Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
“There is no gambling like politics,” Benjamin Disraeli used to say, and this week’s Values Voters Summit inWashington was the biggest poker game in town with all 7 Republican candidates at the gaming table.
The “values” offered apparently include an Ace of Bigotry, according to Book of Virtues author, Bill Bennett. And what has piqued the “Maestro of Morals'” ear? An attack on Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney, of course. Por que, you ask? For the ex-governor’s conspicuous wealth? For bringing universal health care to Massachusetts? For corporate raiding? No, none of that. It’s because Mitt is a Mormon, and the assembled evangelicals are apparently suffering from “cult envy.”
Seems there are things about Mitt, that some Christian leaders simply can’t abide and ol’ Bill Bennett called them on it. The tiff began when Rick Perry-backer and Mega-church Pastor Robert Jeffress (right) dealt the assembled faithful the “cult card,” — as in Mormonism is one. He also added that Romney was no Christian in his leather-bound book, and that “Every true, born again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.” Ouch!!
See your cult and raise you a religion!
If that wasn’t ecumenical enough, American Family Association director and Summit sponsor, Bryan Fischer (left), reminded the congregation that Mormons and Muslims have “a completely different definition of who Christ is” than the founding fathers did, and do not deserve First Amendment protections as a consequence.
See your Mormon and raise to you a Muslim, Governor!!!
Mitt was quick — if namby-pamby — in reply: “”Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate.” He added, “The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda narrow our vision or drive us apart.”
Yawn and check!
Bill Bennett, that ol’s angle shooter, doubled down calling Jeffress’ words “bigotry.” “Do not give voice to bigotry,” Bennett intoned. “You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and Santorum and Cain and Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good sir, in what you had to say.”
Call … and back to you there, Reverend!
Jeffress was in no mood to raise the ante: “I do not think evangelical voters are going to be motivated to go out and vote for Mitt Romney.” The conservative Christian leader said that he himself would vote for Romney and does not doubt that he is a good man. “I think he’s a fine family person,” Jeffress explained. “It is only faith in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone that qualifies you as a Christian.”
Ok, ok, Looks like you’ve got a cripple there, Guv! Fold!
Not sure who will win this pot, or if anyone can, but the table betting is fascinating. Word is Ron Paul is drawing into an inside straight.
For the Poker Lingo: Wiki
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger