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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."

Things Are Going To Get Interesting

Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:37 am, March 9th 2012     —    7 Comments »

Not a lot of time, but a lot of good reading.

Let’s start with Santorum needing a fact check.

Then we will move on to the Politico lefties comparing Romney to Bob Dole.  The leftie press certainly wants that, but if it proves true it’ll be because the rabid right of our party made it a self-fulfilling prophecy.  About that I have a name rejoinder – Barack Obama – think that way, stay home and that is what we are left with.  Not a pretty picture.

As the campaign moves into an area I consider home territory, the coverage is moving to places that are very unhappy.  Yep the campaign is moving south to Mississippi and Alabama.  (Nobody talks about Kansas because there is no juicy story line there.)  The south where the left perceives the Religious Right as strongest.  And so we are seeing an invocation of the a couple of themes.

This may be the slickest invocation of “Mormons lie” I have ever seen.  But it is the Mormons and race issue that is really making the rounds.

Some say that we have moved on from Romney’s faith – that it makes him typically American.  Others are trying to figure out how to use it as agitprop.

But having said all there are two things I find overwhelming.  One is this from Jim Geraghty this morning:

A press release in my e-mailbox this morning:

Black Clergy and other concerned Christians ask Governor Mitt Romney to renounce his racist religion

On Monday, March 12, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Rev. O’Neal Dozier and a group of concerned Clergy and other Christians will hold a News/Press Conference to publicly ask Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney to openly renounce his racist Mormon Religion.

The purpose of this request is to foster and maintain good race relations here in America.

Dear friends – this is the same O’Neal Dozier that introduced Santorum at a campaign event in Florida while paying the religion card.  It is flat out time for Santorum to renounce this stuff.  Not to mention there is some serious pot/kettle stuff here – SERIOUS pot and kettle stuff.  One other comment – precisely how many black Republicans are there in Mississippi and Alabama?  And how many racist white Republicans are there? (Sadly this later category does still exists in some isolated enclaves.)  Not sure this helps Santorum.

But Santorum, of course, cannot denounce this sort of thing it’s all he’s got.  Says Michael Medved:

Santorum may attempt to emphasize economic issues over cultural concerns in a conscious effort to broaden his base, but it’s too late to change the distinctly religious nature of his campaign. Santorum’s twice-repeated declaration that John Kennedy’s insistence on strict separation of Church and State made him “want to throw up” will continue to haunt his candidacy and undermine any effort to alter the fervent, churchy, true-believer tenor of Righteous Rick’s crusade.

Going forward, Santorum may enjoy continued success among GOP voters in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas and even Texas, but when the battle moves to less religiously committed corners of the country (especially in the fall campaign) his drive for the presidency will hit a wall—if not the traditional barrier separating church and state that he so energetically despises, then at least an impassable road block dividing his dreams of power from obvious political reality.

I hate that it is the Religious Right of the deep South that is being identified as the general religious voter in the nation, but that seems to be the case.  And Santorum is leading the parade.

Lowell adds . . .

The Rev. O’Neal Dozier’s statement is a mildly outrageous ploy.  I say “mildly” because the ploy has become so obvious.  Just for everyone’s reference, here’s an official statement from Mitt Romney’s church.  Neither he nor the church need to say any more about this subject:

The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. The Book of Mormon states, “black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33). This is the Church’s official teaching.

People of all races have always been welcomed and baptized into the Church since its beginning. In fact, by the end of his life in 1844 Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opposed slavery. During this time some black males were ordained to the priesthood. At some point the Church stopped ordaining male members of African descent, although there were a few exceptions. It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended. Church leaders sought divine guidance regarding the issue and more than three decades ago extended the priesthood to all worthy male members. The Church immediately began ordaining members to priesthood offices wherever they attended throughout the world.

The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church. In 2006, then Church president Gordon B. Hinckley declared that “no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children.”

Recently, the Church has also made the following statement on this subject:

“The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

Jim Geraghty has more on this and on the Reverend O’Neal Dozier. Will Santorum repudiate Dozier? Will he say a single word about him?

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