When he appealed to moral absolutes, he cited the example of Martin Luther King. "As a young man," he said, "with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. But to God who is the same yesterday, today and forever."
His comportment disappointed New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who laments that he didn't make same sex marriage a wedge issue or "fan the flames of hellfire." To the chagrin of many liberals who preferred to run against a hot-headed self-righteous, sermonizing candidate, Romney cannot be stereotyped as out of touch with mainstream secular society.
Instead when it comes to a "wedge" issue, 67 percent of Americans thought that the president announced his support for gay marriage "mostly for political reasons," a cynical rather than principled position, according of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News.
While critics of Mitt Romney have enjoyed making fun of him as stiff and humorless, his speech at Liberty University showed an ability to talk seriously, with humility turning his business expertise into a personal parable for service.
When he was first asked to rescue the 2002 Olympics, he was busy and says he dismissed the idea because his lack of athletic prowess failed to make it sound like a logical step. His sons went further and said there was no way they could imagine their father's photo on the front page of the sports section. But he succeeded, and it became one of his most rewarding experiences.
"Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious," he told the graduates. He broadened Jack Kennedy's exhortation of what you can do for your country. "It is not a matter of what we are asking of life," he said, quoting Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, "but rather what life is asking of us."
In the tradition of our Founding Fathers, Mitt Romney understands that religious freedom opens a door that is closed to many around the world. "But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us."
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