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Romney Talks Marriage at Liberty U, With a Shout-Out to Rick Santorum

Jim Burroway

May 12th, 2012

Gov. Mitt Romney gave a shout-out to Sen. Rick Santorum during today’s commencement address at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA:

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention.  For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%.  But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor.  Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate.  So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage.  Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

Those were just two of Romney’s applause lines today, the second one earning him an standing-O. By the way, when I typed that last sentence, I miss-typed “applause” and my spellcheck suggested changing it to “appease.” My iMac may be trying to insert its own commentary into this post, but I think it’s not as smart as it thinks it is. Not if the AFA’s Bryan Fischer is any indication:

Bryan Fischer: "Mitt's speech at Liberty: did not hurt him with evangelicals, did not help him. Needle didn't budge."

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cowboy
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Romney lectures about one man and one woman marriages when his heritage is Mormon polygamists who moved to Mexico to escape the law in Utah.

Hardly one to talk.

jpeckjr
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Let’s see if I have this right. Education, employment, and postponing the birth of children mitigate against poverty. Conversely, failing to complete high school, being jobless, and having babies too soon increase the likelihood of poverty.

So the reason gay people can’t get married is that some straight teenagers are stupid, lazy, and horny, right? OOOOOOOOOOOKAAAAAAAAAAY . . . .

Ben In Oakland
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Dammit, JP, you beat me to it.

james
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

@jpeckjr Maybe what he’s really saying is well-educated, high-earning, childless people are better for America.

Shawn
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Romney’s great-great grandfather had 12 wives at the same time. So his claim on traditional marriage has always been one man and one woman seems a bit flimsy.

james
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

I think it’s time we stopped with the polygamist line as a way of attacking Romney’s views on marriage. The LDS church has not promoted polygamy for over 100 years and expels people who practice it.

Romney is not claiming polygamy is a form of traditional marriage nor is he promoting polygamy as public policy. I suspect if asked how he feels about modern-day American polygamists, he’d say it’s wrong and marriage is between one man and one woman. Even when his ancestors practiced it, it was a non-traditional marriage in American culture and, I bet, non-traditional in Mexico, too.

Steve
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Typical. He confuses cause and effect

@James
His own family were polygamists and even fled the United States to Mexico so they could continue having a dozen wives.

It doesn’t matter whether he directly advocates polygamy, when he says things like “3000 years old [read: unchanged] history of marriage” and similar flat out untrue BS

Soren456
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Although I am proud of my grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and so on, I would not want to be held responsible for all their attitudes and beliefs, nor would I agree to defend or debate them.

Nearly everything about Romney is just wrong, and there’s plenty of it; we need not add peripheral history to the mix.

cowboy
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

Modern-day LDS (Mormons) still believe in polygamy. They have just ‘suspended’ the practice.

Doctrinally, the LDS perform multiple wives ‘sealings’ in their temples today. Albeit, all the former wives have to be deceased.

So, say for example, Ann Romney dies. Mitt can re-marry and have his next wife “sealed” to him for all eternity in any one of the Mormon Temples.

To suggest Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in polygamy is slightly disingenuous. His religion only suspended the practice (for political/economical reasons) and their temple ceremonies still perform polygamy-styled ordinances.

It’s been politically expedient for Romney to distance himself as much as he can from some facits of Mormonism.

iDavid
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

I disagree about dropping the polygamy angle. Sex love marriage and family are center stage election megastars. Correct interpretation of history, which is being brought up at every angle, is not only important, it’s necessary. Not allowing people to lie is paramount.
With Repbs being notorious liars, we all need to play the AC card and “keep ‘em honest”.

MCB
May 12th, 2012 | LINK

So to summarize Romney’s argument: marriage is a good thing that brings stability and financial well-being to families, and therefore we should not allow same-sex couples to have it.

Nope, no hate or bigotry behind that logic.

Gus
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

If the needle didn’t budge, this was a huge success for Mr. Romney. He wants to be seen as the spreadsheet president not the culture warrior for the general election.

Steve
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

No one is showing that he should be help responsible for his ancestors’ actions. Collective guilt is absurd. What I’m saying is that, because of his own family history, he should be more aware about the history of marriage and its different forms. He should damn well know that marriage hasn’t always been man/woman for the last 6000 years.

StraightGrandmother
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

Yes and in the below statement from Romney there is no indication that sexual minority couples cannot graduate from High School et. etc. There is nothing unique to heterosexual couples as stated,-

“For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters”

Timothy Kincaid
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

Not allowing people to lie is paramount.
With Repbs being notorious liars, we all need to play the AC card and “keep ‘em honest”.

And to “keep em honest”, you propose that we be dishonest. We should suggest that Romney is somehow supportive or at least accepting of polygamy.

I don’t mean to single you out iDavid, but I really really don’t understand the thinking that condemns Republicans for being “notorious liars” and simultaneously endorses duplicity about Romney’s beliefs. (Or the related views that it’s okay to hate H8ters and to seeing the use of “faggot” as horrific and absolutely off limits while freely tossing out “jeebusites” and “Rethuglicans”).

You know, I think that we lose our right to complain about mistreatment if we do the same. People just wont take us serious if we play the game of the kid in the back seat saying, “mom, he hit me” when we’re doing just as much hitting.

And I hope – for th sake of our rights – that we can put this stuff aside.

Priya Lynn
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “I don’t mean to single you out iDavid, but I really really don’t understand the…related views that it’s okay to hate H8ters.”.

It is okay to hate haters, for this reason: They have unprovoked taken actions to harm the LGBT community, hating those who’ve harmed or attempted to harm you is justified. No one who harms others has a right not to be hated. People can pretend they don’t hate others, just their actions, but that’s B.S. Our actions are not divorced from who we are as people, our actions spring directly from who we are. If you hate a person’s actions you necessarily hate at least some aspect of who that person is. There is no such thing as “Hate the sin and love the sinner.”.

Timothy said “People just wont take us serious if we play the game of the kid in the back seat saying, “mom, he hit me” when we’re doing just as much hitting.”.

I’ll never understand those who have no concern for “who started it” and pretend its a childish irrelevance. “Who started it” is a foundational concern in justice, it is NOT a game. If someone attacks me and tries to kill me I’m justified in killing them, they are NOT justified in killing me. When the anti-gays hit us first we are justified in hitting them in response, they are NOT justified in hitting us.

Priya Lynn
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

My previous comment should not be construed as to support lying or refering to people as “jeebusites” or “Rethuglicans”.

StraightGrandmother
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

“Who started it” is a foundational concern in justice, it is NOT a game.” That is right Piyra Lynn, that is right.

jpeckjr
May 13th, 2012 | LINK

The Brookings study Mr. Romney quotes to oppose marriage equality found that teenagers who quit high school because of a pregnancy are more likely to live in poverty as adults than are teenagers who finish high school and delay childbearing until after marriage or, at least, until they are older. I read the study a while back because, well, I’m a study geek.

Even if the teenage mother and father marry before the baby is born, the likelihood of poverty increases because of the education factor.

People who are employed are less likely to live in poverty than people who are unemployed. Educated people are more likely to be employed.

We’re back to stupid, lazy, horny straight high school students are the reason gay people can’t get married, according to Mr. Romney.

It’s not that I fail to see the logic in this, it’s that there is no logic.

This study is more supportive of distributing contraceptives to high school students than it is for opposing marriage equality.

Anyway, I think going after Mr. Romney for making no sense is more productive than going after him for having a polygamous ancestor.

Priya Lynn
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

Jpeckjr said “Anyway, I think going after Mr. Romney for making no sense is more productive than going after him for having a polygamous ancestor.”.

I agree Jpeckjr – you made great sense in your comment.

Regan DuCasse
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn has an excellent point regarding the moral weighing of “who started it.”
ACTION and then REACTION is the point. ACTION is not irrelevant because of what reaction it provoked.
TownHall and other well known anti gay conservative online journals blew up all over Dan Savage’s presumed anti Bible/Christian speech and so called ‘bullying’ of Christian high school students.
The complaint is that gay people are the haters, bullies and the ‘really’ intolerant.
As if the entire of socio/political history here has persecuted Christians and their religion and they are the ones actually threatened.
Completely taking away the facts and evidence of systemic discriminatory laws and their RESULT to gay people.
Lost again to the extreme persecution complex we are confronted with.

This is not an EQUAL balance of harms here.

More to the point of Romney and his assault on and contempt of kids he thought were gay: he wasn’t an adolescent. He was old enough to understand the gravity of what he did. He just didn’t care and never had to.
It wasn’t so long ago, we can forget it. It was a window into his character as a person indifferent to inflicting pain, or seeing pain in others. As long as his target is weaker and more easily kept down.
He supports civil and political policy that keeps gay people down. He’s adamant about doing so with the power of the office of POTUS.
He gave an address at one of THE most virulently anti gay universities in the country that assures he does not see gay people as equally needful of protections and rights.

