[Romney’s] candidacy, however, faces a major obstacle that should concern all Americans: religious intolerance. Mitt Romney’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormon church) clearly hurt him in 2008. Polls showed that anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of Americans openly said they would not vote for a Mormon candidate for president. Mormons are hardly the only religious group to face such overt hostility. Polls show that Muslims, Buddhists and people without a religion are all viewed more warily by Americans. And as America becomes more religiously diverse, we can expect still more candidates from faiths that might be unfamiliar to many Americans, or those who profess no religion at all.
The good news is that accurate information about such unpopular religious groups can help the cause of religious tolerance in America.
The comments at the bottom of the article are truly revealing of the people who have and haven’t received accurate information.
Here’s a good example of the same old same old:
The simple answer is, “Yes. Romney’s religion will hurt him badly enough to keep him from being nominated.” The majority of the people now in the process of purifying the GOP are the “solid base.” This solid base is made up mostly of conservative, evangelical Christians. Go into any Bible bookstore catering to their interests and check out what is there regarding Mormons. The simple answer is, “Yes.”
As a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who also muses online about LDS/Christian apologetics, I have to say that I’m extremely NOT surprised that this type of intellectual dishonesty and one-sidedness continues to prevail about what we actually believe vs. what is in those little pamphlets sold in Christian bookstores.
However, I am encouraged to read comments like the following:
From what I’ve read, I don’t consider Mormonism to be Christian–yet I wanted Romney to be president last time around. What’s the difference between Romney who has a genuine faith and McCain who is only religious when it suits his political pursuits? I hope that most of Christian America can get beyond this “religious ceiling.” Americans voted for Obama, and from what we know and have heard from him, he is probably a Muslim. So why can’t we have a Mormon president. He certainly wouldn’t seek to destroy the Christian foundation of our nation like Obama has sought to do.
At least he’s honest about a) his incomplete understanding of LDS beliefs and b) the fact that it still makes sense to vote for a candidate who represents your views independent of his religion. It’s what I’ve said all along! Why criticize Romney for happening to belong to a sect of Christianity that claims direct authority for restoration of divided, feudal Christianity vs. multiple sects of Christianity claiming extra-biblical, creedal authority for reformation? Especially when he aligns with “the base” (solid or squishy) nearly 100% on every fiscal and social issue? It’s insanity. It’s inanity. It’s…Hannity(?)!
I don’t know about you, but I want my president to have a built-in instinct to restore rather than to reform at this point. We’ve seen what reform (i.e. “Contract with America” and “Change”) has done. Let’s restore the country back to the Constitutional Republic this nation once was.
What’s not mentioned in the article is the other kind of intolerance that played a role in the 2008 election cycle…that kind of intolerance that comes from the left (particularly the media) against one who seriously lives his/her religion. As I recall, there were a fair number of D.C, New England, California, Hollywood, and, yes, even Colorado folks who vehemently opposed a possible Romney, Huckabee, or any other presidency where the candidate professed _and lived_ their religion, simply because they hate God and the notion that they, themselves, are not their own masters.
Thing is, Romney probably still doesn’t have a shot in 2012, unfortunately.
Romney certainly has history on his side: Republicans prefer nominees who have run before. John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush and even Ronald Reagan all ran and lost before they ran and won the presidential nomination. Having run and lost in 2008, Romney is in a prime position to run and win in 2012.
So, mathematically speaking, at this point, Romney has a 50/50 shot at the nomination and then another 50/50 shot at actually becoming president. Too early to predict, IMHO. Not that I don’t want it to be true, but this last election really opened my eyes as to how the system can be manipulated in the favor of one or more tiny but vocal group’s preferred candidate.