In debates, Romney won’t be able to avoid addressing Mormonism

“And I think in those debates I would be shocked, frankly, if one person at least doesn’t ask him, you … Continued

“And I think in those debates I would be shocked, frankly, if one person at least doesn’t ask him, you know, tell us about your Mormonism. And tell us about what impact it will have on being president, if you become president. I think that’s a perfectly appropriate question to ask particularly inside a political party that has, for the last generation, decided that religion and politics are really hand-in-glove and that faith matters, and that we want people in higher office to be Christians and to be people of faith. So I don’t think he’s going to be able to sidestep that one entirely. I think he’s going to have to say what the Mormon tradition stands for and how it would impact on a Mormon president.”

Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero on why Mitt Romney will have to tak about his faith during the presidential debates.


Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney listens as former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu speaks at a campaign stop in Exeter, N.H. in November 2011.

Read more in the Faith 2012 Quote Archives.

  • fstone

    If we do not ask a Jew just how the earth was created in six day about 7000 years ago, or a Christian why the second coming is about 2000 years later than Jesus indicated it would come, why should we ask a Mormon to defend tablets of gold and polygamy?

  • EW88

    No doubt he’s right, that Mormonism will come up – anything that might be viewed as a problem for Romney will come up. I don’t think it inappropriate, or problematic for Romney. There’s a survey study out there that shows that the more people know about Mormonism the more comfortable they feel with Mormons, including Mormons in office. But religion won’t come up for Obama, because the press saves hard questions for the GOP candidate and gives the Democrat a pass. Just like the press writes predominantly pro-Obama articles and anti-Romney ones. To make a truly informed opinion these days, one has to seek out both sides, because balanced news coverage is long gone if in fact it ever existed. Even the polls are weighted unrealistically pro-Democrat.

  • dougtheavenger

    yeah sure .. I double-dog dare any dem to bring up Mormonism in a debate.

  • dougtheavenger

    The Romney possible Romney responses taht could make Obama and the questioner look stupid are legion. Here is just one.

    This is not Sunday School, it is a presidential debate. If you want to talk about religion, I invite you to come to church this Sunday.

  • r4cannon

    The answer is called theological scholarship; an endeavor that Christians and Jews have been actively pursuing for thousands of years. Your questions have challenged believers during this time, have been addressed and in the process strengthened the church. The Mormon religion is relatively new and has only recently attempted to develop apologetics in defense of its teachings.

  • georgewashington2

    “And I think in those debates I would be shocked, frankly, if one person at least doesn’t ask Romney, you know, tell us about your Mormonism.”
    “And I think in those debates I would be shocked, frankly, if one person at least doesn’t ask Obama, you know, tell us about your Christianity.”

  • georgewashington2

    “Mr. Romney?”
    Romney: “I’m glad that you asked me about my religion, because this raises a fundamental pillar on which our society rests: freedom of religion, and freedom from institutionalized religious bigotry. I don’t know and I don’t care what President Obama believes about Jesus in his heart because it is none of my business and, in fact, it is none of your business. Why? Because Article 6, Section 3 of the Constitution provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”.
    That means that Madison and the founders viewed religion as a matter of private conscience, and not as the basis for making invidious political distinctions. I am sure that President Obama agrees with me on this important aspect of freedom.”

  • edismae

    I do not see any of the moderators going there.

  • edismae

    Thanks for the link, r4cannon:”And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. ( Moroni 4:11-12). Translation: if deception was necessary to do good, or bring a soul to Christ, then it was worth it, as long as God approves. Smith believed he knew when God approved of lying.

    This explains the bald faced, compulsive lying that Romney does. Anything is allowable to meet his goals. Romney must think he knows when God approves lying, too.

  • fkratzor1

    The no religious test clause was written to protect potential candidates from disqualification to run for office because of their religion, not from being asked about religion by the electorate. Big difference. So if a candiate were for instance, a member of the Church Universal and Truimphant, it would be totally acceptable to find out what core beliefs this religion held.

  • mormonpatriot

    I agree, fkratzor1. There are questions I would ask about a candidates’s faith, along with how well that person abides by what he believes in. I don’t think judgment solely on the basis of which faith a man is is the most important, but what his degree of devotion and integrity is (how well his beliefs conform to his actions), as well as how his faith (and his practice of it) will affect his decisions. This is no “religious test.” It is a test of character and of suitability for governing. So let’s get rid of this false idea that religion and government should be separate. They shouldn’t. It would be tragic if everyone suddenly dropped their religious beliefs – usually the best and most charitable part of their character – when it came time to vote.

  • mormonpatriot

    r4cannon, you will find disgruntled people wherever you go. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not swayed by opinion, and its positions are a matter of inspiration, not voting. So there will be people who disagree with Church doctrine and, because the Church will not be swayed, they seek another forum to say what they think. Bottom line – the Church’s positions are not fuzzy or unclear, and those who hold different opinions do not represent the Church. So I would not call them “active” LDS members if they seek to proffer other doctrines – just saying. Former Mormons are often former members because they separated themselves doctrinally from the Church, and the Church acted. And to more directly answer your question, it’s not a matter of simply accumulating more scholarly knowledge. Knowledge of spiritual truths comes from conversations with God in study and prayer and the sacrifices that are necessary to follow whatever he instructs us to do. So don’t be surprised that everyone can’t just “get it” right away. And edismae, your translation of that phrase has never been an LDS interpretation. I warn you now never to take scripture out of its context like that. Doctrine and Covenants 10:28 : “Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.” So God doesn’t approve of dishonesty even to combat dishonesty. No such thing as a justified sin. Here’s another: Doctrine and Covenants 1:31 : “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” With all due respect, you will do better in your pursuits for knowledge if you study the issue thoroughly and fairly.

  • mormonpatriot

    Yo, duwaynea. I would be content to have a man in office whose doctrines I disagree with, even if I consider them stupid, if that man can be civil to members of other creeds. I would not vote for a man whose integrity, including his civility, are in question. Nor do I think most people here want to hear uncivil comments. So I’m asking for civility from you, right here and now. No real understanding will ever come to pass without respect, so don’t be surprised when you don’t understand or accept what you deride.

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