Bill Bennett just made the point on CNN that Romney didn’t quite live up to his promise to “offer perspectives on how my own faith would inform my Presidency, if I were elected.” Bennett said that most of the speech could have been delivered by any Republican candidate and some Democrats, which means that it did not specifically address the Mormon issue in much detail. The exception to that is this passage from Romney:
There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.
There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution…
Will evangelical Christians – and Mormons, too – find that satisfying? And will Romney’s use of the word “tolerance” suggest to voters that he is indirectly accusing them of intolerance? It is going to be interesting to see reaction to that in coming days.