I have just watched, read and listened to Mitt Romney's speech on faith and religious liberty at the George Bush Library in Houston.
By any measurement, this must be considered a very significant address. The speech is substantive, enlightening and thought-provoking. And, the delivery presented us with a Romney who seemed more three-dimensional: more human, more passionate, more real. It's been reported that Romney wrote the address himself. Here are some of the most memorable - and most effective - passages:
"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."
"Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience. Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world."
"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."
". . . in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong."
"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.'"
And here's my personal favorite:
"Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government."