. . . Mitt Romney, addressing graduates of Liberty University:
[Your] values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live your beliefs, the more you will endure . . .
. . . the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their [read his] own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.
You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America's rise to global leadership in our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.
The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the preeminence of the family.
. . . .
But from the beginning, this nation trusted God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.
. . . .
In all these things -- faith, family, work, and service -- the choices we makeas Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.
(Mitt Romney, Commencement Address (as Prepared), Liberty University, May 12, 2012)