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."

  • The Dance Of Religion and Politics . . .

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:03 am, February 27th 2008     &mdash      3 Comments »

    . . . continues even if it has changed from a rumba to the twist, he said making an incredibly lame analogy with no real substance. But there is some interesting stuff to read:

    On The Other Side Of The Aisle…

    Is the Tennessean delusional?

    Democrats believe evangelicals could deliver presidency

    Not at all really.  Not if the strategy is, as the article discusses, simply to keep Evangelicals at home, or otherwise dissatisfied with the Republicans, even if they don’t vote for the Democrats. [Insert Mike Huckabee rant here- I don’t really need to lay it out for readers of this blog, do I?]

    Although Amy Sullivan extols being Democrat amd Evangelical. Of course, Amy was one of the first to ask The Question which says she has a rather low opinion of conservative Evangelicals and this article is no exception. Sadly, our behavior recently has fed her argument more than contradicted it.

    Remember how Lowell and I always said that if Romney were the nominee, the anti-Mormon stuff would get much, much worse? Hillary proved our point yesterday. Sometimes a guy regrets being right.

    Speaking of Hillary, Jim Geraghty can be LOL funny.

    About Code…

    Yet another Evangelical contends that it was the flip-flops, not the religion. OK, we have worn out the Vanderbilt study at this point. This point can no longer be asserted and accepted at face value. Even if I take the flip-flop argument at face value, the psychology underlying its effectiveness remains troubling. Name me a single candidate that has not changed their mind of some important issue. Can’t do it. The “traction” for this argument lies in the presumption that Mormon theological thought is somehow dishonest.

    Mormonism is a prophetically revealed religion, quite different from the general revelation we creedal Christians deal in. Think about it and get back to me on why you think the flip-flop thing has traction . . . .

    About Mormons . . .

    The Economist concludes:

    The latter-day saints are angry with the Republicans

    OK, that’s the “no-duh” of the month, and they have good reason to be. They need to get over it, but they have good reason to be.

    Major universities are turning their eyes on the CJCLDS and its history. This ought to be interesting.


    Identity politics are problematic. But we already knew that, didn’t we.

    And, this explains a lot. According to a Pew study released Monday:

    More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion – or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.

    Do you think that might explain some of the panic responses to a successful Mormon candidate? I do, but I still do not understand it – I have enough faith in my faith to rely on it rather than beating up on the other guy.


    Posted in Reading List | 3 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    What IS Mike Huckabee’s Game?

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:01 pm, February 25th 2008     &mdash      6 Comments »

    gorshin.jpgThink about it: That is the question that has plagued this entire Republican campaign. Absent Mike Huckabee, or even if Mike Huckabee had played this thing by the normal rules, we would be in a very different place right now. Increasingly, those that supported him are making noises of embarrassment, or at least of confusion and disappointment.

    In the past week we have seen stories about the Baptist minister’s wife in Las Vegas and Huck huddling with James Dobson, creating a great deal of cognitive dissonance even from this occasional Vegas-visiting church-goer. But with his “Saturday Night Live” appearance over the weekend, Huck moves into sheer ridiculousness.

    Through the course of all of this my opinion of Mike Huckabee has varied from seeing him as a religiously-motivated, but severely misguided candidate; as a closet hard-line fundamentalist whose real motivation was to “stop the Mormon;” and as someone with whom I disagreed, but who was seeking to move the party in the way he felt appropriate. The reality probably includes of all of the above.

    But one thing’s for sure: Given the tacit admission of the ridiculousness of his situation on SNL, Mike Huckabee does not care about much of anything other than Mike Huckabee. Hotline reports on his comments after the experience:

    As tradition dictates, Huckabee returned at the end of the show, to be thanked by guest host Tina Fey. After the show ended, he told NBC/NJ that the experience was “a blast.”

    “It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever got to do,” he said.

    Obviously, Mike is having fun attracting attention to himself. There seems to be little else at play here. Huckabee has never clearly enunciated a strategy, a desire, or a motivation. In fact, those things seem to be constantly shifting in a direction dictated by what will attract the most attention to him. He is rapidly becoming the political equivalent of Brittany Spears – and as the political press is paying less and less attention (it ought to be even less than it is), the paparazzi seems more than willing to pick up the slack, and I am not at all sure Huckabee can tell the difference. Or perhaps he does not care about it.

