mormon Church, Romney is free to believe its strange doctrines, practice their Masonic rituals, even wear their sacred underwear, but Romney's Mormon beliefs are not Christian.

Historically Mormons have hated and insulted Christians beginning with its founder, the polygamous Joseph Smith who said he wanted to be the Mohammed of the Americas.

Romney hopes Christians fall for the lie they believe the same things we do.

Mitt Romney, Presidential candidate and Mormon Bishop, in his 2007 speech regarding his Mormon faith sounded conciliatory towards other faiths. But his position is not consistent with the Mormon beliefs he adamantly affirmed in whole and from which he refused to distance himself. The Mormon faith has, from its inception, attacked all other religions, especially orthodox Christianity.

Romney's Mormon beliefs are not Christian. Mormonism's antipathy toward Christianity should not be so quickly forgotten. This is an important aspect of any evaluation the American voters make regarding his fitness for office.

If Romney wants the Christian vote, more than the Mormon dollars supporting his campaign, he must demonstrate real respect, not rhetoric. If he does not renounce the historic Mormon hostility to Christianity, then we must conclude that he agrees with his church's defamation of the past.

Beck: Republicans are 'Cowards" who Won't Even Call Obama a 'Socialist'

Earlier this month, Glenn Beck hosted David Barton for a discussion on the importance of the 2012 election.  During the segment, Beck admitted that he felt "powerless" and complained that the media was failing to hold our leaders accountable. 

Even the Republican candidates are "cowards," Beck asserted, and, as evidence of the fact that "no one is saying anything" about what is happening to this nation, he singled out Mitt Romney as he marveled that he has been unwilling to call President Obama a "socialist":

It's becoming spooky. There is so much power being concentrated and no one is saying anything. Even our Republican candidates are cowards; they won't call it out for what it is. I mean, Mitt Romney won't even say this guy, he's a socialist. Socialist? I'm so far past socialist - I left socialist territory with Barack Obama two years ago and he won't even say he's a socialist. So how do you possibly, how can we change things?

Fischer: A Mormon President Threatens the "Spiritual Health" of the Nation

Ever since Mitt Romney called out Bryan Fischer for his relentless bigotry at the Values Voter Summit, Fischer has been on a mission to ensure that Romney does not win the Republican nomination and has been increasingly willing to attack Romney's Mormon faith as part of this effort.

Yesterday, Fischer ramped it up a notch, declaring on his radio program that having a believer in a false religion in Mormonism inhabiting the White House would be a threat to the spiritual health of this nation:

[Mormonism] is not a Christian faith. It is, as Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas says, a false religion. So it's kind of a striking things and I know it concerns a number of spiritual leaders, and I count myself among them, is what this would mean for the spiritual health of the United States of America is a worshiper of a false god occupied the White House. You know, what that would mean for the spiritual future of America and what it might reveal about the spiritual weakness of America if the American people, particularly the so-called conservatives, the people of faith in America, would promote someone to the highest office in the land who is a follower of a counterfeit faith, a false religion.

GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed's...Ring

Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.

“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals.  He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day.  “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders.  Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.” 

The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government.  Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.

Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire.  His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.

The Supreme Court

Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices.  Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers.  Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor.  The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”

Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception

One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married.  Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage.  Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity.  Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”

Threats to “Religious Liberty”

Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists.  Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.”  “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry.  “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!”  Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.

Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics

Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.”  He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God.  The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.

Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)

The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him.  On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case.  Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism.   Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them.  He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families.  Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.”  Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”

Appropriating a Sanitized MLK

Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.”  But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event.  Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”  Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.”  According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.”  He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.

In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes.  According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society.  “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…”   Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender.  And they weren’t the last.

Fischer: Romney is Preying on Evangelical Niceness/Stupidity

Bryan Fischer just cannot understand how any evangelical could possibly support Mitt Romney for president, but he does have a theory:  Romney is "preying on evangelical weaknesses."

