With former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney both believed to be gearing up for a run for the presidency, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has again found itself answering questions about what these two prominent members believe.
Post reporter Sandhya Somashekhar wrote in a story published Tuesday that Mormon leaders see the ascendancy of these and other Mormons (such as convert Glenn Beck) as a sign "that the community has finally 'arrived,'" but added "researchers say there remains a deep mistrust of Mormons and that little has changed in public opinion to suggest that voters will be more open this year than they were in 2007."
If conservative Christian and Mormons share a political agenda, why do suspicions still plague Mormon politicians? Do media personalities such as Glenn Beck help or hurt the cause?
I was in Utah many months ago to meet and visit with my counterpart in media relations at the Mormon Church. We spent most of an afternoon comparing experiences as spokespersons for religious organizations that are viewed by a few people as...well...unusual. There we were: "the people who don't drink" sitting across the table from "the people who don't go to doctors."
Posted by Russ Gerber, on February 9, 2011 7:53 PM
The U.S. Constitution provides that there "shall be no religious test for office." But it is certainly appropriate for voters to be informed of a candidate's faith in order to better understand the candidate and what animates him.
Posted by Nathan Diament, on February 9, 2011 3:52 PM
Americans don't look to high-profile politicians, such as Majority Leader Harry Reid, or to former governors Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr., to understand our faith. Neither do they look to personalities like Glenn Beck, who touches on his faith occasionally but who doesn't claim to speak for the Church or other members.
Posted by Michael Otterson, on February 9, 2011 12:54 PM
The question that each and every one of us should ask about faith during an election season is: Does this candidate have a strong commitment to protecting religious freedom in this country? If the answer is yes, the faith or belief system of that candidate is not important.
Posted by Welton Gaddy, on February 9, 2011 11:48 AM
If a candidate with ties to Salt Lake City emerges with the qualities the electorate sees as needed in a president at this time: an answer to our economic woes; a sensible foreign policy; a viable domestic policy, then s/he may well be the next president.
Posted by Max Carter, on February 8, 2011 11:48 AM