I believe that the MSM may well be guilty of religious bigotry by using Romney’s Mormon affiliation as an excuse to dismiss his candidacy for President. Many news lines and pundits continue to imply that evangelical voters and leaders, which are a significant voting block in the Republican Party, will not support Romney.
They continue to make these divisive general statements without specifically citing any leaders or supplying any polls to support their contentions. The reality could be far different than they expect or maybe even hope for.
Hugh Hewitt has a great post on this subject: A Mormon in the White House? (NLA) He makes the following observation that I wholeheartedly agree with:
The war on faith in America — the effort to drive faith-based people from the public square and faith-based arguments from polite conversation — has been under way for three decades, and is picking up steam. A Mormon is just a convenient target, and one that provides media pundits with a convenient cover. They voice their concern with Romney’s faith by putting that concern into the mouths of unnamed evangelicals.
Robert Novak fired the first salvo in this line of thinking back in April 2006. I commented on his column at the time in an article on this blog: Romney’s Mormonism a Problem for Evangelical Voters? In that article I made the following observation which is proving to be on topic and valid today:
There are many ’secular’ folks on the left that would like to eliminate all ‘persons of faith’ from public office. Many in that camp would lump committed Catholics, Evangelicals, & even ‘Mormons’ together in the same ‘fundamentalist’ category. I certainly don’t wish to encourage or participate in that sort of thinking.
Even though there are major theological differences between the three, politically we might have a lot in common on a number of issues. To vote for Romney is not the same thing as joining the ‘Mormon Church’ or agreeing with their doctrine. Neither should you have to agree with ‘The Pope’ on every issue before you give your vote to a Catholic believer. Should Evangelicals vote only for other Evangelicals? The worse mistake I ever made was voting for the ‘Born Again’ candidate in 1976.
I believe that there are many secular/liberal folk in the MSM who would like nothing better than to divide up ‘people of faith’ in the election to come.