A number of times online I have suggested that people begin to call Mitt Romney "Bishop Romney."
Many times met with derision or as a joke, I mean this as a sign of respect.
I doubt if I would vote for the bishop, I like the man we have running the show currently. Besides, Bishop Romney's policies are not enough to woo me over to his side.
I could talk about this in terms of being a political trap (a trap he has made for himself). It exposes the Church/State binding that many on the left are afraid of. It could also highlight that the Bishop may be caught serving two masters (God and Government). Many think he would never get through a General election with that.
It may be a trap worth walking into as many on the left and in the middle ARE respectful of faith and faith issues.
The calls for civility amidst our dangerously low rhetoric may be a way to find acceptance of a minority that is being disrespected.
Yes, the Mormon Church is being disrespected. They have some funny ways, but they have some really nice ones too. It is hard to argue with someone who wants to keep the family unit together and expanding as a structure. (I can insert a snark here about setting up multiple satellite families, but that takes away from the core arguments.)
It is a church that has people who really want to live their faith. Today, there is nothing wrong with that. In our very coarse society, we need that from everyone.
In his life outside politics, Mitt Romney earned the title Bishop. Looking at his family, a postcard from a region called Wholesomeness, it looks like he (and his wife) did a good job of raising them. That is always the first thing I look at when I look at someone running for higher office. It is why I still hold the Clintons in high regard, even after well-publicized marital issues. They kept a family together and produced a damn fine kid. It is also the reason I discard Newt Gingrich as a serious leader.
It appears Bishop Romney is downplaying his time as Bishop in the Boston area during this campaign. Part of it may be a Lefthand-Righthand thing or it may be overtly political, as not to tick off or remind evangelicals that he really isn't "one of them."
If it is to tip-toe around the evangelical 9ssue, it might not be a bad idea to tackle this thing head-on.
Santorum is now gobbling up evangelicals like Pacman on steroids. Bishop Romney needs to step up. A Maine victory with fewer than 3,000 votes should be a scary wake-up call for the entire GOP field. (If Bishop Romney is going to take on Santorum, he needs to quickly reregister those who left the GOP now sitting in the middle.)
JFK in 1960 went to Dallas to explain himself to the Baptists and it worked. Four years ago Barack Obama talked about race in Philly. Today, one speech isn't going to do it. It will just get washed into the ocean of the internet.
If he begins to call himself Bishop, it may be the way to make the Evangelical population deal with this minority of Mormons. They would need to double-clutch to see what that really means. When Christ was presented with word that someone else was preaching about the Father a few miles away, His reaction was essentially, "Let him do it, am I going to run over and say 'you aren't doing this right'?" The other guy was worshipping God too, why interfere?
Many passages in the New Testament, my guide book, talk about standing up and being counted, or being a light in the darkness, or knowing someone. The only unforgivable sin in the Gospels is to deny the Holy Spirit.
When Bishop Romney embraces his title, like Rev Jesse Jackson, or Rev Mike Huckabee or Rev Al Sharpton, all presidential contenders, he may find that Evangelicals may have more respect for someone who will publically stand with his personal savior without fear.
If Bishop Romney is denying the title of Bishop, which he earned by standing by and up for his vision of God, what is God supposed to think? Is Bishop Romney, in a fit of a lack of faith (politics will do that), denying the Guy who may be sending him on His Mission?
If the media forces his hand and begins to derisively call him Bishop and he does not stand up for his title, what does that say about the guy formerly-known-as-Bishop Romney?
One knock on Candidate Romney is that he flip-flops all over the place and is not comfortable in his own skin. Candidate Romney is keeping a lid over that light. Is this why we are not seeing the REAL Mitt Romney? Can he do more for himself, his faith, and his faith's relationship in this society by fully, publicly, and full-throatedly (is that a word?) embracing the title Bishop? His role may not to win this election; it may be something more profound.
But you never know, God has a tendency to stand with people like Moses who put their arms up in the air for Him.
(This piece was written with full assistance of the Holy Spirit - Thanks Big Guy.)