Last updated 4:33PM ET
October 18, 2017
In Focus Today
In Focus Today
Religion in public life
(2007-12-06)
(pri) - Mitt Romney said today no Mormon authority will influence what he does if he's elected President of the United States. With a religious test prohibited by the Constitution, should any candidate have to defend his or her religion? Does Mormonism raise special questions? Has Romney provided the answers some voters think they have a right to ask?

Listen to report

Mitt Romney and Religion in America's Public Life

Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy became America's first Catholic president after a speech in which he said no Catholic prelate would tell him what to do in the White House. In Texas today, less than 100 miles from where Kennedy made his address, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said he does not define his presidential candidacy by his Mormon religion. He promised that if he's elected "no authorities of [his] church will ever exert influence on presidential decisions." With a Constitutional ban on religious tests for public office, is it political bigotry to question any candidate's faith, or does Mormonism raise specific questions some voters have the right to ask? Did Romney tell them what they wanted to know?

Guests:

- Neil Swidley: Reporter, "Boston Globe"

- Damon Linker: former Professor of Political Philosophy, Brigham Young University

- Richard Bushman: Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University

- Janice Crouse: Spokesperson, Concerned Women for America

- Barry Lynn: Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"To the Point," a fast-paced, news-based program that focuses on the hot-button national issues of the day is produced by KCRW/Santa Monica and distributed nationwide by PRI. Get more info about "To the Point" and find out if this program airs in your area.
© Copyright 2017, pri