Romney Candidacy Demonstrates a Nasty Anti-Mormonism

Benedict By Benedict, 13th Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/jw1ltrzh/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

Mitt Romney's continued, albeit non-dominant, popularity in the Republican nomination race comes despite a strong backlash against his Mormon background. Evangelical Christians in particular have baulked often at his faith, rather than the policies he supports. This is troubling, especially in a nation where fringe attempts to label Barack Obama a Muslim were heavily attacked as being racially and religiously insensitive ploys. Why are Mormons still such a target when running for office?

Background

I myself technically belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so, yes, I'm a Mormon. I say technically because I don't practise the faith actively, have attended Church maybe two times in the last four years and continually go against Church teachings in relation to alcohol, relationships and personal conduct. But I was baptised, received my adolescent Priesthood blessings (normal for all male members) and am without a doubt still on their membership lists.

My membership gives me an insight into a world many of you would regard as mysterious, bizarre and, if you believe the Evangelicals attacking Romney, "cult-like". Yet even as someone who has effectively renounced the Mormon faith, none of the accusations levelled at the Church centring on Romney are true. My choice to live much differently to Mormon values does not mean it lives up to the ignorant assumptions made by many outside the Church. The reality is the opposite.

Evangelicals, setting aside any doctrinal differences, which can be found even between Evangelical sub-branches I might add, should actually be embracing, rather than shunning, candidates influenced by their Mormon faith. On all issues conservative churches campaign on, namely abortion, homosexuality and other so-called "family values", Mormons are just as passionate, if not more so, in advocating than your typical traditionally-minded Evangelical congregation.

The irony of the attacks on Romney (and to a lesser degree his much less popular fellow Mormon, Jon Huntsman) is that they focus on his broader Mormon faith, with whose general membership they could find phenomenally common ground, rather than his own past beliefs, which were not nearly as conservative as they claim to be now. So, on the one hand, Romney is lambasted for belonging to the Mormon Church, amongst the most conservative in America but still greatly misunderstood, even as the same Evangelicals repudiate him for not having proper conservative credentials. How can both criticisms be valid? Well, they appear to be valid to many and will continue to be, so long as the ignorance on Mormonism remains.

Not Just the Evangelicals

Romney also faces a backlash, though silent, from the left side of politics. While Democrats and others, even Republicans, were keen to criticise allegations that Barack Obama is a Muslim for being both factually inaccurate and also attempting to stir up religious hatred, no such defence has sprung to Romney's aid. Why is this so? Well, obviously it is convenient for Democrats, bearing in mind that Mormons such as Harry Reid are a rarity, with most firmly belonging to the Republican side (when George Bush won in 2004, Mormon-dominated Utah gave him his biggest margin of victory).

It also seems farcical that society is expected to welcome a black US President but sees fit to either condemn or silently shun a Mormon candidate based on a faith few understand at the most basic level and even fewer can adequately comprehend.

Tags

Barack Obama, Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, Mitt Romney, Mormonism, Political Correctness

Meet the author

author avatar Benedict
I'm an unconventional young man with a predilection for saying and doing what I feel.

I seek adventure and abhor most forms of political correctness.

I crave travel, debate politics and love life.

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Comments

author avatar D in The Darling
15th Dec 2011 (#)

Very very surprising indeed. What's their basis? Are they holier than anybody else?

If they were holy, would America be involved in so many unholy wars?

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author avatar Robb714
8th Jan 2012 (#)

Well, bless your heart! I stopped bashing Romney for his faith or lack there of, he has just too many other flaws to harp on to keep me busy to be honest.

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