Star Parker

The boldest he could get was to say we should continue to acknowledge the Creator on "our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history," and in public displays during holidays.

But despite noting family breakdown as one of the challenges of our generation, he never mentioned the importance of the preservation of the traditional family, never mentioned abortion and never mentioned his personal concern about either.

It feeds the doubts about Romney in that, in my experience, those who have had a change of heart about abortion are among the most passionate and committed. It certainly is my personal experience, and what I have seen in the work I do with crisis pregnancy centers around the country.

But Romney didn't give a hint that this is something that keeps him up at night.

Comparisons have been made with John Kennedy's speech during his 1960 presidential campaign in which he addressed concerns about his Roman Catholic religion.

Romney could have clearly contrasted himself with Kennedy, who made a point to say that religion did not belong in public life and decried the fact that questions about religion were diverting attention from the "real issues" of the campaign.

And he might have pointed out that the Kennedy presidency marked the beginning of a great cultural decline in America. Just one point of comparison: In the early 1960s, 3 percent of white babies were born to unwed mothers, compared with almost 30 percent today, and 24 percent of black babies were born to unwed mothers, compared with 70 percent today.

Romney's observation that "freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom" and that "freedom and religion endure together or perish alone" was not something I would expect to hear from someone of deep faith.

Religion endures any circumstance. Faith exists independent of freedom. It survives the darkest, dankest prison cell. But freedom allows it to flourish.

I think Romney, with this speech, confirmed rather than dispelled the doubts about his faith and conservatism that have troubled his campaign. If the point was to fix his credentials as a bona fide conservative leader, he failed.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.