The last night at the Republican convention was one that included a ton of religion. While some of the networks didn’t cover all of the speeches, there were multiple testimonies from people who talked about Mitt Romney’s life as a Mormon. They gave truly interesting testimonies about how Romney had interacted with them in their lives. One liberal Mormon I follow on Twitter joked, saying, “Y’all just went to Mormon church.”
But in a world of limited resources, networks have to choose what to show and so much of that religious discussion wasn’t seen. There were other mentions of religion in the speeches, including Marco Rubio’s introduction of Mitt Romney.
Romney mentioned his religion a bit in his speech, although it wasn’t a major theme, but there was one part where I saw journalists trip up. Here’s the relevant section, as written up in Politico:
Romney also spoke a little about his religion, mostly referring to the community that built up around his church when he was in Massachusetts, far from his family, which still mainly resided in Michigan where both he and his wife were born and raised.
“Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church,” Romney said.
He also joked about his religion when talking about his time at Bain.
“I had thought about asking my church’s pension fund to invest, but I didn’t,” Romney said. “I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors’ money, but I didn’t want to go to hell too.”
The crowd chuckled.
“Shows what I know,” he continued. “Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.”
On Twitter and via email, I saw reporters asking about Mormon doctrines on hell. And that’s actually something I would typically encourage. But there is a time when a Mormon talking about hell makes a good hook for a discussion of Mormon doctrine.
And there’s a time to know when you’ve just heard a corny church pension joke. And this was simply the latter.
But perhaps we’ll see some good religion coverage built around the joke in any case.
Photo of church lady laughing at corny joke via Shutterstock.