I noticed too, that entire of the faculty didn’t seem to include people of color.
And I was hard pressed to find that many in the audience of graduates.
LU was founded by a racist, and even if they have some people of color who attend or work at that university, they aren’t in positions of high influence or visibility.
We can see right into Romney’s soul. He’s an indifferent sociopath (people only concerned with their own power and comforts and will do anything to get them). He’s dangerous and not the kind of person who should be President.

Timothy Kincaid
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Your arguments act as though your presumptions are objective. It’s a given (to you) that they started it, that the anti-gays hit us first.

But who really started it? That’s a matter of opinion and perspective.

Those who think that society will be greatly harmed by social acceptance of homosexuality would say that “homosexual activists started it and everything was fine until they started marching in the streets and having sex in the bushes”. And they would argue that their actions are anything but unprovoked.

And “yes, but homosexual is harmless”, while a belief I agree with, is not an objective and obvious truth. And if that is the foundation of your argument, it seems to be little more than “I’m entitled to hate the people with whom I disagree, they are not entitled to hate me.”

But that really isn’t my point. I’m addressing the absurdity of objecting to a quality in others while engaging in that quality oneself. And never seeing the irony.

If hating is acceptable and no one who harms others has a right not to be hated, then why do we think that calling someone a H8ter is an insult?

The people who fling out “H8ter” do so as though the act of hating makes one a lesser person. Why do we object to Miss Sanctimonious? Because she hates!!

Which is really a pointless accusation if oneself also hates.

Priya Lynn
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “Your arguments act as though your presumptions are objective. It’s a given (to you) that they started it, that the anti-gays hit us first.
But who really started it? That’s a matter of opinion and perspective.”.

Its not a presumption, nor a matter of opinion or perspective, its an objective fact: When gays asked for the same rights they had they stood up and said “No way, we will do everything in our power to deny you the rights we have.”.

They started it case closed. I know you like to paint the bigots in the most positive light you can but that won’t change the reality.

Timothy said “Those who think that society will be greatly harmed by social acceptance of homosexuality would say that “homosexual activists started it and everything was fine until they started marching in the streets and having sex in the bushes”. And they would argue that their actions are anything but unprovoked.”.

They might think that, but they’d be wrong. They first stood up to oppose gays having the same rights they have, gays NEVER opposed their rights. There are no shades of grey here, it is black and white.

Timothy said “And “yes, but homosexual is harmless”, while a belief I agree with, is not an objective and obvious truth.”.

That gayness in a committed monogamous relationship is harmless is an objective and obvious truth, that’s why the anti-gays always lie and equate gayness with promiscuity and that is why the APA says gayness is a normal and healthy variant of human sexuality.

Timothy said “And if that is the foundation of your argument, it seems to be little more than “I’m entitled to hate the people with whom I disagree, they are not entitled to hate me.””.

Its time you stopped mischaracterizing my arguments, motivations, and who I am. My argument is that I’m entitled to hate the people who who have tried to and who have succeeded in harming me and if they wish to hate me I couldn’t care less. So stop pretending otherwise.

Timothy said “But that really isn’t my point. I’m addressing the absurdity of objecting to a quality in others while engaging in that quality oneself. And never seeing the irony.”.

That’s like saying violence is always wrong so when someone tries to murder you its absurd to respond with violence. I don’t buy what you’re selling in the slightest. When someone tries to harm innocent me, you’re daman right I’m going to hate them and I am fully justified in doing so.

Timothy said “If hating is acceptable and no one who harms others has a right not to be hated, then why do we think that calling someone a H8ter is an insult?”.

I never said calling someone a hater was an insult. I couldn’t care less if the bigots call me a hater, I do hate them and I wear that label proudly and justifiably.

Timothy said “The people who fling out “H8ter” do so as though the act of hating makes one a lesser person. Whether or not being a hater makes one a lesser person is entirely dependent on why one hates. When one hates innocent people because giving them equality makes them feel lowered on the totem pole to those people’s level being a hater does make one a lesser person. When one hates innocent people because one finds their harmless behavior icky than being a hater makes one a lesser person. When one hates people guilty of harming the innocent being a hater does not make one a lesser person. When one hates the person who murdered her husband hating the murdere does not make one a lesser person.

When one kills the innocent it makes one a lesser person. When one kills the person who first tried to kill you that does not make one a lesser person. It all depends on who started it and if you want to pretend there’s any debate about that go ahead I see no point in arguing with you further.

Priya Lynn
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

It was the anti-gays who first passed laws against sex gays commonly had. It was the anti-gays who first stood up and denied gays the same right to marry that they had.

They started it, case closed.

Timothy Kincaid
May 14th, 2012 | LINK

Very well, Priya Lynn.

You are entitled to your own opinion on the matter.

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