By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Governor Etch-A-Sketch, to borrow spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom’s colorful metaphor, appears to morphing once again on social issues, back to the social liberal he was when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Exhibit A: Romney has doubled down on his criticism of the Boy Scouts for excluding homosexuals as scout leaders. This is stupendously wrong-headed on the governor’s part, since social research has revealed that homosexuals sexually offend against minors at exaggerated rates. In fact, according to research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, they are ten times more likely to molest children than heterosexual men.
Gov. Romney’s position, if adopted by the BSA, would put the sexual innocence of untold numbers of young boys at risk. It is truly an unconscionable position for a self-described “severely conservative” candidate to take, particularly in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.
Exhibit B: The governor was completely AWOL on the Chick-fil-A controversy. Rather than making a simple campaign stop at a CFA, as a show of support for natural marriage, the governor said the whole thing was “not part of my campaign.”
Well, governor, exactly what was not a part of your campaign? The part about natural marriage? The part about freedom of religion? The part about freedom of speech? The part about freedom of entrepreneurship? What? If you will not publicly stand for those values, what will you stand for?
From a purely political standpoint, setting aside values altogether, this was a blown opportunity for the governor. Pro-family Americans, the very ones he hopes to entice to vote for him in November, turned out by the millions to show their support for the institution of natural marriage. All the governor needed to do was make a brief campaign stop at a CFA, say something supportive about marriage and the family, and go back to hammering Obama on the economy. Instead, he chose to pass up a passel of low-hanging fruit, in what was virtually a risk-free environment.
He forfeited an opportunity to harness the enormous and spontaneous energy that was released on Chick-fil-A’s behalf in support of man-woman marriage. With very little effort, he could have run out in front of this crowd and presented himself as the champion and defender of the natural family. Instead, it all was “not part of my campaign.”
It is almost as if the governor is going out of his way to de-motivate the conservative base. In fact, if he deliberately set out to dispirit evangelicals and members of the pro-family network, he could hardly do any worse.
We read stories about his private meetings with social conservatives, and of course it’s good that those conversations are taking place. But at some point, his private assurances to pro-family leaders must become public statements to the electorate or the socially conservative air will leak completely out of his balloon.
In Idaho, my home state, the Mormon church sponsors 85% of all the Boy Scout troops in the state. And the Mormon church’s unapologetic stand for natural marriage is well-known. So once again, we sadly discover that Governor Romney’s problem is not that he’s Mormon but that he’s not Mormon enough.
Here’s hoping that somebody who has his ear can persuade him to at least sound like a pro-family advocate between now and November. Social conservatives want reasons to vote for Mitt Romney, not just against Barack Obama, but right now he’s not giving them to us.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)