Sen. Marco Rubio was in the news quite a bit yesterday. Part of it was that he released his new book. Part of it was that an old Charlie Crist campaign foe who now works for Romney allegedly told a reporter that Rubio wasn’t even being considered for the Veep slot. Another day in the fun, fun world of political reporting.
But I wanted to highlight a great story that focused on a religion angle to these things. Over at Yahoo! News, a reporter read the book, focused on the religious themes in the book and wrote them up under the headlined “Whether Mormon, Catholic or Protestant, faith a major theme in Rubio memoir.” You might remember that Rubio’s religious practices have been of huge interest to his supporters and detractors. He has a somewhat convoluted history when it comes to which church he belongs to and which church he worships in.
Reporter Chris Moody broke it all down and did it in a nice straightforward manner evincing some understanding of which religious themes were important:
From the opening pages of Rubio’s new memoir, An American Son , to the final sentence, an ongoing theme of Christian faith runs throughout the volume.
Rubio writes extensively about his devotion to faith, which he has experienced through a variety of traditions: A born Catholic who spent his childhood in Nevada attending services at the local Mormon Church, he convinced his family to return to the Catholic Church as an adolescent. After he married Jeanette Dousdebes, Rubio joined a Southern Baptist congregation and currently splits his time between the Protestant church and Catholic Mass.
That’s from the top of the piece. Then we get quite a bit of explanation of each of those phases. We learn how Rubio’s family got involved with Mormonism and how various family members felt about it. Then:
Rubio’s time as a Mormon, however, was short lived: In 1983, still before his teenage years, he urged his family to return to the Catholic Church. “We left the Mormon Church with nothing but admiration for the place that had been our first spiritual home in Las Vegas, and had been so generous to us,” he writes. “I still feel that way.”
According to the book, Rubio put forth the same energy he directed to the LDS teachings to the traditions of the Catholic Church, and still considers himself a member of the Church to this day. As a young man, he attended services with his wife at Christ Fellowship Church in Miami, but never felt the same attachment that he did to the ancient church. After years worshiping in a Protestant congregation, Rubio says, a campaign supporter brought him back to Catholicism.
The article includes quotes about Rubio’s approach to Catholicism and how he practices his religion now, including his increasing comfortability with speaking about his faith.
We get a few more anecdotes and are told how much of the book Rubio devotes to his return to Catholicism, comparing it to portions of President Barack Obama’s political memoir describing his religious grounding. We’re told that Rubio scatters Scripture verses throughout the book and explains their significance. He ends:
All of this is part of a common theme that carries on to the final line.
“And last but most important,” Rubio begins the final sentence of acknowledgements to friends and family, “I thank my Lord, Jesus Christ, whose willingness to suffer and die for my sins will allow me to enjoy eternal life.”
Now all this may seem like a fairly simple thing to do — reading a book and writing up the religious themes contained therein. But every other story I read about the book focused on the political. This Associated Press story ignored it altogether, indicating its focus with the headline “Rubio book says he almost quit Senate race.”
And while that’s fine — certainly there’s a market for exploring those things — it’s also great to have someone write up the religious portions of the book that many of us find interesting or have been curious about.