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Sunday, January 28, 2007
posted by jason | 7:46 AM | permalink
The topic of Romney's religion and his ability to remain independent is always a hot topi on the blogs. The Deseret News has an article on it today.

University of Utah Political Science Chairman Ron Hrebenar had these remarks:

Noting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not only LDS but a Democrat, he said there's no evidence the church has sought to dictate to him in any way, though he went against the church's public position in opposing a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"National observers often confuse (LDS voters') ideological homogeneity with direction from the LDS leadership. ... Because LDS voters tend to be conservative, there is the appearance of unanimity," Patterson said.

Reporters who have covered the Evangelical Christian view of religion and politics "apply that wholesale to the LDS experience, and it's not comparable," he said. "It's very different. You see instances of Christian Evangelicals taking positions in politics and being engaged in ways the LDS Church has not."

I have no real opinion of how true that is on the Evangelical side. I do find it hard to say it is the case 100% with Evangelicals since they do not have one leader and the Protestant movement as a whole is definitly a "GrassRoots" style religion.

But for those worried about an LDS influence I have quoted some important parts from the official LDS statement on church political neutrality:

Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent.(Emphasis added)


The Church does not:

-Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms.

-Allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes.

-Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

-Attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader.

This is a pretty upfront and strong statement. Two overall points: 1) Romney does not speak for the LDS Church 2) The LDS Church does not expect anymore out of an LDS politician than an a non-LDS politician.

Now a request for all those who don't trust Romney based on his religion: Please show where Romney's religion has compromised his ability to govern. No one has ever come up with anything.


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