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"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."

Polls, Mormons In The News, Hatred – All That And More

Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:40 am, December 14th 2009     —    3 Comments »

Polls . . .

Apparently, the more intense your religious convictions, the more likely you are to be Republican.  Which makes the current “true believer – independent” thing really interesting.  The overwhelming take away form the poll results is that “independents” are powerless – there just are not enough of them.  Eventually they have to make up their mind and connect with one of the parties, or stay home.  The sad part is that tends to hurt Republicans, which can also be seen in the numbers.  What’s sad is that when you stay home, and the party that most closely (not exactly, of course) matches your concerns therefore loses, your concerns lose.  Classic illustration of the best being the enemy of the better.

Speaking of polls, Jim Geraghty thinks that Huck’s numbers are surprising after the clemency controversy.  Nah, not enough voters paying attention yet.  That’s not going to hurt Huck until (1) he is a candidate and (2) the negative ads start.  Huckabee’s connections to the murders is too deep in the story for general public impact just yet.

Jonah Goldberg reflects on a different kind of poll:

Anyway, reading the snippets on why Democrats and Republicans admire Durbin and Thune respectively, I think you can see some of what I’m getting at. The Democrats like Durbin because of what he gets done, how effective he is. He can corral 60 votes, he must be awesome! Bonus: He may run the show if Reid loses, and power is always cool. Meanwhile, Thune is admired not because he has power, but because he represents core convictions. The Democrat is a hero for what he does, the Republican for what he is.

That could go a long way toward explaining why the nation keeps moving left.  The best ideas in the world do not matter if you are not able to implement them.

And then there is this.  Read it – discuss it in the comments.

Mormons In The News . . .

The wrong way.

Harmer said he ran because he was prompted by the Spirit. He said his family is currently studying Captain Moroni, and like Captain Moroni, American Mormons must hoist the Title of Liberty. “Freedom is a pre-condition of everything else God has in his plan,” he said.

He said running again is a bit like being asked to play the organ at stake conference; if he declined he would feel bad as he believes it is his calling.

“It is not about me, but it is about someone that is strong raising the Title of Liberty,” he said.

“Religio-speak” from candidates generally harms their credibility and limits their constituency to those that speak the same jargon.  We kept an eye on the Harmer run, but did not comment on it because no one played the Mormon card.  Now the candidate just laid it on the table for the world to gawk at.  Admittedly, it was a purely Mormon audience and it is out in the purely Mormon press, but in this electronic age, if my evangelical Presbyterian eye caught it, you can sure bet others did.  A warning to politicians of all religious stripes:  In the internet age, safe places for this are harder to find.  [Lowell interjects: I winced when I saw that – and more than once.  I’m calling it a rookie mistake for now.]

The right way.

Compassion for the elderly and infirm that has come to characterize Thomas S. Monson’s ministry soon will be embraced more fully by the worldwide church he leads.

The LDS Church is adding “to care for the poor and needy” to its longstanding “threefold mission,” which is to preach the LDS gospel, purify members’ lives and provide saving ordinances such as baptism to those who have died.


“This is a dramatic move and very important message,” said Jan Shipps, an Indiana-based American religion historian who has spent decades studying the LDS Church. “It’s not that Mormons haven’t already been caring for the poor and needy with its humanitarian program. It’s just that this moves it to the top of their priorities, along with proselytizing and temple work.”

Smart move, very smart move – It’s a shared value with creedal Christianity and it’s not really theologically based.

In an unusual context.  In an extended NPR interview about Muslims in America:

Mr. PATEL: Well, I think that there’s a broader principle here that this caller is very intelligently bringing to the surface, which is that some religious communities have the misfortune of having their public perception characterized by the worst people in their community.

RYAN: Thank you, exactly.

Mr. PATEL: Well, Ryan, you said it more eloquently than I did, and I think that we saw this played out in the previous presidential campaign. I was aghast at the way that people went after Obama because of his Muslim grandfather, but I was equally aghast at the way that people went after Sarah Palin because of her Pentecostal faith and went after Mitt Romney because of his Mormon faith.

In America there is no religious test for office, and in America bigotry or prejudice of any type should not be tolerated. We should be raising a generation of people, as Ryan just said, who have the knowledge base and the courage and the skill set to stand up against religious prejudice and say that’s un-American.

That’s precisely what Colin Powell did on the Sunday morning talk show, and I think an interesting measure of America’s maturation around religious diversity issues is how we do in the next presidential campaign.

Let’s say Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney all run again. I would sure hope that we have a generation of interfaith leaders who will say stop when religious prejudice rears its ugly head around the Pentecostal, Mormon and Muslim heritage of those three candidates.

Irony folks, irony.  Such a clear understanding of how its supposed to work, not from a Christian, but from a Muslim.

Religion In The News . . .

The Archbishop of Canterbury has accused the government of treating religious faith as an “eccentricity” practised by “oddities”.

Which is why various faiths must unite on some political level.  Think about it.

More on the younger Kennedy/Catholic thing.  If the younger Kennedys had managed to hold as much power as the prior generation, this would be really ugly.

Only hatred can explain something like this.  It’s not worth enough attention to rebut – just needs to be noted so we have a handle on the fools of the world.

Finally . . .

The real work continues.

And, as some evangelicals continue to debate themselves silly over the whole Manhattan Declaration thing (see the next post down for background) there has been some smarter stuff written.


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