Mitt: 'Freedom Requires Religion'
Romney stands by Mormon faith in long-awaited address
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 11:00 AM CST
A statue by Dennis Smith representing womanhood with children stands in view of the Mormon Temple, rear, in this April 20, 2005, file photo, in Salt Lake City. A patriarchal society, Mormons hold up...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a much-hyped address on religion, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney asserted today, “Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." The former Massachusetts governor focused on religious liberty during the speech in College Station, Texas, but did allow that if Mormonism hurts his candidacy, “so be it.” Romney avoided addressing specifics of a faith many evangelicals consider a cult.

Romney invoked John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 speech defending his Catholicism, and even put screws to critics by saying the next president “will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.” But Romney has more to explain than Kennedy, CNN suggests: He’s been a major Mormon, serving as a full-time missionary and achieving a rank equivalent to bishop.