Romney on topic

Published: Friday, Dec. 7 2007 12:50 a.m. MST

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech Thursday addressed his views on the role of religion in America generally as well as specifics about his own religion and the role it would play if he were again elected president.

Candidate for president

"I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith; nor should he be rejected because of his faith."

Separation of church and state

"... no authorities of my church, or any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions."

"(As governor) 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."

"When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I'm fortunate to become your president I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest. A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."

"I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from the God who gave us liberty.

"We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state; nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning."

"(Some) seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgement of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It's as if they're intent on establishing a new religion in America, the religion of secularism. They are wrong."

Upholding the constitution

"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."

True to his faith

"I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them, and to my beliefs. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right; so be it.

"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."

"No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith, for if he becomes president he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths."

Importance of faith

"There are some who feel that religion is a matter not to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so they're at odds with the nation's founders; for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator."

"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together or perish alone."

"Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree."

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