Mitt Romney: Preaching to the choir of 30,000 and thoughts on 'wholeness'
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Mitt Romney: Preaching to the choir of 30,000 and thoughts on 'wholeness'

Lynchburg : VA : USA | May 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM PDT
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Rick Santorum - Gay People should stop being gay

Mitt Romney's speech on Saturday to 30,000 people at Liberty University earned comments from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a graduate of Liberty University, advertised as the largest Christian University in the world founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell.

“Today's address was a tremendous opportunity for Gov. Mitt Romney to communicate to social conservatives through one of the largest conservative evangelical venues in the country and Mr. Romney seized it by emphasizing the shared values he holds with evangelicals even while acknowledging theological differences,” Mr. Perkins said.

“In his well-delivered speech, he accentuated the core values issues that are essential to a strong nation and of great importance to evangelicals,” Perkins said. "Mitt Romney picked up on the message that energized Rick Santorum's campaign: America's financial greatness is directly tied to moral and cultural wholeness,” according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Financial greatness? What was moral about the inherited financial crisis that bankrupted millions and caused them to lose their homes? What is moral about getting the U.S. into two wars using deficit spending, and not actually knowing how it would be paid for? Mitt Romney is picking up on Rick Santorum now, but as November nears he should consider distancing himself from right-wing radicals whose niche appeal certainly did not elect the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008. The Barna Research Group found in 2008 evangelicals comprised 7 percent of the electorate and despite their poster women Sarah Palin, they lost.

Citing Rick Santorum as a preacher of “wholeness” is shot through with holes in the logic. Rick Santorum is one of the most divisive individuals in politics today. “Wholeness” means uninjured, of sound health, not broken or damaged and a thing complete in itself or the complete organization of integrated parts.

What is whole about supporting an immigration strategy designed to break families apart sending some family members back to Mexico, while their children born here remain as U.S. citizens?

What is whole about not supporting the Dream Act that recognizes individuals brought here by their parents as children deserve special consideration? “This bill would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal aliens of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, arrived in the United States as minors, and lived in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment. If they were to complete two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning, they would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, they may qualify for permanent residency if they have 'acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States' or have 'served in the armed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.' Military enlistment contracts require an eight-year commitment, with active duty commitments typically between four and six years, but as low as two years. Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated... 'shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.' This bill would have included illegal immigrants as old as 35 years of age.” (wikipedia and Dream Act bill legislation)

What is whole about LGBT discrimination and refusing to recognize marriage equality? This is what Rick Santorum had to say about President Obama’s support of marriage equality in an interview with KARK-TV.

“I think what you see is his is a very potent weapon if you will for Gov. Romney if he is willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America," Santorum said, in a report from The Hill.

Rick Santorum—who was anointed with 100 percent approval from the National Rifle Association—uses munitions imagery to convey his inner most thoughts. Social justice and equal protection are not weapons, they are the right of every citizen under the law.

What is whole about depriving poor women access to contraception and abortions and targeting Planned Parenthood, which is in many cases the provider of last resort for middle and low income women. Congressional Republicans proposed a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

What is whole about cutting aid to low income women and children? Republicans want to cut nearly one billion dollars of food and other aid to low income pregnant women, mother and children, including Head Start that serves over 200,000 children for preschool.

When the Republicans talk about “wholeness” perhaps they should think about what it actually means:

Wholeness is comprehensive immigration giving undocumented individuals a conditional path to citizenship that is fair and just and passing the Dream Act that ensures children of the undocumented who were brought here as children are given conditional permanent residence status.

Wholeness is giving all women—not just the wealthy-- equal access to health care and services particular to women regardless of their socio-economic status.

Wholeness is recognizing LGBT rights and as equal members of the society.

Wholeness is economic policies and strategies that provide the most for the least advantaged among us.

Finally, wholeness means consideration and civil rights for everyone, not just for the people who agree with your politics, religion, or are the same race or gender as yourself.

Resources

http://www.usnews.com/news/campaign-2008/articles/2008/09/24/the-evangelical-vote-how-big-is-it-really

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2012/0513/How-did-Romney-do-at-Liberty-University-Just-fine-evangelicals-say

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/227029-santorum-gay-marriage-a-potent-weapon-for-romney

If you like writing about U.S. politics and the 2012 campaign, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

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Wholeness means consideration and civil rights for everyone, not just for the people who agree with your politics, religion, or are the same race or gender as yourself.
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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