CT Interviews Romney

Christianity Today recently interviewed presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

How do you think relations between Mormons and Trinitarian Christians have changed during your lifetime?

I don't know that there's been a significant change relating to doctrine. [But] several months ago, not long before he died, I had the occasion of having the Rev. Jerry Falwell at our home. He said that when he was getting ready to oppose same-sex marriage in California, he met with the president of my church in Salt Lake City, and they agreed to work together in a campaign in California. He said, "Far be it from me to suggest that we don't have the same values and the same objectives."

What traits and views do you think evangelicals want in the next President?

I don't know that I'm qualified to suggest what people of other faiths specifically would want. But I think Americans of faith generally hope that the next President will be a person of faith who shares their values and their views on the key issues that the nation faces.

What would those issues be?

There are, of course, the international and economic issues, such as the war against the violent jihad and the need to be competitive long-term with an emerging Asian economy. On the home front, we need to become energy independent. And on values issues, priorities include abortion and same-sex marriage.

How do you distinguish between religious values and moral values when making decisions?

There are doctrines that differ from church to church. I don't believe doctrines should figure into the policy of someone leading in a secular position. The fundamental values of all faiths I know well are very consistent, and they have a public purpose. One example would be the Declaration of Independence, guided by a belief in a Creator. The belief that we are all children of the same Creator gives us a desire to care for the poor and the needy. The belief that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred relationship leads one to protect the sanctity of marriage. These fundamental values are not associated with a doctrine of a faith, but instead are part of the value base of every faith of which I'm aware.

How do you answer evangelicals who want their President to have faith but not your faith?

It depends on what they worry about. Do they want agreement on doctrine, and does that really effect how someone leads as President? Or does someone want a President who shares values and will preserve the values and culture of America? That will only happen if people band together where we share common values.

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