In the past, Mitt Romney has blamed the media (along with those “who would like to establish a religion of secularism in this country to replace all others”) for raising questions about whether his Mormonism will hurt his electoral chances—a claim that doesn’t hold water, as we pointed out. A Bloomberg article today makes clear that he might start with his own friends:
“I told him, you cannot equate Mormonism with Christianity; you cannot say, ‘I am a Christian just like you,’” said Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina, which is scheduled to hold the first primary among the Southern states. “If he does that, every Baptist preacher in the South is going to have to go to the pulpit on Sunday and explain the differences.”
So it should be no surprise to see those on the Religious Right who are not on Romney’s side kicking up dust. Richard Land, who leans toward Fred Thompson, said Romney is “picking a fight” when he states a basic tenet of his beliefs. “When he goes around and says Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, he ticks off at least half the evangelicals. He’s picking a fight he’s going to lose,” Land said. In Max Blumenthal’s entertaining video report on the Values Voter Summit, Huckabee booster Janet Folger is heard excitedly denouncing Romney: “I mean take a look at really what he believes. He believes that Jesus Christ is Satan’s brother—are you kidding me?”
“Mitt Romney … is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult,” one prominent Dallas pastor said earlier this month. “It’s a little hypocritical for the last eight years to be talking about how important it is for us to elect a Christian president and then turn around and endorse a non-Christian.”
But if Romney can convince the Religious Right that he’ll fight for their political causes, why does it matter what else he believes?
“We need more injection of an understanding of God in our political life,” said Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and a potential third-party, anti- abortion presidential candidate. “I am looking for a candidate that understands that this nation is established on a particular God.”