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12/1/09

CNN: Conservatives Will Not Elect A Mormon

AllahPundit at hotair is outraged, so it must be a good article. Former Bush assistant David Frum on CNN:

Mitt Romney ought to rank atop the Republican candidates for president in 2012. He finished second in votes cast in the primaries of 2008. He is a candidate with immense private-sector economic expertise in a time of urgent economic debate. But Romney has a political problem: his Mormon religious faith. A Gallup survey in December 2007 found that 18 percent of Republicans would not vote for a Mormon for president...

In the face of these looming threats, more than 125 signatories pledged themselves to outright civil disobedience.

"[W]e will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family."

Now notice something curious: not one of the initial publicly identified signatories of the Manhattan Declaration is Mormon.

Through the cultural conflicts of the past decade, Mormons and the Mormon church have played a decisive role. The church itself gave $190,000 to the fight to repeal same-sex marriage in California. Individual church members many millions more. (McClatchy newspapers have quoted estimates as big as $20 million, although that seems improbably high.)...

The next wave of social conservatism is presenting itself as a particularly Christian cause, with Christian defined in a way that would exclude not only Mitt Romney, but also the man who created Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge. (Charles Dickens was a Unitarian, not a Trinitarian.) For that matter, neither George Washington, nor John Adams, nor Thomas Jefferson, nor Abraham Lincoln was a believer in the Trinitarian God of the Manhattan Declaration.

Now here's the question. If this is a time when Christians must act as Christians together with other Christians -- and if Mormons do not qualify -- how can such Christians accept a Mormon like Mitt Romney as their political leader?...

Mormon America has provided leadership and support for conservative politics out of all proportion to its numbers. If there's a test for conservative identity that excludes Mormons, it's not a good test. And if conservatism has shrunk too small to contain conservative Mormons, it is not only Mormons who will search for something bigger.

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