    The man has claimed divine intervention on his behalf, something he even did humorously in the SNL appearance, and he has mocked other religions. But when it suited the public mood in the locale he was working, he dropped all religious mention and played the class card, or used some other tactic – whatever got him attention.

    Now, the world is full of people who want attention. Being one of them does not make Mike Huckabee unique or special. There have even been other presidential candidates with such selfish motivations, but never has a candidate pushed it this far, and on these bases. Not only has Mike Huckabee soiled the political environment, something that happens in every election cycle, but he has soiled the religious environment as well, and that is problematic.

    The problems with the way in which Huckabee has used religion to benefit himself are legion, but I want to examine just a few.

    Ghettoization of religion in the political sphere

    Both John Mark Reynolds and yours truly have discussed this idea at some length. Identity politics, which are pretty much what Huck has played all along (although the identity has shifted from time to time) means the identity group must isolate itself into a ghetto of some sort, and only what is in the ghetto matters. Huck’s primary identity has been that of Evangelical; that is certainly the one he has played to most, and definitely the one the press has assigned him. His followers, as such, are currently residing in a political ghetto, their effectiveness minimized.

    Playing Evangelicals for Dupes

    In “ghettoizing” Evangelical voters, Huckabee has played us for dupes. He cannot hope to accomplish anything politically, but he continues to collect and represent Evangelical votes, apparently so he can have “a blast” on Saturday Night Live.

    When the primary charge against the average evangelical voter is that they are “poor, uneducated and easily led,” what is going to come out Huck playing us this way? Doesn’t it reinforce precisely that characterization?

    This guy no longer simply looks extraordinarily foolish, he now looks extraordinarily opportunistic, and what does that say about those that supported him? “Smart” is not the first answer that comes to my mind.

    What is most troubling about all this is that in the best sense seeking office is called “public service” – that means one seeks our votes not to gain personal advantage, but to serve us. Huck seems to be operating in precisely the opposite mode. He appears to be seeking our votes to meet his need for media attention.

    Which brings me to my final concern.

    True religion is an end, not a means

    Regardless of how you want to characterize Huckabee’s religious plays in the election , what is undeniably true is that he has used his faith and the faith of those that voted for him to achieve his personal ends. That strikes me as antithetical to the true aims of religion. As I understand it, we are to subject ourselves to our faith and allow that to make us into better people. As far as I can tell, that assertion is true for creedal or Mormon Christians. If we treat our faith as something we control and use, then we tacitly admit that religion is purely something that man has created to order society.

    Now, the initial claim that started this blog, that Evangelicals would not vote for a Mormon, assumes the fact that Evangelicals hold their religious faith to be TRUTH, a higher truth, a truth apart from themselves, coming from the supernatural. So once again, we see that Huckabee has played those of us who take our faith seriously as dupes, since he apparently takes his faith in a very different fashion.

    But more, he demonstrates that his ends are not necessarily the same as those of us that take our faith in a more traditional fashion. I do not know the theological basis Mike Huckabee has for his behavior throughout this campaign, but as a pastor, he presumably has one. What I can say is that based on his behavior, I would conclude that there is a theological canyon between me and Huckabee that is as large as the one between Mitt Romney and myself.

    So how, precisely, have Evangelicals won in this deal? I don’t think we have – that’s the problem.

    [Editor's note: Technical editing was provided for this post by Article VI Blog Chief Counsel Lowell Brown, because some chemists, despite their considerable scientific and theological acumen and loveable natures, cannot spell or punctuate.] 

    Posted in Candidate Qualifications, Political Strategy, Understanding Religion | 6 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    A Conversation with Gary Glenn of Michigan’s American Family Association

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 11:43 am, February 23rd 2008     &mdash      14 Comments »

    We’ve mentioned Gary Glenn several times on this blog. Gary runs Michigan’s American Family Association. I’d characterize our disagreements with Gary as profound, but friendly — not an easy balance to strike.

