Mohler, Ryken offer commencement speech advice to Romney

Communications Staff — May 11, 2012

In a May 11 post at CNN’s Belief Blog, Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Wheaton College President Philip Ryken provide unsolicited advice to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney about his imminent commencement speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

As leaders of prominent evangelical schools, Mohler and Ryken surmise that Romney should speak to evangelical interests openly and honestly as a Mormon and politician.

In his portion of the post, Mohler recommends that Romney not only stay true to his Mormon convictions as he communicates to his audience, but also appeal to his concerns and goals in public policy that overlap with those of evangelicals. And furthermore, he should point out that he does not aim to become their pastor but their president.

“[Romney] should not try to bridge the theological gulf that separates Mormons from evangelical Christians, but he should point directly to common concerns and shared convictions about the crucial issues facing our nation,” Mohler writes.

“He should remind the audience at Liberty University that he is not running to be their preacher but to be their president. He should speak to shared political and policy concerns, making clear the fact that his policies emerge from a deep reservoir of commitment.”

In demonstrating his shared interests with evangelicals, Ryken suggests that Romney speak about religious liberty.

“I would give Romney the same advice that I offered in a letter to President Obama when the White House asked for comments on the health insurance mandate: promote religious liberty as a first and fundamental freedom,” he writes.

Both Mohler’s and Ryken’s comments are available in their entirety at Belief Blog: “Unsolicited Advice: What should Mitt Romney say at Liberty University?”


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