The conspicuous absence of the two Mormon presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, from Saturday’s Thanksgiving Family Forum was not lost on the Religious Right. Tom Minnery, head of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, one of the sponsors of the debate, speculated earlier this month that flare-up of the “Mormon issue” at the Values Voter Summit made Romney “hesitant to come back into an evangelical atmosphere like this.”
After the debate, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer penned a pitiful column claiming that the “liberal media” is set to level any number of anti-Mormon attacks against Romney….and then helpfully spelled out exactly what those future attacks would be.
While Fischer is claiming that liberals will be the ones to attack Romney’s faith, in fact it was right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress who leveled the first prominent attack on Romney’s religion this year. Jeffress not only attacked Romney’s faith implicitly in his speech at the Values Voter Summit, but also on Fischer’s own show, where Fischer agreed with Jeffress that Romney is not a Christian.
Minnery himself, who lamented Romney’s non-appearance at the Thanksgiving forum, said in a 2009 interview with Iowa talk show host Steve Deace that Romney’s “faith is not a Christian faith”:
While Fischer enjoys thinly veiling his attacks on Romney’s faith by laying out the arguments the “liberal media” might make in the future, his American Family Radio colleague Alex McFarland is tackling the subject head-on. On his show Exploring the Word last month, McFarland devoted an entire segment to explaining how Mormons are not Christian, and that Mormonism is actually more like Islam: