|LDS Temple in Salt Lake City|
The cynic in me says that the reason for this was not because he felt the ads were out of line, but because he was worried that if religious questions come to the forefront of this campaign, his own Mormon faith would be under the magnifying glass. There are lots of evangelical Christians who already have problems with a Mormon president, to add more doubts to that piece of the picture would, I believe, be very damaging to Romney. He needs the Christian Right and underscoring Mormon doctrines, history, and even his own family story of faith would not be helpful with that constituency or with more secular folk.
I think that Mormonism should come under the magnifying glass, especially with regards to Romney's commitment to his faith and the way that would play out in social policy, ethics, and in who Mitt Romney is... Likewise, I think it is not a bad thing for people to wrestle with the ideas of Black Liberation Theology and the role that tradition plays in Obama's formation and ethics. I do see at least some of that tradition playing out in Obama and it makes sense to me to understand that when I make a decision about whether to vote for him.
I have no idea how serious Mitt Romney is about his Mormon faith at this point in his life. I do know that he did his missionary work and that he continues to give substantial amounts of money to his church. I also don't know a lot about Mormonism. I do have impressions about the way that religion sees its relationship to the government and that makes me a little nervous. From the little I think I know, I'd be very nervous about a seriously committed Mormon as POTUS. I'd like to hear more about Romney's relationship to the teachings of his church and to see more of those teachings made public.
On the other hand, I know a good bit about the various strains of Liberation Theology and feel quite comfortable with the way that theology would and does interact with politics. Indeed, I wish that Obama had shown deeper roots in that tradition and stronger commitments to it during his first term.
I'm not arguing that a Mormon or a Wiccan or a Presbyterian or an Atheist or whatever cannot be POTUS. I am arguing that a candidate's faith or lack thereof are a part of the package that must be considered when we go into the ballot box. I'd like to know more regarding Romney and his Mormon faith.