Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

jfk.jpgExpect this week to be chock-o-block of pundits prognosticating about what Huckabee should/will say in his Faith in America speech this Thursday. God-o-Meter does not expect the lion’s share of prognostications to be terribly enlightening, but The Brody File hits the nail on the head about the central task of Romney’s speech:

[W]ill Metric Mitt let his hair down? I’ve seen Romney on the campaign trail and you always get the sense that he is guarded and doesn’t do the “I feel your pain” thing all that well. Well, if Romney wants to grab those crucial Evangelical votes in Iowa and elsewhere, he will earn their respect and come across as honest and authentic if he acknowledges the differences between the two religions. Evangelicals, for the most part, don’t want him to lump Mormonism and Christianity into the “we’re all the same” category. I know Mormons feel differently about this but I’m just giving it to you straight. Values wise the two religions have a lot in common and I’m sure that will be a big part of his speech. But Evangelicals would trust him more, appreciate him more and respect him more if he came clean about the differences. I’m not saying he needs to do theological bullet points here. Of course not. But a little more would go a long way.

The retrospectives of JFK’s 1960 Catholic speech are already coming. But, like God-o-Meter and others have been saying for a while now, The Boston Globe reports that the JFK strategy is unlikely to work for Romney, quoting American religion scholar Alan Wolfe:

Wolfe said Kennedy’s approach would not be a strong model for Romney because many Republican voters, particularly Christian conservatives, bristle at the notion of separation of church and state and want religion to be a guiding principle for the next president.
“Kennedy’s speech was actually an antireligion speech; it was a don’t pay-any-attention-to-my-Catholicism speech,” Wolfe said. “In the 2007 Republican Party you can’t do that, because it’s a party that essentially has a religious test for the nomination.”


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