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Huckabee, Ryan: Romney’s religion a non-issue

TAMPA, Fla. (BP) — Seeking to ease concerns by evangelicals and others about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan told viewers of the Republican National Convention Wednesday (Aug. 29) that despite major theological differences, Romney shares their values and beliefs on a wide range of moral issues.

Huckabee, an evangelical and a former governor of Arkansas, was one of the night’s final four speakers.

“I want to clear the air about something that has been said,” Huckabee said. “People wonder whether guys like me, an evangelical, would only support a fellow evangelical. Well, my friends, I want to tell you something: Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama. And he supports changing the definition of marriage [and] believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb — even beyond the womb. And he tells people of faith that they have to bow their knees to the God of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care.”

The “beyond the womb” comment referenced Obama’s opposition as an Illinois state legislator to what was commonly called the born-alive infant protect act. The bill, which eventually passed, requires medical attention be given to babies who survive botched abortions. Huckabee also was referencing the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive/abortion mandate, which requires that businesses and religious organizations pay for employee health insurance plans that cover contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs.

Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee made similar arguments about moral issues such as marriage and abortion.

“Mitt and I … go to different churches, but in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example, and I’ve been watching that example,” Ryan, a Catholic, said. “The man who will accept your nomination is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he is a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country. Our faiths [Ryan’s and Romney’s] come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life, there is goodness, for every person there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of life.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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