Mitt Romney’s Passionate Defense of Religious Liberty

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life Mitt Romney delivering commencement address at Liberty University.

Kudos to National Review Online for including a link to a speech pro-life Mitt Romney recently delivered in Ohio and to the Family Research Council for transcribing the relevant section. Once you read his remarks, I hope you’ll continue to read the rest of this blog item: Gov. Romney is not getting the kind of credit he deserves for forcefully speaking out on behalf of religious freedom and in opposition to the Obama Mandate. In Ohio he said

“Religious liberty… [is the] first freedom of those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. And the president and his administration said they are going to usurp your religious freedom by demanding that you provide products to your employees, if you’re the Catholic Church, that violates your own conscience.

“And so whether it’s a Catholic businessperson or the Catholic Church itself they’re being told what they have to do that violates their religious conscience. That attack on religious freedom I think is a dangerous and unfortunate precedent. And I know we’re not all Catholic in this room. Many presumably are. But I feel that we’re all Catholic today.

“In our battle to preserve religious freedom and tolerance and freedom in this country, it is essential for us to push back against that.”

But that’s nothing new for him, although in the day to day coverage of political events, Mr. Romney’s passionate defense of religious liberty may have been overlooked. The more the public listens to him speak on this hugely important issue, the more they will sense a real kinship.

A while back NRL News Today reported on Mr. Romney’s Commencement Address at Liberty University, all in all a terrific speech (

In one section he deftly combined an allusion to the Obama Administration’s mandate requiring religious institutions and individuals of conscience forced to pay for health insurance plans that cover medical procedures and drugs contrary to their religious beliefs and consciences with a defense of the unborn. Romney told the graduates,

“The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate.  It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with.  Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

“But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man.  Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution.  And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.”

Previously, in a brilliant February 3, 2012, column written for the Washington Examiner (“President Obama versus religious liberty”), Romney stated unequivocally,

“My own view is clear. I stand with the Catholic Bishops and all religious organizations in their strenuous objection to this liberty-and conscience-stifling regulation. …. And on day one I will eliminate the Obama administration rule that compels religious institutions to violate the tenets of their own faith. Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in. The America I believe in is governed by the U.S. Constitution and I will not hesitate to use the powers of the presidency to protect religious liberty.”

The more you know about Mitt Romney, the more you suspect he will be our next President.

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