Idol Chatter

romney2.jpgMitt Romney has a big televised speech today. Because there’s anticipation, intrigue and drama surrounding one of the more interesting TV speech events since Bill Clinton’s “apology,” this makes for great TV.
Many politicos, evangelical leaders and media members have made quite an issue of Mitt Romney’s religion. It’s been 46 years since such a vibrant candidate has captured the public’s imagination with a combination of professional track record, family wealth, good looks for TV and a significant issue regarding a monarchical religion of his choosing. John F. Kennedy, you might remember, got elected. The Pope didn’t run America, at least that we know so far.

Tonight is Romney’s opportunity to explain that he’s not running for Pastor, or Priest, or Parish Leader of any kind. He’s running for President. Evangelical leaders have wanted him to be more open about the differences between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity. Read the latest Beliefnet story here.)
I’m curious to see what Romney will do because he’s got a big problem: the blurring of the lines between Mormonism and Christianity is not a Mitt Romney invention. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been employing this strategy since the late-70’s, in response to Christian claims that it is a sect or even a cult. The Mormons have tried to posture themselves as something like another denomination of Christianity (sort of like a Methodist or Presbyterian or other Christian denomination).
Romney didn’t invent the blur, and his church isn’t likely to retract it. It puts him in a precarious position, and up until now, he’s proven himself an outstanding speech-giver and debater. So this will make for must-see TV, which is a good thing because it’s been a while!

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