    We received an e-mail from Gary this week. Gary’s a thoughtful man with strong opinions; we disagree with him, of course, but are posting his e-mail here in its entirety. Gary’s comments provide a fine opportunity to put into sharp relief some key issues surrounding The Question. Here’s our “Point/Counter-Point” exchange:

    Gary Glenn:

    Gentlemen, there is no surer sign of your own kneejerk prejudice and bigotry than your continued insistence that the only possible motivation for anyone opposing Mitt Romney must have something to do with his religion. Aside from the fact that he could spend $10 million on a race for dogcatcher, if Romney ran for office in Utah or Idaho or Arizona, odds are he’d be running against fellow LDS Church members in the Republican primary, and with his pro-abortion on demand, pro-homosexual agenda record, and his ongoing opposition to the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuals and his current support for state “gay rights” laws, he’d get his butt kicked by a fellow Mormon who really is a conservative. Who would you falsely accuse of religious bigotry then?

    Article VI: Gary, I admire your passion, but we have never even suggested that “the only possible motivation for anyone opposing Mitt Romney must have something to do with his religion.” Where on earth are you getting that? You’re not sensitive about this issue, are you? ;-)

    Also, although we have tried to avoid getting deeply into political issues on this blog, I’ll just say that your statement that Romney has a “pro-abortion on demand, pro-homosexual agenda record, and . . . ongoing opposition to the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuals and . . . [that he currently supports] state ‘gay rights’ laws” is, well, debatable. I think you’d have to squint pretty hard at Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts to find him taking those positions. I’ll also say that after the 2002 Olympics, if Romney had chosen to run for Governor of Utah, he’d be sitting in that State’s Governor’s Mansion right now. And everybody, including Utah’s current Governor, Jon Huntsman Jr., knows it.

    Gary Glenn:

    Note: I’d be managing or consulting that other LDS candidate’s campaign — the real pro-life, pro-family values kind — as I have about three dozen times over the last 30 years. In 1980, for example, I managed the campaign of an LDS Realtor, who’ll be staying at my home in May when he comes to see his son-in-law graduate from Ann Arbor, who unseated an incumbent state legislator in the GOP primary who was a Nazarene minister. By your pitifully overwrought standards, that would make me . . . anti-Nazarene too. Right?

    Article VI: No, it wouldn’t. As we have stated on this blog since Day 1, we don’t think a candidate’s religion should matter, except in the most extreme circumstances. We like the three-point test advanced by John Mark Reynolds in August 2006:

    First, the religious beliefs of the candidate should be held by a significant number of people and by a group willing to defend them (even if unsuccessfully) in a rational manner.

    Second, the group in question should not have religious claims that will naturally lead to horrific, or at least far out, public policy.

    Third, the group should have a long track record of generally playing by republican rules in areas where it is dominant. No group is perfect, but the Presidency is too powerful a prize to trust to a new group that might have secret authoritarian leanings.

    Professor Reynolds concludes, and we agree, that Mormonism passes all three tests easily. I assume, based on your constant reminders to us that you have supported many Mormon candidates, that you also agree. So no, we do
    not believe that merely supporting one candidate means you are against the opposing candidate because of his religion. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    Gary Glenn:

    BTW, based on poll data showing Huckabee leading among young people but losing among senior citizens, I also sent out an e-mail urging Huckabee literature drops on college campuses but (gasp!) not at senior citizen centers. Obvious evidence of “ageism” and bigotry toward older folks, right?

    Article VI: I think you’ve made your point, but there isn’t much left of it now. See my response above.

    You can keep up this scurrilous — but frankly, both amusing and pitiful — business of suggesting that anyone who didn’t support Mitt Romney is a religious bigot. But that’s a reflection of your character, not those you falsely accuse. (Notably, the Romney campaign and supporters are the only ones guilty of this. When McCain is criticized for opposing a Marriage Protection Amendment, he doesn’t whine that it’s because he’s an Episcopalian-turned-Baptist. When Rudy was criticized for supporting abortion on demand, his supporters didn’t accuse his critics of being “anti-Catholic.”)

