In 2008, Will It Be Mormon in America?

This is the title of a generally complimentary article in the June 6, 2005 Weekly Standard on the man who appears to already be the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination: Gov. Mitt Romney of…drum roll, maestro…the bluest of blue states, Massachusetts. Even the Dark Prince, Bob Novak, has noticed, and commented on Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith in his column today. With his usual succinctness, Mr. Novak notes that

Behind the scenes, Republican politicians ask each other the same question that went unanswered when George Romney sought the 1968 nomination: Can a Mormon be elected president of the United States? Nobody talks about it, as Mitt Romney meticulously prepares the field for 2008, but that potential bias is his one great liability as a presidential candidate.

Novak sees Romney’s faith as a “great liability”; the Weekly Standard recalls polling data from 1999 “suggesting that 17 percent of Americans wouldn’t vote for a Mormon for president under any circumstances.” The Standard, as is typical, also provides an indepth profile of Romney that demonstrates why even this cranky old Reformed Christian could vote for a Mormon: because Mitt Romney is pro-life, pro-family, pro-faith.

Yes, yes, I just got through saying, in my last post, shame on those who substitute sincerity for belief in the one and only truth of Jesus Christ. And, Lord knows, the Mormons have perverted (not too strong a word) the Good News of God’s Incarnation. They remain a cult, not a Christian faith. So how can a Christian vote for a Mormon?

Simple. We are not electing a Pope. We are not choosing a state religion; First Amendment and all of that. Anyone who thinks that a Mormon would, somehow, subvert our Constitution has perhaps not been paying close attention to how Mormons actually live their lives in the public square. They are Americans, and have been too often on the receiving end of religious hatred to dish it out themselves.

We can hope to elect a man who loves life and knows that God is the Author of our liberty. Mitt Romney fills that bill, even if his precise notions of God are strange and foreign to us — those notions have clearly not much affected his sterling performance as Governor. Very little else would seem to matter in our democracy.

So, should it come to Mitt Romney up against a typical pro-choice (i.e., pro-death) liberal Democrat, remember, we’re not voting on who runs the Kingdom of God. That’s already been determined, and there was only one Candidate.

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