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“Enough cliches about faith. Mitt’s Mormonism matters”

November 26, 2007

Errrol Louis in the New York Daily News:

Let’s quit tiptoeing around the question of whether Republican Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion will be an issue in his bid to become President of the United States.

Of course it will matter. And it should.

Voters have every right to be curious and concerned about a candidate’s beliefs – especially a candidate like Romney, who keeps talking about the importance of faith in his life.

Romney’s not a run-of-the-mill believer. Before entering politics, he served as a Mormon bishop, presiding over several congregations in Massachusetts.

There’s little chance that a devout follower of Rastafarianism, the Unification Church or the Nation of Islam – not just a believer, but a leader – could expect to run for high political office and not get a couple of questions about what they believe and what public actions they took as a church leader.

Romney has gotten a few. He told CBS News he is a “true-blue through-and-through” believer, but also said, “My church wouldn’t endeavor to tell me what to do on an issue, and I wouldn’t listen to them on an issue that related to our nation.”

Those contradictory statements won’t cut it. And they don’t sidestep the plain fact that Mormonism, like the other faiths I mentioned, is not a Christian religion.

This is a sore point with Romney and other Mormons, who emphasize their reverence for Jesus, belief in His divinity, and the fact that the religion’s official name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Those protests hold little water with leaders of most Christian denominations. In 2001, the Catholic doctrinal office (then headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now the Pope) decreedMormons must be re-baptized to join the Catholic Church.Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists have similar official disclaimers.

The reasons are clear to anyone who stayed awake through Sunday School and takes a look at the Mormon holy books, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.

Mormons, it turns out, believe human souls have existed for all eternity, temporarily inhabit physical bodies and can eventually evolve into gods. They also believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri and that tribes from Israel traveled to what is now America, built ancient cities and fought epic battles…


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