As Fischer sees it, the only logical explanation is that evangelicals are so darned nice that they will believe anything anybody tells them and so Romney can lie to them with impunity because he knows they are so "dull" and "uninformed" that they will never figure it out:

Mitt Romney is actually preying on evangelical weaknesses. He is taking advantage of the inherent niceness in evangelicals. Evangelicals are portrayed as these people who are these flaming bigots, these hardliners, these Victorian prudes, these bluenoses, they're just angry at everybody and they walk around judging and condemning everybody. Evangelicals are not like that; they are the nicest people that you can meet, they're kind, they want to give people the benefit of the doubt, they're willing to take people at their word, they're willing to bend over backwards to accommodate other people and Mitt Romney knows that.

So he knows that evangelicals are nice people and he can take advantage of that niceness by telling them what they want to hear. And they lack enough discernment that they'll believe what he tells them. Mitt Romney tells them he's a champion on the sanctity of life, they'll believe him just because they heard him say it and they want to give him the benefit of the doubt ... Governor Romney is more responsible for the fact that we have same-sex marriage in the united States then anybody else on the planet, yet evangelicals are dull enough, uninformed enough, undiscerning enough that they are supporting him.

Steve Baldwin Claims 'Human Events' Publisher is Gay, Says Romney 'Obsessed' with Gay Rights

Steve Baldwin, the former executive director of the Council for National Policy, an influential conservative policy group founded by Tim LaHaye, went on the Steve Deace show yesterday to discuss why he thinks a President Romney would be disastrous for the country and the Republican Party. Baldwin’s major gripe is his dubious claim that Romney was “obsessed” with gay rights as governor of Massachusetts.

Baldwin expressed frustration that Romney has been given a “free pass” by conservative media, which he chalked up to “conflicts of interest” in the right-wing press. Among those he claimed are biased towards Romney is the publisher of the far-right Human Events, whom he identified as a “homosexual who likes Romney.” Although he didn’t name names on the show, Baldwin has previously asserted that Jeff Carneal, president of Human Events' publisher, is an “avowed homosexual” who has supported pro-equality causes.

But Baldwin’s gay-baiting did not end with his attack on conservative media. He let loose on Romney’s tepid pro-gay rights record as governor of Massachusetts, saying, “His whole administration was characterized by an almost obsessive devotion to the homosexual agenda.” Romney, he fumes, was involved in “gay proclamations, gay dances, gay proms, gay assemblies, gay this, gay that,” adding obliquely, “You gotta start wondering here.”

Baldwin: Our conservative media won’t write negative stories about Romney. They won’t even investigate him. I’ve submitted story after story to National Review, to Human Events, to American Spectator, and every once in a while they’ll do a story with a few negative things about Romney, but a full-scale investigative piece about Romney has not appeared in most of the conservative movement’s media. And you’ll find out there’s conflicts of interests, you’ll find out National Review endorsed Romney last year, they like him this year. You’ll find out that the chairman of Regnery Gateway, that publishes Human Events, is a homosexual who likes Romney. You find out these editors have various biases. And as a result, they have collectively, along with talk radio I have to add – Sean Hannity likes Romney, a lot of our radio talk show hosts have been very hands off when it comes to Romney’s record, even though they have all been briefed and all been given information about Romney’s background. Coulter and other national columnists and Hannity and even Mark Levin say very little about Romney’s record and refuse to dig into it. So you hear nothing from our own media, so the mainstream media, they’re too lazy to dig up the stories. And so as a result, Romney’s getting a free pass here.

Deace: Does Mitt Romney have a history of supporting homosexual issues beyond the gay scoutmasters thing that we saw from 1994? What did he do in Massachusetts when he was governor?

Baldwin: Oh my goodness. Gay proclamations, gay dances, gay proms, gay assemblies, gay this, gay that. He had an entire commission called the Governor’s Commission, which served at his own discretion, and they funded gay events and programs in the schools. He promoted all kinds of laws, rules, internal, a lot of internal things, like his department of social services awarded Family of the Year, Parents of the Year, to a gay couple. He appointed homosexual leaders to key positions throughout his administration. I mean, his whole administration was characterized by a an almost obsessive devotion to the homosexual agenda. I would venture to say that Mitt Romney was the most aggressive pro-gay governor in American history, either party. Period. I mean Amy Contrada wrote a thousand page book documenting hundreds of actions by this man to advance the homosexual agenda. Hundreds. He was obsessed with it. You gotta start wondering here.

