Thoughts On Mitt Romney’s Religion Speechby Doug Mataconis
Later this morning, Mitt Romney will give what the media is, perhaps, inaccurately calling his Mormon speech addressing questions that have arising regarding his faith. On some level, it seems absurd that he should have to do this at all, but Romney’s presence in the race has made it clear that, more than 40 years after America elected it’s first Catholic President, religious bigotry is still alive and well in the United States:
PALMYRA, N.Y. — Mormon missionary Laura Bergeson is getting used to The Question. It comes from the curious who wander into this rural outpost of western New York to explore the exhibit hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.
” ‘So, are you guys Christian?’ ” Bergeson repeats The Question with a weary smile. The answer, Mormons say, is emphatically yes.
The question is on the minds of voters on the religious right as Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate who is also a Mormon, prepares to deliver an address today designed to convince evangelical Christians that he shares their religious values.
That could be a tough task, because many of those voters, a core Republican constituency, believe Romney’s church lies far outside the bounds of Christianity. His task has taken on a new urgency since GOP rival Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, has soared in the polls with less than a month before the Iowa caucuses.
Almost one-third of Americans of all faiths surveyed in August by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press said they do not regard Mormons as Christian. Among white evangelicals who attend church at least weekly, more than half said they believe that the Mormon religion is not Christian.
The funny thing is, they were saying the same thing, and worse about Catholics back in 1928 when Al Smith was running for President and then again in 1960 when JFK ran for office. I don’t support Romney, but that’s because of his record of Governor and what the policies he proposes, not because of his religion. It would be nice of the rest of the country judged people the same way.