This might have just gotten really fun.
I was unable to listen to Romney’s RNC address Friday night, but found this ABC story the most interesting of all the post-speech analysis:
In a speech here Friday night, Mitt Romney reminded the world that he’s a Mormon – and made clear that it would be a key part of his presidential campaign if he does decide to run for a third time.
Romney put his faith, something he rarely spoke about or demonstrated on the 2012 or 2008 campaign trail, front and center while addressing Republican National Committee members aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, saying that those closest to him, including his wife Ann, know him not only as a businessman and politician but as a devoted leader in the Mormon church.
“For over ten years, as you know I served as a pastor for a congregation and for groups of congregations. And so she’s seen me work with people who are very poor, to get them help and subsistence. She’s seen me work with folks that are looking for better work and jobs and providing care for the sick and the elderly. She knows where my heart is,” Romney said.
I think ABC might be overstating things a bit, but I do think that if Romney is to run again it would be wise for him to embrace his faith more actively than he has in the past. But I think he has to be careful how he does it. It things are allowed to devolve into discussions of theology, it will get weird fast. As everyone knows by now (especially Mike Huckabee), the Mormon faith is quite heterodox in the world of Christian theology. But religion is more than theology.
There is a term that has descended in faith discussion from sometime in the 19th century – orthopraxy - “correctness or orthodoxy of action or practice.” In the world of the daily practice of faith, Mormons are little different than Christians of most other stripes. That is to say, Mormon are quite orthoprax. (There are, of course, significant liturgical differences, but outside of the confines of the church, temple, etc., we have so much in common.) It is here in orthopraxy that Mitt should dwell if he does indeed run again. Here bridges can and should be built.