Maggie Gallagher and Penny Nance Gush Over Rick Santorum

Religious Right activists are positively giddy over the new momentum behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy for president, and Maggie Gallagher today praised the former Pennsylvania senator as “a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic photo finish.” Gallagher said that the left wants “to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race,” writing that progressives “hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.”

On Tuesday night in Iowa, he stood before the cheering throngs like a Republican Rocky, or better yet, a latter-day Rudy suddenly lifted above his Notre Dame teammates in a fantastic storybook finish. On Tuesday night, for the first time, Rick Santorum was a contender. And a contender like nobody has yet seen in this race.



I have not yet endorsed anyone in this presidential race. And unlike some values voters, I am not anti-Mitt Romney. Romney is a fundamentally decent, extremely capable man, who fought hard for marriage in Massachussetts [sic]. If he is the GOP nominee, I can vote for him with great good will and a clean conscience.

But when the guy who has taken more hits than any other for standing up for life and marriage fights his way with nobody's help from nowhere to, well, Tuesday night -- you have to cheer.

The left, which thought it had buried Santorum years ago, is going to go after him with a hatred unlike anyone else has yet generated in this race. They hate him with that special ire reserved for his virtues, not his vices.

They will go after him not just to defeat him, but to smear his good name, to associate it with their own muck, to take a decent and honorable man and try literally to make his name mean mud. They will not succeed.



I am not anti-Romney. But after Tuesday night's victory, count me as pro-Rick.

Meanwhile, Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance penned a column lauding Santorum and couldn’t help herself from taking digs at Romney’s Mormon faith:

Santorum’s appeal to women and evangelicals centers on a desire for authenticity. Rick’s been consistent in behavior and record. His stance on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage gained the voters’ attention.



Many of my Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) members respect Mitt’s savvy business skills, but they are having a hard time wrapping their minds around him as a whole package.

They can’t ignore that it was the former Massachusetts governor who championed health care reform that cost the state $4.3 billion and 18,000 jobs. Nor can they ignore his past support for so-called “domestic partnerships” or the fact that after the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s paper tiger ruling on “gay marriage,” he ordered Justices of the Peace in the state to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples or be fired.

With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, “the Mormon thing” may be an issue, but I am not convinced this is what has held him back. However, some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole “eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,” which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven.

VCY America Warns Listeners Against Backing a Mormon for President

Isn’t it interesting how right-wing personalities like Bryan Fischer and Janet Mefferd consistently say that no one on the Right attacks Mitt Romney over his Mormon faith…and then go on to claim that Mormons are under Satan’s deception and don’t care about public office because they are waiting to become gods, respectively. And Fischer and Mefferd are far from the only ones who are trying to make the Mormon religion into an election issue.

On Monday’s edition of Crosstalk, Vic Eliason of Voice of Christian Youth America advised listeners against supporting a Mormon candidate for president because they are praying to “the wrong God.” Eliason in 2008 hosted a presidential candidate debate with other Religious Right leaders that you will not be surprised to learn Romney did not attend.

Channeling Mike Huckabee, Eliason said that “Mormons do believe that Jesus and Beelzebub, or the devil, are kid brothers.” He went on to say that Mormons “believe that someday God is going to put you on your own planet and you will be a God in charge of your own planet,” warning that “if those things happen, who knows, we might have a president who would suddenly evacuate the White House and go to another planet and become a God!”:

Eliason: There are those and those have raised the question about a Mormon president. Well I am sure that he is a very crafty individual and a man who is much experienced in doing various things. But when we come to the belief system again, the Bible says ‘if any man lack wisdom let him ask of God.’ So we’ve seen presidents bow in prayer asking God for wisdom, we’ve seen those things happen. But if you’re asking from the wrong God, what kind of wisdom are you going to have?

