Mitt Romney has given his anticipated speech that he hopes will, once and for all, answer the religious questions that have been dogging his candidacy. Having listened to and read the speech, I can't get over the thought that he's trying to have it both ways. He wants to assert his identity as a person of faith, but at the same time downplay the influence that faith will have on his actions as president:
"As governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law."
In addition, he said this:
"If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest," he said. "A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."
I guess I'm a little torn here. I certainly do not want a Christianist president who forces her/his personal religious dogma on the nation. On the other hand, I teach my youth that their faith doesn't stop and start at the doors of the church. Their faith, ideally, influences their whole life: school, work, relationships, and play. How can a president who is a person of faith assert that law of the land takes precedent over her/his religious beliefs? I suppose that this might be the only way you could be president (how else could you make some of the terrible decisions a president must make?). Which raises the question: Should a Christian be president? What if your faith conflicts with the demands of the office? When our youth are thinking ahead to their future careers, do we urge them to consider how their faith and that possible career might collide?