In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2007 / 24 Kislev 5768

Mitt should can ‘The Speech’

By David Limbaugh

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I think it's a mistake for Mitt Romney to give "the speech" — the one aimed at addressing his Mormonism and its relevance, or irrelevance, to his candidacy.

There have long been rumors that Romney would make "the speech," but the matter seemed dormant until recently, when evangelical Mike Huckabee began surging in the polls, especially in Iowa.

Some Romney strategists fear his conservative Christian supporters in Iowa are shifting to Huckabee — an ordained Baptist minister — because they are uncomfortable with Mitt's Mormonism.

Huckabee's Christian credentials are doubtlessly helping him with many Christian conservatives. But I don't think Mitt's Mormonism is driving Romney voters to Huckabee. If Romney's Mormonism didn't bother them before Huckabee surged, it isn't bothering them now.

This is not to say that Romney's Mormonism isn't a potential liability for him. I think it is, but not among those who have already been supporting him. The more attention he draws to his religion, the more of a liability it will become. He should leave well enough alone.

Indeed, Romney's hurdles with Mormonism are probably greater than those John F. Kennedy faced with his Catholicism. Protestants might truly have been concerned that he would take his marching orders from the Pope and that his first allegiance would be to the Vatican, not the Constitution. Apparently, Kennedy's speech confronting those concerns directly went a long way toward dispelling any anxieties.

Some similarly fear Romney's primary loyalty will be to Mormon authorities. But I think a bigger problem is that many consider Mormonism a cult with certain bizarre beliefs.

So, you ask, shouldn't Romney give a speech to clarify and assuage their concerns? I don't think so.

With all due respect, many will find certain distinguishing Mormon beliefs disturbing. Romney would be better off relying on people's relative ignorance of other religions and grateful that Mormonism presents itself as more mainstream Christian than it actually is.

Please don't misunderstand. My purpose here isn't to attack Mormonism. Mormons generally are very good people who live moral lives. But it's inevitable that some voters will react negatively to Mormonism the more they learn about it — and that can't possibly help Romney.

Romney also runs a risk in giving a "religious" speech that skirts all theological questions, which is likely. After all, we almost never hear Mormons talking about what distinguishes their religion from mainstream Christianity. They emphasize — even on their TV commercials — their belief in the Bible and their emphasis on Jesus Christ.

If Romney gives a speech that never gets past these generalities, it may prompt critics to probe further and discover there are major differences in Mormonism and mainstream Christianity of which they were unaware.

The teasers we've seen so far from Team Romney on "the speech" certainly hint that Romney will not delve into Mormon doctrine. Romney's spokesmen say it will be an opportunity for Romney to share his views on religious liberty, religious tolerance and how his faith would inform his presidency.

But this approach could be problematic for Romney, as well. People might take offense at Romney suggesting they are intolerant or bigoted for considering his religious beliefs to be a factor. What's wrong with considering a candidates' faith — or lack thereof — as part of the mix? In fact, isn't Romney inviting that consideration when he says his religion "will inform his presidency"? He can't have it both ways.

Voters factoring in the candidates' spiritual beliefs are exercising their liberties, not encroaching on the candidates'. For Romney to suggest otherwise is the tactical equivalent of Hillary Clinton or Mike Huckabee saying that criticizing their views is tantamount to personally attacking them. Nonsense.

All of this said, I don't believe the voters' exposure to Mormon theology will hurt Romney as much as the troubling perception that he is something less than completely authentic.

I sincerely believe that most evangelical Christians could support a Mormon — even if they learn Mormonism is different than what they thought — as long as he is right on the issues and can be trusted. Does he really share their values? Is he really who he says he is — about religion or anything else? That's what inquiring conservatives want to know.

They love that he professes to be strongly pro-life and an ardent supporter of traditional marriage. But is he really? If so, why did it take him so long to come around to these views? Was it a religious conversion? How can that be when he's been a Mormon for decades? I know he said that wrestling with the stem cell question changed him, but it strikes me as implausible that one could be moved over a Petri dish and not an ultrasound. But I would love to be wrong about this.

In the meantime, I believe the governor should reconsider giving "the speech."

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Comment by clicking here.


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