Mormons Going Mainstream?

On February 8, 2007, the New York Times ran an article on Mitt Romney and his faith – he is an active Mormon. The article received over 500 comments from people around the country by mid afternoon. Even I commented on the article, which I don’t usually do (see below for my response). I still like Mitt and am interested in seeing how far he makes it in the race for the Republican nomination, but it’s likely that hatred and fear of his misinterpreted religion will unfortunately end his hopes for the office of the president. As such, is this a sad commentary on the state of the U.S. in 2007 or is there really that much to be worried about if a Mormon was president?

Personally, I don’t think that his religion should be a factor in the presidential race, at least no more than the religion of any other candidate. But it is, and it bothers me somewhat. Mormons may well still be a minority, but there are enough faithful Mormon leaders in business and politics throughout the country that it is far from inconceivable that one day a Mormon may be president. Maybe Romney is merely breaking down the walls to one day allow that to happen. Mormonism is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) growing religions in not only the U.S. but the world. The Mormon Church emphasizes family, education, and Christian values. Even if the country is not ready for a Mormon leader in 2008, it is only a matter of time before someone just as qualified as Romney, if not more so, steps up to lead. Mormons may not be mainstream, and may never be, but they are good people. And maybe one day, this country will give them some credit, as well as a chance.

My response to the February 8, 2007 NYT article:
There is no doubt that the Mormon faith is unique from other Christian denominations in its beliefs (to say the least). But I know many Mormons, and they are some of the brightest, kind, and most sensible people I know. It must be remembered that this question was posed to an audience of NY Times readers that would not likely vote for a conservative candidate anyway, regardless of who he/she was. Pose this question online to another audience in a different part of the country and the response would be different. I agree that Romney has an uphill battle to the White House partly because of his faith, but I think that he should be looked at in light of the issues and not his faith. Once one seriously does that, Romney comes across as a strong candidate to be our next president.

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