    Article VI: Gary, for the record, I have no reason to believe you are a religious bigot. I think you are a deeply committed conservative “family values” activist. I also think there is evidence that you are willing to use divisive religious identity politics to achieve your ends, as you attempted (with little effect) in Michigan. I think that’s wrong. You’re not evil, you’re not a bigot, you’re just profoundly wrong, and I think your tactics are repulsive and un-American. You may not believe me, but I do separate the sin from the sinner.

    John interjects: To make the record clear, I, not Lowell, did specifically use the word “bigot” in referring to Mr. Glenn.   I did so based on his overtly religiously discriminatory appeal, as Lowell references in the preceding paragraph.  I admit it is a strong word, and its use in this particular discussion is a gray area.  However, given the Vanderbilt study (Lowell cites it again below) and the nature of Mr. Glenn’s charges regarding Mitt Romney, specifically “lacking in character and conviction and truth-telling,” which the Vanderbilt study reveals is often “code” for anti-Mormons, the burden of proof lies with Mr. Glenn.  I find the arguments he offers in this email unconvincing, particularly given the level of rhetoric he uses to make them.

    Gary Glenn:

    On the other hand, you could accept the facts. That Romney was a flawed candidate widely rejected because he was perceived to be lacking in character and conviction and truth-telling, who spent $100 million and couldn’t win any primary outside his three “home” states of Michigan, Utah, and Massachusetts. Who outside of those states, in the places where he spent the most time, where people got to know him best up close and personal — Iowa, NH, and SC — he lost.

    Article VI: Well, he wasn’t “widely rejected.” But enough primary voters voted for Huckabee based on Romney’s religion to deny Mitt some wins he clearly would have had otherwise. Some of those voters were bigots, but probably just as many were voting for Huck merely because they identified with him. Some probably were simply uninformed about Mormonism or had bought into lies or distortions told to them by bigots. You exploit those mostly benighted attitudes and behavior for political ends, and that’s my real objection to your work this year. (By the way, I haven’t seen you denouncing a single one of the despicable attacks directed at Romney. How do you feel about Bill Keller, for example?)

    Moreover, I sure would like to see you, or someone on your side of the issue, respond to the Vanderbilt study that made this conclusion:

    “We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,” Benson said. “Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.” Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

    Doesn’t that make you just a bit uncomfortable about the religious sentiment on which you have been capitalizing on Huckabee’s behalf?

    Gary Glenn:

    It is understandably easier and more convenient — and I’m sure it feels much better too — to insist that your man lost not because of his own character flaws, but because of someone else’s. Rather than cling to that feel-good delusion, hope you can come to grips some day with reality and stop falsely maligning other folks.

    Article VI: Well, Gary, we feel a little “falsely maligned” ourselves when you claim we think everyone who voted against Romney is a bigot. You don’t really believe that, do you?

    Gary Glenn:

    Enough said . . . back to work. For example, I’m helping folks organizing a reenactment of the Mormon Battalion Trek (overland march in the early 1800′s to join the Mexican War) identify possible donors. Which only “proves” in your eyes, no doubt, that I must be “anti-Mexican” too.

    Your “old friend” Gary Glenn

    Article VI: Thanks, Gary. Although you seem to be saying “Some of my best friends are Mormons,” I really, truly do not think you are a bigot. I do think you make common cause with them, wittingly or not. I wish you’d address that question, rather than accuse us of holding a position that we have never taken.

    UPDATE:  Gary has addtional responses to this post in the comments below.  You’ll notice, as you read them, that Gary does not  respond to my question:   

    By the way, I haven’t seen you denouncing a single one of the despicable attacks directed at Romney. How do you feel about Bill Keller, for example?)

    Why won’t Gary denounce such clearly atrocious behavior?  Why won’t his candidate, Mike Huckabee, denounce it?  Is it because they fear alienating the bigots they know are included within their constituency?


    Posted in Political Strategy, Religious Bigotry | 14 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Stuff To Read

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:54 am, February 21st 2008     &mdash      1 Comment »

    The Alternative Code?

    Jonathon Martin writes of Huckabee’s continued playing of the “class card.

    For much of the race, Huck’s class rhetoric was aimed at Romney (his and everybody else’s favorite target). But now that his preferred punching bag is out, Huck is still playing the class card.