And the other thing of course, when we’re thinking of a person lacking wisdom, the Mormons do believe that Jesus and Beelzebub, or the devil, are kid brothers. So those in other religions have different, unique things that cause people with a Judeo-Christian background to say, ‘whoa, wait a minute.’ There are those, if you are a true Mormon, you believe that someday God is going to put you on your own planet and you will be a God in charge of your own planet. The question is—I mean, if those things happen, who knows, we might have a president who would suddenly evacuate the White House and go to another planet and become a God!

Another Rick Perry Endorser tells Voters to Reject Romney over Mormonism

We frequently hear from conservative commentators that Religious Right voters have no problem with supporting a Mormon politician and any anti-Mormon sentiments actually come from the left and the media. But today on American Family Radio’s The Matt Friedman Show, Rick Scarborough of Vision America said he refuses to support Mitt Romney in the primary because he is a Mormon. Scarborough is a prominent endorser and ally of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose campaign earlier this year promoted the fiercely anti-Mormon pastor Robert Jeffress, and is best known for organizing “patriot pastors.” Scarborough previously signed a letter with other Religious Right activists opposing Romney, and told Friedeman that he disagreed with Chuck Colson and Franklin Graham for saying that voters should not reject Romney outright because of his faith.

Like Jeffress, Scarborough said he would ultimately vote for a Mormon over Barack Obama but would certainly not support Romney “as long as there is another candidate” because Mormonism is “so outside the realm of normal, theological boundaries.”

Watch:

Friedeman: I’m asking you here, with Franklin Graham and Chuck Colson coming out and saying Mormonism isn’t that big of a deal in this presidential election, do you agree?

Scarborough: I do not agree. I respect profoundly both of those men for a myriad of reasons, but I do not agree with that statement. Right now, the most prominent spokesperson for our values in the radio field is Glenn Beck, who is an avowed Mormon, and now the leading presidential candidate is an avowed Mormon. Because of the state of the spiritual life of our country right now, I just think that’s a place I don’t want to go. And the other side of that is, what is not spoken are some of the details of Mormonism, which will be aired completely in a presidential race and I think it will make it difficult if this man secures the nomination for him to be elected just because there are some aspects of the doctrines of Mormonism that are so outside the realm of normal, theological boundaries, that I think it will be a real issue if he got the nomination. Now if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time, but I’m certainly not going to support him as long as there is another candidate.

SC Baptist Convention President Says Christians Will Have an Easier Time Voting for a Serial Adulterer Than a Mormon

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been busy spinning bizarre theories about how the media will have to try to make voters uncomfortable with Mitt Romney's faith in order to help President Obama because Evangelical Christian voters would have no qualms about voting for a Mormon.

The only problem with Land's conspiracy theory is that it is constantly being undermined by others, like the new president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Brad Atkins, who says that Christians would have a much easier time voting for a thrice-married serial adulterer like Newt Gingrich before ever voting for a Mormon like Romney: 

The Rev. Brad Atkins, tabbed in November to lead the group for the coming year, told Patch on Friday that while Gingrich's infidelities may represent a major obstacle for some Christian voters, it isn't an issue that necessarily excludes the former speaker from consideration. Rather, it's an issue that calls for prayerful consideration of Gingrich's numerous public confessions to his wrongdoings.

The issue presented by Romney's faith may be more deeply rooted to South Carolinians.

"In South Carolina, Romney's Mormonism will be more of a cause of concern than Gingrich's infidelity," said Atkins, the pastor at Powdersville First Baptist Church in the Upstate.

"Conservatives can process and pray their way through the issue of forgiveness toward a Christian that has had infidelity in their life, but will struggle to understand how anyone could be a Mormon and call themselves 'Christian.'"

Religious Right activists hit Romney for Trying to Have it Both Ways on Gay Military Service

Mitt Romney has attempted to thread the needle on whether gays and lesbians have a right to serve openly in the military, saying he staunchly opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but is not willing to reinstate the policy. In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, Romney called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military,” but then in 2007 Romney claimed he originally found the policy “silly” but effective, and has since criticized attempts to repeal it. In a June debate Romney dodged a question on whether he would reverse the repeal, until he finally told the Des Moines Register editorial board this week that he would oppose the restoration of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

While his halfhearted and milquetoast stand may not surprise the vast majority of Americans who supported the policy’s repeal, it has not played well with Religious Right activists who want to see Don’t Ask Don’t Tell reinstated.

