Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Today’s Reading List – June 1, 2007

Posted by: Lowell Brown at 11:22 pm, May 31st 2007     —    Comment on this post »

As John continues to devote his attention to his injured but improving parents, we carry on here, hoping and praying for Mom and Dad Schroeder's prompt recovery and John's return to this blog.

For Starters

ROBERT MILLET AND GERALD MCDERMOTT write in Christianity Today about "Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote' – Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?"  As far as I know, this is the first time Christianity Today has concentrated this level of attention on The Question.  This is significant; I understand the magazine is the most widely-read journal in the American Evangelical world.

We have linked to Millet's work before.  He is professor of ancient Christian Scriptures at BYU and McDermott is professor of religion at Roanoke College and an Episcopal priest who serves as Teaching Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Roanoke, Va.

Besides having the remarkable good sense to link to this humble but hard-working blog, the authors approach the subject right down the middle.  After detailing some Mormon-Evangelical common ground, they note:

Of course there is still doctrinal distance between Mormons and evangelicals. But this has not stopped important evangelical leaders—such as Richard Land, the late Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, Chuck Colson, and Cal Thomas—from saying that these doctrinal differences should not by themselves disqualify Romney from a presidential nomination. As Marvin Olasky, editor of World magazine, put it, "If he faces Hilary Clinton, I'll vote for him in a Utah minute."

Read the whole thing, especially the links at the end of the piece. 

Around the Web

CAPTAIN ED'S ROMNEY INTERVIEW is refreshing in that it doesn't even explore religion. I actually found it enlightening as to Romney's positions on some key issues, like illegal immigration.

Predictably, however, the comments to Ed's post dive into religion immediately.  Scan them for a good overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the discussion of Romney, his religion, and the presidency.

REUTERS REPORTS that "Romney's stock rises in 2008 Republican race."  In the fourth paragraph we read that "Romney, who would be the first Mormon to win the White House, still faces doubts about his religion."  Doesn't the MSM just love that story line?  Interesting concluding graphs: 

During a day of campaigning in Iowa he got questions about his faith . . . . He was asked at a West Des Moines campaign event on Wednesday night if he believes all the tenets of Mormonism.


"I believe in my faith and I'm proud of my faith," he said. "One of the great things about America is we welcome people of differing faiths and we don't choose our leaders based on which church they belong to."

Reuters left out these sentences from Romney's response: 

But I am not running as a Mormon. I am running as a former governor, a business leader and a person who has vision for the country to make us strong. I believe in my faith as you believe in your faith.

Not surprisingly, I think the entire response is perfect:  Romney retains his integrity and does not distance himself from his religious beliefs.  John and I think he need not say any more about the details of his faith.  As Richard Lyman Bushman said on Wednesday night's KCRW show, no single individual, let alone Romney, can "explain Mormonism," because that's "too big a job for anyone to do."  No presidential candidate has ever explained his religion.

This writer treads well-trodden ground, but does so fairly and relatively thoroughly.  That's good, because many people who read her article will be coming to the issue for the first time.

An interesting piece on how Mormons in Central Florida feel about Romney and the attention (not entirely favorable) his candidacy is drawing to their faith. 

And Finally . . .

The student newspaper at my alma mater shares some gloriously lively student-type thoughts on The Question.  It is impossible to excerpt the piece and still do justice to it; read the whole thing.


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