    I am wondering if this “class card” was not another code behind which “Mormon” hid? Further, what role is Martin playing in carrying this story which helps establish an “alibi” for some of Huck’s undeniably bigoted slams. In general this is part of Huck’s identity stratagem and his anti-Mormon non-statements were a definitive part of the strategy. That’s the problem with bigotry, it sort of taints everything.

    Lowell: Yes, and it breeds the weird sort of opportunism that Huck the Populist is exploiting.

    You’re Kidding!?!?!?

    Not all Mormons voted for Romney? Is that anyway for a cult to behave!? Forgive my sarcasm, but this stuff does get tiring.

    Lowell: Sigh. Hey, folks, I go to church every Sunday with several Mormons who say they would never vote for Romney under any circumstances. Give me a break.


    The NYTimes “breaks” (come on – these rumors have been flying for a couple of months now) a story on McCain, finance and infidelity. What the NYT has here is pretty thin – and would not meet our hurdles for publication – but that said I smell two rats. Rat one, from what I know of McCain’s personal life from sources that should know, the story rings true. Rat two, the rumors say the NYT had this much long ago – long enough ago that it could have made a difference in the outcome of the primary. So, one must ask, “Why now?” Could it be because the NYT wants to damage the presumptive Republican nominee, and they wanted that nominee to be someone they could damage. Yes, I am that much of a cynic.

    Why is this a subject for this blog? Well, there would be no such potential scandal for a real candidate of faith, gosh even Mormon faith.

    Speaking of McCain, some BYU students chime in about his possible Veep choices. Here’s a hint – they are NOT big Huckabee fans.

    Interesting Background…

    Bush – Gerson and Church and State.

    Now They Ask?…

    The Newsweek/WaPo “On Faith” feature looks at Obama and faith this week:

    Barack Obama has been seen as embracing religious values since his June, 2006 “Call to Renewal” speech, but how is his or any presidential candidate’s faith reflected in policy positions and campaign tactics?

    What I find most fascinating is that only now, with Romney out, do they ask this question in this way. When Romney was in, they asked questions about Mormonism, and if it should matter – label-based stuff, but they never asked it in this form or manner. One must wonder why. Is it possible the reason is because there is a detectable difference in how faith affects candidates on the left and right, but there is no such detectable difference between Mormons and creedal Christians.

    Such a question asked about Romney would have been boring and, heaven forbid, might have helped to elect the best conservative in the Republican race. They could not let that happen.

    Lowell adds: Having suffered a sudden attack of employment, I can’t say much for the next day or so. But thanks to John’s troubling questions I will be doing a lot of wondering.


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    Random Thoughts and Questions

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:32 am, February 20th 2008     &mdash      5 Comments »

    What Responsibility the MSM and Punditry?

    Since long before Mitt Romney was officially even a candidate, we were treated to articles “pondering” whether Evangelicals could possibly vote for a Mormon. We have been treated to dozens of articles, most of them wrong in some aspect or another, about what Mormons believe and what Evangelicals think about that. We have seen poll after poll after poll about whether Evangelicals were suspicious of some generic unnamed Mormon.

    I have not done the stats, but it is very obvious that there was a narrative established for Mitt Romney concerning his faith. While there has been attention paid to Obama’s race and Clinton’s gender, race has never been established as the narrative of the Obama campaign and Clinton has chosen to use her gender as a positive part of her narrative. The MSM has largely respected the narratives that these candidates chose for their campaigns and have followed the plan. Obama’s Muslim background notwithstanding, the amount of “ink” devoted to that topic pales in comparison to that devoted to Romney’s faith, and it has often been spun to appear as a positive appeal to “diversity.”

    How would this Republican primary season have been had the MSM and the punditry chosen to respect the narrative Romney wished to establish for his campaign? Suppose every time Romney said “Americans want a president of faith” it was allowed to stand as a positive statement, rather than challenged with a citation from some poll somewhere – What would have happened then?

    Yes there were a few evangelical leaders that said negative things, but largely they were silent. Suppose the press had allowed the Romney-defined narrative to stand in the face of the silence – might not Evangelicals have reacted very differently?

    Which Brings Me To . . .

    When it is all said and done this primary season, what do you think the over-arching narrative for the primary season is going to be, at least as written by the MSM? Well, let me suggest this – regardless of outcome on the Democratic side, they will have embraced, finally, the totality of diversity. While on the Republican side it will be that they are stuck in the old times, bigoted, short-sighted and close-minded.

    This narrative will harm John McCain in the general. This narrative will harm Republican chances in the legislature and in statehouses and governor’s mansions throughout the nation. Republicans have to get control of this narrative and they have to do so now. This is one of the many reasons Mike Huckabee needs to get out and get out now.

    John McCain is beginning to look at running against Barack Obama – that is smart given yesterday’s results. But he also need to begin to look at continuing to run against Mitt Romney, in the sense that this narrative is going to haunt him.

    There is much at stake for Evangelicals. We are making progress, and we are doing it in those state legislatures and we can still do it federally if we control the House and Senate. We will not be able to do so unless we stand up now and take action against this narrative. Mitt Romney is out. The time for silence is over. We cannot afford to give the MSM and punditry the ammunition they need through our silence.

    New media has, finally, given us the tools we need to control our own narrative. It is high time we put them to good use.


    Posted in Candidate Qualifications, Political Strategy, Questions, Religious Bigotry | 5 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    “How Evangelical Leaders Blew It”

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 12:58 am, February 19th 2008     &mdash      2 Comments »

    frustration.jpgAfter fooling around with additions to, and comments about, John’s post below, I’m left with little time to post much. Instead, I’ll toss in this link to Ed Morrissey’s post today. The title says it all:

    How Evangelical Leaders Blew It

    When reading posts like Ed’s, I like to keep asking myself this question: How did we wind up in a situation where a candidate who consistently pulled no more than 35% of the Republican primary vote became the GOP nominee?

    My answer: Because the conservative vote was split. Why was it split? There are several reasons, but the primary one, by the time Super Tuesday rolled around, was that a large enough chunk of the Evangelical vote flocked to Huckabee to deny Romney the votes he needed to beat McCain.

    Much of what Ed says is addressed in our earlier post, but I like these ‘graphs:

    The problem the Religious Right had in this primary was the hang-up over religion, which their movement had avoided for most of its period of influence. In the end, their leaders couldn’t see past religion to policy, and that left Romney twisting in the wind.

    The evangelical leadership didn’t make that mistake with Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush. Neither man expressed any personal enthusiasm as evangelicals; Reagan had been divorced once on top of that. Yet the evangelicals supported them enthusiastically for their agendas, not for their particular churching.

    Sigh. Not exactly a new point for our readers here, but one very much worth re-making and remembering.

    And this:

    Now Dobson wants to compound his error and that of his movement by petulantly sitting out the 2008 election. He’s free to do so, of course, but he’s losing credibility by the day. We’re not electing a Pope or a Minister-in-Chief. James Dobson and the evangelical movement used to understand that, and their failure to remember it makes them an unreliable coalition partner for Republicans.

    That is the outcome John has been worrying about for months on this very blog. By overplaying their hand, Dobson and Co. may well end up as spectators to the game. That hurts everyone who cares about the issues the Evangelical bloc cares about.

    John Chimes In:  Could not agree more with the idea that Evangelicals have become  “an unreliable coalition partner for Republicans.”  And, as long as we fail to face facts, we are going to find ourselves on the outside looking in.  Two things need to happen.

    One, we have to decode our own code.  This piece is a good example.  The guy argues that Gilgoff, who wrote the article that underlies Morrisey’s comments, is wrong because he personally is not a bigot.  He may not be, I have no reason to question his veracity, but he does appeal to the arguments that the Vanderbilt study showed were often code for “Mormon.”  I remain convinced that for every person that cast an anti-Mormon vote, there was another that cast a “for like me” without ever putting thought to Mitt Romney’s personal religion.  Evangelicals need to learn to rise above this kind of identity thinking.

    Secondly, Evangelicals need some serious lessons on faith, politics, and what they are trying to accomplish.  Rush Limbaugh commented yesterday that no one teaches conservatism any more and he noted that was something Reagan always did, every speech.   He is right “conservatism” has been reduced to label without definition, or with a very amorphous definition, not unlike “Christian.”  

    This is hard work and it is grass roots level stuff.  Not much glory, but lots of guts. 


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