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness recently started the Military Culture Coalition along with other conservative leaders to oppose repeal efforts, denounced Romney for his position of supporting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in principle but not its reinstatement:

Donnelly questioned Governor Romney's comments to the Des Moines Register, noting that "The military does not work that way. Flawed policies that impose heavy 'complicating features' on the backs of military men and women cannot and should not be switched on and off, depending on the direction of political winds or promises made to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activists of either political party."

She added, "Sound policies that reinforce morale and readiness should be maintained at all times. A long list of what Governor Romney calls 'complicating features' were caused when the 2010 lame-duck Congress voted for Obama's LGBT Law and related policies. Current problems and those yet to come are no more acceptable now than in the midst of a shooting war."

Sandy Rios of Family-Pac and the former head of Concerned Women for America mocked Romney for the “audacity” to say he is more conservative than other candidates while revealing a complete lack of conviction regarding his views on open service in the military:

As the issue of allowing gays to openly serve in the military raged last year, Mitt Romney let it be known he roundly opposed the idea. He was outraged ... incensed. Many conservatives were certain this was the real Mitt revealing himself after years of having to pretend to embrace gay rights as governor of Massachusetts. With this messy business of his position on gay rights out of the way, they could at last breathe a sigh of relief and support the man they thought looked and sounded presidential and had the credentials to turn the economy around.

But now that has all changed. In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board last Friday, the former Massachusetts governor explained that it wasn't the concept of having gays openly serve in the military that had troubled him ... only the fact that the change was being made in a time of war. Now that the conflict is over, he would not, as Commander in Chief, do anything to change it.



As if to drive his point further, Romney added that Gingrich's "unreliability" hadn't just been 14-15 years ago, but in the last 2-3 years. Yet Mitt Romney's latest leap from conservatism had only taken place a few days prior. What kind of audacity does it take to stand before a news agency editorial board and brag in the face of the evidence that you are the most conservative candidate?



One could go further back with Romney's liberal/conservative iterations, but these are current examples which, in the case of gays in the military, goes back not a few years but a few days. Surely it is a quantum leap to assign him the mantle of conservatism in the current race.

Truth and honesty are inconvenient at times, but they are as much a part of conservative values as any position on the economy or national defense. Dishonesty and deceit are basic disqualifiers -- and bend as we may to excuse the inexcusable, in Romney's case, they are very hard to ignore.

Not to be outdone, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association went after Romney and Ron Paul, who voted in favor of repeal last year, calling them “non-starters as candidates”:

If evangelical Christians simply vote their values, there is simply no way they can cast a vote for someone who is in favor of legitimizing homosexual behavior in the military.

In the GOP field, there are just two candidates who support the presence of sexual deviancy in our armed forces: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Romney told the editorial board of the Des Moines Register last Friday that he is just fine with sexually aberrant behavior in the military.



Bottom line: for values-driven voters who claim to be conservative and to draw their values from the Judeo-Christian tradition, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are both likely to be - and should be - non-starters as candidates. If a voter only claims to be a social conservative but isn’t one in fact, then a vote for Romney or Paul is not likely to be a problem.

PFAW Calls on Romney to Apply Religious Bigotry Standard to his Own Endorsers

At a news conference, Mitt Romney urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to disavow the remarks of his endorser Robert Jeffress, a Religious Right leader who has called Mormonism a "cult." People For the American Way today echoed Romney’s appeal to Perry, but also urged both candidates to disavow endorsers who have perpetuated misinformation about and fear of American Muslims.

