Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speak out Huck

To Muslim Girls, Scouts Offer a Chance to Fit In / In Iowa, Mormon Issue Is Benefiting Huckabee -Mitt just needs to campaign as a girl scout. Is this really a "Mormon Issue" or a bigoted Iowa Republicans issue? If the same poll showed Iowans were not voting for a Jewish candidate, because Jews are not Christian, would the Time's headline have read "Jew Issue", or "antisemitism"?

The origins of the Latter Day Saints, and even some of the Mormon's relatively recent views on Africans, are strange. So what, take a look at the origins of nearly every religion and you will find something a little odd. The first Jew was ready to slaughter his own son because he heard a mysterious voice. If Christ lived today, died and came back, we would be arguing about the grassy knoll in the crucifixion video and branding his faithful as a bunch of conspiracy nuts. If the Mormons seem a little different, it's mostly because their history is more recent.

Religion can matter. I would not vote for a member of an Islamist sect, even a girl scout, if that sect was dedicated to the destruction of the US, regardless of what the candidate said about his or her personal views. Resign your membership if you disagree with your religion, but don't belong to a religion, or any other organization, that is fundamentally opposed to your country or your performance of the duties of the office you seek. I would not vote for a Roman Catholic candidate for District Attorney who campaigned on a plan to prosecute doctors for murder whenever they performed a legal abortion.

The question is not simply to what religion does the candidate belong, but it's not that complicated. What does the job require, what does the candidate say about his or her own beliefs as they relate to the job - is there any tenet of the candidate's organized religion or personal beliefs that will prevent the candidate from performing the duties of the office?

I'm not aware of any tenet of the Latter Day Saints that would prevent Mitt from doing the job of President. Mitt might choose to make a speech about his beliefs and how they mesh with his vision of service to his country, but he should not have to defend himself on this issue. Gov. Huckabee, who is a committed Baptist, should be more than happy to speaks out against intolerance. He would actually gain votes. The socially conservative Iowa Republicans who are worried about Mormonism will stick with Huckabee because of his consistency on abortion and gay marriage. A gracious stand against religious intolerance might add some undecided voters for Huckabee without reducing his social conservative base.

No comments: