Tuesday, Lowell told us about a Peter Beinart piece in which Beinart contended that liberals have a bigger anti-Mormon problem than conservatives. Paul Waldman at The American Prospect tries to disagree. It may be the lamest refutation of a sophisticated argument I have ever read. Waldman offers no evidence, only perception and besides, Beinart has polling data:
Voters with high levels of religiosity favor Mitt Romney, while voters who are moderately religious or nonreligious favor President Barack Obama, according to a new Gallup poll.
Fifty-four percent of registered voters categorized as “very religious” said they are currently supporting Romney, while 37 percent said they would vote for Obama, in the presidential race. Among the “moderately religious,” 54 percent support Obama and 40 percent support Romney. Among the “nonreligious” Obama’s support is even greater, 61 percent, while Romney gets only 30 percent.
Let’s face it, the left hates religion, they do not distinguish between Mormons and Evangelicals and Catholics and Orthodox. They view us all the same. If fact they hold us in such contempt that they don’t bother with facts. Last week Eric Alterman and Hugh Hewitt debated at the Pomona Student Union. Here’s the video – the action starts at 34 minutes. Alterman asserts that the LDS church did not allow blacks until 1978. Hewitt jumps straight to the heart of the matter and attacks the bigotry inherent in making the assertion essentially out of the blue. It is a masterful argument against bigotry.
Alterman was also wrong on his facts. African-Americans were allowed in the LDS church virtually long before 1978, but they were not allowed to hold office in the church until then. That is not a minor distinction. I have argued here before that making sure the world knows LDS doctrine correctly is fruitless in the political realm. But facts of history are a different story. It is a sure sign of bigotry that Alterman cannot be bothered to get his facts straight. Watch the video, it is important both in Hewitt’s response and illustrative of the bigotry we do face.
Of course some still want to fight the “Are Mormons Christians?” battle. Megachurch maven Joel Osteen’s recent repeat of his declaration that they are has traveled like wild fire across the internets. Theologians of course should be worried about these things, but when it comes to voting those that are concerned about it strikes me like Pat Buchanan declaring that “nominal” Christians are the issue. It is simply unbecoming in a political setting – heck it is unbecoming in any setting other than in private between friends – to declare about the status of anyone’s faith. At least Buchanan is not as crazy as this guy. (Come on, I HAD to link to that – it’s funny.)
Ringing The Mormon Bell
Larry Elder says, “Careful!” Elder’s argument is that such puts Jeremiah Wright back into play, and that is an argument Obama loses. Agreed on that level, but the nation loses if we make religious affiliation and background a regular part of our presidential vetting. Elder recognizes and wishes to rightly combat the very negative influence that Wright is in the African -American community. However, doing so in this context, even though it calls attention to an important issue, worsens the nation generally. Simply put, not all issues, even important ones, are presidential issues.
Pay Attention to ME!
Only Newt Gingrich would pre-announce that he is going to announce the suspension of his campaign. One is tempted to declare Gingrich the ultimate vanity candidate; however, on the heels of his pre-announcement, former candidate and Gingrich endorser Rick Perry endorsed Mitt Romney. That’s just a pathetic plea for attention. Does Perry honestly think that having endorsed an opponent when he withdrew from the race, and then acting this fickle publicly Romney can ever trust him deeply? Should Perry get behind Romney? Of course, but he should do so quietly, this is just a blatant plea for attention.
In Mike Allen and Evan Thomas’ ebook, “Inside The Circus,” on the primary campaign just concluding, they contend that Perry was talked into running by consultants. They make a similar claim about Jon Huntsman. There is a real problem when people run for president so consultants can have work.
Worse yet are the forces consultants play upon to make such things happen. Rick Perry was positioned as the anti-Romney and there was a strong anti-Mormon bias implicit in the positioning. That bias is wrong, but somehow understandable when it is based in the faith of those that hold it. But when it is promoted simply so consultants can make a buck it moves from wrong to truly evil.