Mitt Romney (Kind of) Stands up to Fischer's Bigotry

Facing pressure from PFAW and others, Mitt Romney began to distance himself from the bigotry of Bryan Fischer

Jeffress: Vote For Perry Because Romney Is Not A True Christian

Following his endorsement and introduction of Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, Robert Jeffress went on Focal Point with Bryan Fischer to chastise Romney's Mormon faith, arguing that he is not a "true, born again follower of Christ." He said that only Perry can defeat "the most pro-homosexual, most pro-abortion president in history."

"It is not Christianity, it is not a branch of Christianity," Jeffress said, "It is a cult." Jeffress went on to explain that many evangelical Christians will not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon and therefore not "indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God." He even claimed that Romney's Mormon faith "speaks to the integrity issue" as it explains why he has reversed his position on abortion rights, among other issues.

Incidentally, Bryan Fischer will be speaking immediately after Romney at the summit and has claimed that Mormons do not have rights under the First Amendment. As we have previously noted, this is not the first time Jeffress has attacked the Mormon faith and Mitt Romney for his religion, saying Mormons "worship a false god."

Watch:

UPDATE: Watch Jeffress' introduction of Perry, where he makes a subtle contrast at the end of Perry, a "born again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ," to Romney, who is simply a "good, moral person":

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit: A Guide to the Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Mormon, Anti-Choice Activists Spending the Weekend with the GOP

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the Religious Right movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

Fischer: First Amendment Does Not Apply To Mormons

As mentioned in our earlier post, we are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce Bryan Fischer's long history of unmitigated bigotry. This time we are focusing on Mitt Romney because, according to the conference schedule, he will be speaking immediately before Fischer on Saturday morning.

Our efforts in the past to get anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer's relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is why GOP leaders continue to appear on his radio program and on stage with him at Religious Right events. 

But we wonder if Mitt Romney might finally raise some objections to sharing the stage with someone who openly declared just earlier this week that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and asserts that the LDS church still supports polygamy:

My argument all along has been that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion.

One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing ... they weren't even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism - they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly.

And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths, so when Mormonism came along, they practiced polygamy, they believed in polygamy, just like Muslims do today. It was a part of their revealed religion. God had commanded Joseph Smith to have multiple wives and commanded Joseph Smith to go tell your wife Emma, look you gotta room, I want my son Joseph to be able to have as many wives as he wants so you're just going to have to accept it. So God is telling Emma through Joseph Smith, look you're just going to have to live with this deal. So multiple wives in the Mormon Church until 1890 when the Mormon Church told their folks to obey the law.

The Mormon Church, by the way, has never denounced the practice of polygamy. It has not. What it did in 1890, if you go back to the Doctrines and Covenants, what the Mormon Church did is they advised - it wasn't even an order - they advised the members of the LDS Church to obey the law which said one man, one woman, period. So my guess is that if those that are trying to legalize polygamy, and they are working on it right now ... [Fischer cites court case pushing for recognition of polygamy and says it the same as using courts to push for gay marriage] ... If there is some activist court that says you have to recognize polygamous marriages in your state, you're going to start seeing the LDS church, I believe go back to the exercise of polygamy. If it's legal, because all they told their folks is obey the law, if the law says you can have multiple wives, I believe the LDS Church will be out in the front of the pack.

I mean, not everybody in the LDS Church is going to do it any more than all the members of the LDS Church ever did it. It was a minority even in Joseph Smith's day - I mean, Brigham Young set some kind of world record for number of wives, I mean he was up there in Muhammad territory frankly. But most Mormons didn't do it, it was just a small percentage that had the resources to be able to do it. But I think it will come back, it will come back pretty vigorously in the Mormon Church, again, because all the church fathers said in 1890, just obey the law. Well, if the law says you can have multiple wives, they'll be back.

Romney to Share Stage with Bryan Fischer; PFAW Urges Candidates to Denounce Bigotry

At next week's Values Voter Summit, Mitt Romney is scheduled to take the stage immediately before Bryan Fischer, an American Family Association (AFA) spokesman with a long and shocking record of bigotry against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans and other minority groups. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to speak at the event, which is sponsored by the anti-gay Family Research Council, the AFA, and other Religious Right groups. PFAW is urging these candidates for our nation's highest office to condemn bigotry.
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious