Why Romney’s High School “Prank” Matters

[Photo by Austen Hufford]

As some of you heard, last week the Washington Post reported a story about presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, and his participation in an incident that many are calling “bullying.” Taking place in 1965 while a student at Cranbrook School, Romney, along with a group of friends, held down fellow classmate, John Lauber, and cut off his hair with a pair of scissors.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be identified. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

You can read the entire story here.

As one can imagine the punditry from all sides has been cray-cray. Quick to get this one under control I’m sure, Romney responded to the story during a live radio interview with Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade,

Back in high school, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that. I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.

First of all, for those who think that going after his high school behavior isn’t fair game, I beg to differ. I think that if one is running for President of the United States EVERYTHING is fair game. Yes, 45 years ago is a long time, but this incident coupled with the whole dog on the roof of the car one, and I am developing an image of person who sees other lives in a very different way than I do, one where the pain and suffering of another living creature has no impact.

One issue that I have with the whole mess is that Romney has yet to actually admit to being part of the incident, instead answering with a vague, “some [pranks] may have gone to far” category that only leaves me to wonder if there were so many so-called “pranks” that he cannot keep them all straight. While there is no way the Republican party will get my vote in this year’s election, I think it would have gone a long way for him in gaining the support of some independents and libertarians to own up to being part of the incident, after all, few are denying that he was part of it?

Which leads me to my second concern. For many, there seems to be a “boys will be boys” or “we all did stupid stuff when we were kids” attitude to excuse Romney’s actions. Now, I admit, as the father of three girls, I am no expert on raising boys. At the same time, I was a boy once myself and I have seen many a gender behavior played out on the playground and school. We could argue the reasons why some boys and girls fulfill traditional male or female expectations, but I would still say that even this reality combined with the poor choices of  youth in no way excuses the terror that must have been inflicted on his classmate. I just do not think this is the norm for anyone, boy or girl.

Yes, I was a boy. I did stupid youthful “boys-will-be-boys” things – drinking, smoking and blowing up dog poop with firecrackers just to name a few*- but never did I lead a group of boys, held another boy down against his will and cut off his hair. To see what must have only been terror in the eyes of another human and continue the act is inexcusable and without ever claiming responsibility or repentance, gives us a window into his personhood and soul.

So what do you think? Is it fair to raise these issues from his past? And if it is true, does it matter? Or is this a liberal hack job from the WP and the Obama campaign? Here is a good clip from ABC news.

I have been pretty clear with where I stand on the whole thing, what say you?

* I am obviously never running for President 😉

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  • JP

    I guess if its fair game to pick on high school activities of candidates, where is the story about obama picking on a girl?  Where are the stories about his drug use?  Whay is it always a one sided attack this year?  Where are the Obama stories that are just as bad or worse?  If its fair game then tell stories of both candidates

  • icedgreentea

    Why is the man in the clip who says he wasn’t there even included?  He says he “imagines” the scissors was held next to the ear and “snip, snip in the air, no harm, no foul” yet that totally contradicts the person who WAS there who says it was a hack job with hair all over the place.  I don’t see the point of including the man who wasn’t there and is “imagining” what it might have been like unless he is being put there as a deliberate distraction from the man who was actually involved. 

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson

    I do know that my kids are forming their character now, in middle school, in their choices to tease or not.  Stand up for a kid being bullied or not, or even just to stand up for themselves when being teased.  It’s hard to make the right choice, but to lead the pack in holding a kid down and cutting off his hair?  That’s really ugly stuff.

  • jeanstreetr

    Get a life, everyone.  That’s quite a ways back to go and find dirt on someone.

  • Superlo

    Let’s see we have a source that has admitted he wasn’t at the incident after all, a sister that didn’t know anything about it and the ‘victim’ is deceased so nothing can be verified. Does that pass any kind of smell test?  How about President Obama’s own words from his book about his high school years, ‘I went to classes sparingly, drank beer heavily and used cocaine enthusiastically’.  Do you think he might have done something slightly stupid with all that free time and ‘under the influence’ of alcohol & drugs?  Let’s hope we can actually have a serious discussion about the future of this great country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    OK Bruce, I see you confronting people about whether they stand up for themselves anywhere else. Just in case you wonder about me, go to http://livingontilt.wordpress.com. That is where I stand up for myself.

  • Accountability, please

    Marijuana is a tame drug–seriously, alcohol is more damaging–but people seldom do anything drastic while high or drunk that they wouldn’t do while sober. But you’re seriously going to compare Obama who, as far as we no, participated in NO bullying while inhabited or sober, to Romney who actively participated in hateful behavior and bullying while completely sober?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    Well, I guess if high school behavior is at issue, then we need to get Barack Obama out right now. How did he ever get in? He plainly says he spent the last two years of high school in a drug-induced haze. Who knows all the things he did in that condition? His administration almost makes one think that the haze has not really diminished, but he hasn’t commented on that. So I leave it at the place where this columnist thinks we should stop. High School. Romney aggressively cut somebody’s hair. Obama fried his brain on reefers and beer. Which one is likely to have a lasting bad effect on the practitioner? Which one means that the perpetrator has a bad attitude, an antisocial attitude, an attitude which leads to destructive behavior and an inability to think straight. ?????

  • fordneri

    It is hard to stay on topic and duplicate facts for conservative christians narcissists. I understand that.  You might want to take the christian values you profess to have to your friends when seeking approval and try living them. I’m sorry I forgot. Narcissists can only mouth the values and mimick the behaviour of true Christians, but never live their faith authenticly.  What a pity for you. God bless and keep you safe until you wise up if that is possible. good night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    Oh, please. Everything you have said is as completely riciculous as the entire Obama agenda. Thank goodness, you have no power, and you cannot cost us 5 trillion dollars. The real narcissist in the picture is the one who believes soldiers fight on his behalf and who believes it is very cool to tell people now that he drifted through high school in a drug-induced haze. Now that is narcissism.

  • fordneri

    Romney would be charged today with a felony hate crime, expelled from school and branded a violent sexual predator since he was obsessed with the sexuality of the man he attacked and the attack was motivated by sex.  He is a malignant narcissist campaigning to a party faithful burried under tons of narcissistic shame. He cannot connect with the American voter because he has no empathy with them or respect for the core values of the founders. 

  • Dstewar17

    Romney was apparently 18 years old (so he was *not* a minor) and, as described, it meets the common law definition of an assault.

  • scottyp

    hardly skewed information, since  G. Scott Romney  was an attorney of mine for several years, and the protester protesting is my son.  Romney’ speech was hypocritical at best.  More will be coming out on the reasons behind the protest and the abuses that were suffered by the family members as a cover-up was done by both the father and the Romney’s  

  • perfesser

    You’re basing this on skewed information–not your fault in the era of an irresponsible media. There are many more stories on Mitt’s private acts of compassion.

  • scottyp

    Mitt Romney has never changed. The Romney’s have only become more sadistic. 

    Although, Romney may have given a passionate speech, the truth
    is his speech is hypocritical – and Romney knows it.  Everything from his family responsibility
    slant in the speech to  “justice for the
    persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child
    waiting to be born.”

    Protest outside Mormon Church Northville Ward in Michigan


    video clip above at link

    Where is Romney’s compassion? The man who introduced Mitt at
    Ford Field was David T. Fischer. Fischer is Mitt’s head Michigan bundler – and the
    man’s whose sister-in-law is selling the foreclosed on home of the home the
    protester was raised in.  The home that
    was filled to the brim with tension and abuse and one cover-up after another was
    done by the Mormon Community in Michigan, his father, as well as members of the
    Romney family.   Where is Romney’s Mitt compassion?

    The boy grew to manhood seeing corruption in the
    courts – all linked to the Romney name, experienced being bullied out of school
    – all by Romney friends and cronies. 
    What about the persecuted Mitt? 
    What about justice when courts and attorneys are paid off

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000418580709 Morgan Sheridan

     As a politician he is supposed to say, “Yes, I did do that.  I recognize now that what I did was wrong and hurtful to my classmate and I’m sorry I was not able to apologize before he died.”  That’s what a good man does.

  • allforfunnplay

    as politician, what’s he supposed to do?  his best bet is to simply laugh it off and move on.  it doesn’t do him much good to focus on it and draw more negative attention.  

    all you can do is judge him on his actions and inactions since the incident.  does he still act like a bully?  (some of those companies that Bain Capital gutted might want to chime in).  

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Thanks for commenting again. My main point of the post, though, is actually not about the incident itself, but in his actual response to it today. The fact that he has not actually acknowledged his part in it and even laughed it off as a boyish prank is not really an apology. If he had, as many have before, owned up and spoke words of redemption, this post would not have been written. 

  • allforfunnplay

    hmmm…i haven’t posted here since Bruce’s gay marriage posting last year….

    well, i’m not a christian but i’m going to play the christian card here.  btw.  i’m not a Romney supporter either…but not because of this issue.  

    as a christian bruce, i assume you believe in redemption, forgiveness and all that other stuff…learning from one’s mistakes…etc….

    so we all admit to doing things when we were younger that we’re not particularly proud of.   what is important is that we regret them and/or learn from them.  

    the question is if Romney still bears any of the traits that led to the overt bullying incident during his high school days?  does he regret the incident?  did he learn anything from it?  we don’t have Romney’s words.  all we have are his actions and inactions.  and since we do not know of any other or more recent stories of such bullying we have to assume that Romney matured and learned from his past behavior.  either he simply learned bullying is wrong or he learned to deal with issues in a more subtle and socially acceptable way (being a politician, I’m assuming the latter).  either way he learned from the incident and will not repeat the same behavior.  so the question to you bruce, is can you forgive him and move on?  

  • Allie

    If demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate is fair game how is this not?

  • Kent

    In reviewing the article by  Bruce Reyes-Chow on “Why Romney’s High School Prank Matters”, I find it highly offensive that you would ever assume that a person’s character is only based on their High School Days. I wonder how many young people have had their feelings hurt or even been injured in “Goal Posts” being torn down or who were shunned all through school days? Could it be that there is a closet in everyone’s life?  As we consider the events with Mitt Romney, maybe we should consider those individuals that actually held John Lauber down. Are they the Lawyers, The Prosecutors, the School Principles, and the Dentists you are talking with? If it was so appalling where were they as witnesses to the assailed victim?  Did they simply stand by and laugh with the crowd “All in good High School fun”?  Who came to the defense of John Lauber?  Where were the accusers, of Mitt Romney then? We face in an immature ridiculous effort to slander a man who has grown from childish ways, as we all have to become a man with the highest integrity.  Profound in his effort to change a Nation on the brink of Constitutional failure, to giving this nation one last chance to be God Fearing and protecting the freedoms of even the greedy, self-centered and the selfish, “ONLY THINGKING OF ME” syndrome.  The country was founded on principles of self-government, not on the dictates of someone who thinks they know what is best for us.  Hmmm…that sounds a little like a Stalin-Lennon philosophy.
        Does it matter that we have had High School Pranks gone too far? Sure it does! But to hold one man accountable for the act of many is wrong. Is this a nation run by “High Schoolers”, who when not getting their way, look to a child for answers.  Or do we look to the Man that the trials have made? The man that is compassionate and willing to give his life to the freedoms we enjoy. Maybe we should look to JR High and Grade School for the answers of who is the best candidate to lead the most powerful Nation in the World. I wonder if anyone got their hair pulled or pushed on a play ground?
        To all of you who think you are the same person you were in High School as you are now, I feel sorry for you.  Certainly you have changed for good or bad but you are not the same.  If you are, you are the only one who thinks you are.  Give credit where credit is due.  Mitt Romney is now the man, not the child.  It takes leadership and commitment to accomplish what he has done.  The only person you have to fear is yourself and your judgment of High School days. GET A LIFE!  VOTE FOR ROMNEY! He won’t hold you down. OBAMA WILL!!!

  • George Love

    It’s fair. But it will need to be recognized that whatever vetting process is in place will now include everyone’s high school record. It’s our most important office so anything that illumines can be helpful. It can’t seem random. The press will need to explore everyone’s background and let us know if they find anything and what. This could have the effect of dampening further peoples enthusiasm for public office, but what is the alternative.

  • perfesser
  • Frank

    First of all the reports say that Mitt was one who held him down not the one who did the cutting of the hair if they are to be believed.

    Second of all it was 45 years ago.

  • Fortuna Veritas

    The weirdest thing is how everyone seems to very pointedly ignore that the events as being recalled would count as assault and that Romney could have very easily “accidentally” slipped and gouged out the guy’s eyes, cut off his nose, or slit his throat.

    Kinda makes me wonder if, in his youthful exuberance, he has some literal skeletons in his closet that his father’s aegis and the prep school environment of willful child abuse covered up to the point where too many pigs would fry beyond him for it to actually ever come to light.

  • Fortuna Veritas

    Bullying seems like even more of an understatement than the more common way of phrasing it as “being an asshole” that I kept running into.

  • scottyp

    Mitt has given plenty of things to be concerned over him.  One thing Mitt is not telling the public who Robert Gay is that is doing the ads on Mitt finding his daughter in N.Y.   Robert Gay is the son of William Gay, better know as the head of the Mormon Mafia – the man who kept Howard Hughes isolated and took over the Hughes empire. Robert Gay’s uncle is the Mormon doctor who kept Hughes drugged during the last years of Hughes life.  William Gay helped Robert Gay steal BILLIONS for Hughes Medical, and the fund ended up at Bain Capital as
    diveratives  . 

    It is hard to stomach Gay’s ad on Romney knowing the number of children in the LDS church harmed by the Romney family that were not part of the Romney inner circle and only seen as collateral damage as Romney’s involved themselves in a cover-up.

  • scottyp

    Tell who Robert Gay is and his ties to Howard Hughes and the take over of the Hughes corporation by his father William Gay.  Tell about the corruption the Romney family is involved in and the horrific damage they have done to other people.  The truth is too hard to face for Romney.

  • perfesser

    What in the world are you basing this on? Have you looked closely at his record? Have you talked to people from his neighborhood and work associates, as I have? Have you read the interviews with, for example, people from Staples he worked side by side with. I don’t know what you’re basing your opinion on, but I’ve been continually impressed–people who know him best are always impressed with his character and compassion.

  • http://twitter.com/rockymtnhigh Michael Gizzi

    We all did stupid things in high school, most of us did not do things like that things that truly hurt a human being, and did so just because we could. It is a glimpse into his soul, but I think he has given us plenty of other things to be concerned about in terms of his lack of compassion from recent decades which alone should disqualify him from the office of president.  The prank bothers me, but his adult-life choices bother me far more.     

  • scottyp

    Bullying behavior is typical for the Romney family.  They bullied many people in the Mormon Church the family dominated over.  They covered-up crimes and mocked victims.  Mitt was cutting his teeth at Cranbrook. 

  • Anon

    I was bullied in high school. Bad. It never was physical, but it was emotional and reputation-al. It was all rumor and innuendo based, but it was damaging and hurtful.
    Years after I left school, the rumors that were started about me while I was in school were still floating around the school (“I” had become somewhat legend)…to the point that when I picked my younger sister up from school one day, and gave a friend of hers a ride, her friend’s eyes got big and they uttered, “Wow! So *you’re* ____. You’re not at ALL what I expected!” (To this day, I run into people from High School who are amazed that I could possibly be a Pastor. Based on the rumors, I should be a drug-addled, booze soaked, wash-out with a parcel of kids all by different men (if not dead) by now. Seriously)
    Bullying is hateful, horrible, and life-long damaging. (My bully was someone I once had thought to be a friend…it now takes me a *very* long time to really trust a friend).
    There is no excuse for it, and we need to very much so take a stand against it and teach our kids (and adults) that there is no place for it in our world.

    Romney needs to admit that he was wrong, and then reach out to this former classmate and apologize to him. No qualifications, no waffling. He needs to apologize.

    Having said that:
    While I think that it is important for us to call out bullying of all kinds, work to rid our culture of it, etc…
    I believe that this should be put on the same level as Clinton’s pot smoking, Obama’s friends from high school/college, etc…That is to say, I don’t think that something that someone did when they were a teenager should be part of a political conversation. We all did and said stupid things when we were teens, some worse than others, yes, but would we all want to be held *permanently* and *professionally* accountable as adults for the things that we said when we were 16?
    Developmentally, the part of our brains that deal with consequence and decision making aren’t fully developed then, so it follows that we do and say things at this age that we wouldn’t dare think of doing or saying as adults.

    I guess, for me, Romney has done and said enough as an adult (and recently) that demonstrate his regard for others, how he views others, how he treats others. Things that demonstrate how he would approach the office of President and the decisions that he would have to make. Things that show how he would or would not listen and respond to certain groups of people in our country to deal with their needs, etc.

    I doesn’t seem to me that we need to lift up something that he did as a 16 year old to make our point.

  • Bruce

    Reguardless of your political persuasion, you should recognize this piece as a hatchet job.  There are several problematic issues with the story: 1) the “victim” is deceased and can not comment about the story, 2) the “victim’s” family called the piece “factually incorrect” and stated if Lauber were alive today, “he would be furious about the story”, 3) “most” of the witnesses are active democrats. 

    Irrespective of these details, teenagers are stupid.  They do stupid things.  Teenagers 45-50 years probably weren’t as PC as teenagers are today…especially those at an all boys boarding school.  I guarantee that we have had presidents of both parties do worse things in their teenage years.  Just my two cents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    I would laugh it off as a childhood prank. When I was in high school, it was a custom for seniors to throw freshmen into a drainage ditch on the last day of school if they could catch some. I actually do not believe that anybody involoved in that behavior then has done anything in adult life that is equally silly, or irresponsible, or whatever.

  • Musubiman

    Here’s a great example:   The mainstream media coming down on Romney for being an elitist for having a fundraiser in Hillsborough at $2500/plate.   Talking about how this is in bad form because it reinforces the notion that Romney is only out for the rich people.

    And yet, the article says nothing about the $40k/plate fundraiser that Obama put on.    It’s this type of imbalance and slanted reporting that turns off people.   

    Should Romney have been part of this group that terrorized this poor student? clearly not.   But it absolutely sickens me that this 45 year old incident is singularly pointed out by the left as a reason as why Romney is unfit to be in office.

    The economy is THE one and only issue that people are concerned about in this upcoming election.   Obama’s policies have not only failed but have taken this country a couple of steps backwards.

    I don’t want 4 more years of the same with Obama…give Romney a chance.   Simply put, we cannot afford four more years of Obama and his policies.

    Grasping at an event that occurred 45 years ago speaks to the desperation of Obama and his allies that their “golden child” is a great campaigner but a lousy president.

  • Musubiman

    If a story of Obama had been pulled up of him bullying someone 40 plus years ago… Do you seriously think the mainstream media would make an issue of it? I guarantee you this would be a non-issue.

    Do you remember how the media pulled up the story of GW Bush’s drinking and possible drug use the weekend before the election day? The media put the story out on the weekend so the Bush camp could have minimal time to respond and do damage control.

    Obama has admitted to drug use and the media is so not interested in making this an issue.

    Simply put, this article is a hatchet job on Romney. People who are going to vote for Onama will make a big deal out of this.

    And for those of us who recognize this for what it is will be accused of being thoughtless and uncaring. This is no doubt a very sad situation. I was bullied in elementary school… But in the end, it’s partisan politics.

    And Bruce, while you may not have given Clinton a pass… 99% of democrats, liberals, and feminists did give Clinton a pass on his abhorrent behavior. Politics… All is politics.

    So the feigned outrage is nothing new from the left as was their deafening silence when it’s “their guy” who makes the mistake.

  • Jobi Wan Kenobi

    As I recall, Clinton got on national television and denied (lied) his affair. So Clinton didn’t claim responsibility either. BTW, the whole boys will be boys thing, it is really group behavior. People do things in groups they would not do individually. Romney’s was group behavior. Clinton’s was individual behavior, not inspired by the group.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    For the record, I did not give Clinton a pass. And the big difference for me in regards to the length of time that has passed, is the way in which Romney has not actually claimed his involvement in this. So for me it’s not even in the action, but in the reaction to being called on it. Claiming responsibility for the specific act would have made this go away, but his laughing it off as childhood pranks is what really rankles folks. Thanks for commenting.

  • Musubiman

    I just remember when Clinton was getting in trouble with Monica Lewinsky, the left gave Clinton a pass on his behavior because he was on “their” side.  If GW Bush had been the one having an affair with a college intern, he would have been positively raked over the coals.   
    This is similar,   Romney is the Republican, so because he did something 45 years ago…its a “Big” deal.   Doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that Romney did it.  IF Obama had been the one who had bullied someone 45 years ago…No one on the left or any of his supporters would make anything out of it…or they would minimize it.   
    The behavior by Romney is moot (not because it is or is not important), this is all politics (and no one said that politics wasn’t a full-contact sport).  Obama and the left are politicizing an event 45 years ago to try and gain traction because Obama’s record is woefully thin of accomplishments.
    If Obama tries to run on his accomplishments, he loses.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Damn, I was going for old-man ironic . . . point taken.

  • Bberes

    I echo other readers’ comments on finding a disparity between pranks and doing violence to others.
    I actually have nothing new to contribute, except to encourage you to not use “cray-cray” again. Ever. You’re more thoughtful than that, Bruce. Don’t pander. :o)

  • scottyp

    Romney and his family are involved in too much corruption to ever  be in the White House.

  • Rickniel

    The most important duty of POTUS is Commander in Chief. POTUS needs to give orders putting our enemies in harms way. We are also hiring the chief negotiator to bring our country into the best positions and deals. There are many reasons to vote for a Hard Ass take no prisoners kind of leader.

    For our soft caring side we can hire “nice people” for ministers and Sunday School Teachers. Right now Obama is my kind of Hard Ass take no prisoners kind of leader. Romney is my second choice.

  • scottyp

    Romney for once can start asking for forgiveness instead of preying and playing on people.   To give Romney continued forgiveness is foolish, because Romney doesn’t give a darn on the damage he does to others. 

  • Frank

    And if you were honest and fair you would be pointing out the lack of integrity of Obama around the gay marriage issue. What a shameful display from our president.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    I guess, we will simply have to disagree on the nature of Romney’s apology.  And no surprise I am sure, but I’m not at all ashamed of this post, nor do I think we can/should separate our faith and politics, so yes, this is a political post informed by my faith. 

    And back to my last comment. Who is Frank? Do you blog anywhere? Would love to see what you offer to the larger conversations or are you mainly one who responses to others’ posts. That’s cool but again, I like to know a little more about folks, especially with those with whom I find so much disagreement.

  • Frank

    Bruce I like you fine. I don’t know you but its not a matter of like/dislike. I simply disagree with most of what you say or how you say it. I trust you teach your kids that people can still like each other and disagree vehemently.

    No one suggested that we forget. Romney apologized and that should be good enough for all Christians. His character as a fully grown adult is relevant. High School student? Not relevant.

    I imagine you would be the first person to stand up for a young person who made a mistake and got arrested but now behaves differently. You would say we should not hold that mistake against them and we should move forward.

    That being the case this is simply a politically based post which you should be ashamed of. 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/breyeschow/ Bruce Reyes-Chow

    Frank – I am not sure that this is a question of forgiveness or not. Forgive and forget is not a Christian doctrine that I follow. So is it fair to say that his response was okay? If so, again, I’ll just have to disagree with you.  Also, since you are all over the pathoes blogs, I would love to know more about you. Can you let us in on your context for service and ministry. I hope that you have sense a genuine willingness to interact from me, so do tell me something about yourself . . . at least so my kids can stop asking, “Who is this “Frank” guy?” that does not like you 😉

  • Frank

    I have yet to see anything that would prevent me from voting against Obama. If something relevant about Romney comes out then I might change my mind. What I do know is Obama is a terrible president who will not win reelection. It has nothing to do with party (I am independent.)

  • dcmills33

    When you are looking at who will be your next POTUS forgiveness hardly plays a role. It is not my place to forgive this man or condemn him. However, in selecting a POTUS it is important to discern his character and determine if that is the type of person we want to run the country. These pieces of Romneys past give us insight into his character and his beliefs and I hope you’re not voting down party lines with a blind eye towards this.

  • Frank

    First of all the facts are hazy about his incident. Secondly it was 45 years ago. For someone who is a pastor of a faith based on forgiveness this is just sad.

    Obama is a one termer and a story from a half a century ago is not going to change that.

  • scottyp

    Romney showed by his actions he over-steps boundaries which belonged to the schools administration.  Mitt wasn’t going to tolerate, Mitt wasn’t going to have….  George Romney never taught his children to respect other people, he only taught is children they were elect and chosen above others.   They are a cruel and shameful family. 

  • Amy Gibbs

    The main difference I see between “boys will be boys” pranks like blowing up dog poop (who didn’t do that?) and imbibing at a party, and Romney’s intimidation of a young man is this: unless the dog poop put someone’s eye out or the drinking involved driving and putting someone else’s life at risk, Romney hurt someone else. He not only probably physically hurt the boy (how does a young man NOT end up injured if he is struggling and crying for help under several other young men?) but he intimidated and humiliated another human. That is in NO WAY acceptable in any young person, and any young man or woman who does that and just says it was a “prank” is deluding themselves into thinking they were right to do it. He “needed” his hair cut. I’m sure Mitt still thinks the boy “needed” it.
    Ask yourself as a parent if you would consider this behavior toward your own child “just a prank” and not important.
    And I agree that Mitt has yet to admit to doing anything, but just a general “oh I may have pulled a few boyish pranks”. That is almost as concerning to me as the fact that he could have bullied another boy in this way. 

  • Brownpaige

    Thank you for your articulate thoughts about this event; Mitt Romney may call it a “prank”, but I bet that John Lauber doesn’t remember it that way.  Bullying is bullying … doesn’t speak well about Romney’s character. I thought the “dog on the roof” incident was bad …