GOP convention speakers address Romney's Mormon faith

Oklahoma delegates say Romney's religion doesn't prevent their support, though Rep. James Lankford said Romney should not equate his faith with Christianity.
by Chris Casteel Modified: August 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm •  Published: August 31, 2012

Without explaining Mormon beliefs in detail, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and some of the speakers at the GOP convention here have sought to address questions about his religion.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an evangelical Christian, said in his speech here Wednesday that it wasn't an issue for him. Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a Catholic, said he and Romney went to “different churches” but that their different faiths come together in the same moral creed.

On Thursday, a fellow Mormon talked about the work he and Romney had done together. And in his own speech Thursday night, Romney talked about the kinship he found in his church and its support system.

Oklahoma delegates here, some of whom have strong religious beliefs and most of whom support Romney, were split on whether the Romney campaign should be scripting references to his religion.

Tony Lauinger, a delegate from Tulsa, said, “I would assume it's because he feels that it's important that people understand that his religion is not one of his biographical details that should be regarded as any kind of minus, and I agree with him that it is not a minus.

“I don't think he would do it unless others had raised the question of his religion,” Lauinger said.

Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, who received a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he has not heard much talk of it among Republican activists in Oklahoma. That is likely because Romney has not tried to equate his religion with Christianity, Lankford said.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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