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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Religion, Huntsman, and Romney

As noted earlier, concerns about religious prejudice still shadow discussions of electoral politics.At The New York Times "Room for Debate" blog, Professor Christopher Karpowitz notes the significance of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Jr.:

The presence of two Mormon candidates with diverse positions and personalities should be reassuring to those who might worry that membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints causes political leaders with connections to the faith to march in political lockstep with one another. The L.D.S. Church is a worldwide religion whose members hail from diverse backgrounds. Principles consistent with L.D.S. beliefs can be found in both parties, not to mention different wings of the Republican Party. In today’s Senate alone, the political gap between the Tea Party favorite Mike Lee and Majority Leader Harry Reid, both members of the L.D.S. Church, is wide. The opportunity to observe a diverse set of Mormon presidential candidates is healthy for both the country and members of the L.D.S. Church.

One hopes this also means that participants in the 2012 Republican nomination process will choose the candidate whose political views and vision best match their own, not on the basis of religious suspicions or stereotypes.