Have you met a Mormon lately?
Mitt Romney's religious criticism germinates from a lack of Mormon understanding. Is the Mormon religion a bit weird? Peculiar? Yes. Does this mean Mitt should not be elected President? No.
Talk show host Hugh Hewitt recently published the book, "A Mormon in the White House? Ten Things Every American Should Know About Mitt Romney." A recent Deseret News article reports a phone conversation with Hewitt (a non-Mormon):
"I am disappointed in how much noise we hear on this" question of whether a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be president, Hewitt told the Deseret Morning News in a telephone interview. As a law professor at California's Chapman University, he said he literally believes the Constitution prohibits any religious test for office holders. Hewitt says he wanted to write the book because he had previously interviewed the late LDS apostle Neal A. Maxwell for a PBS series on religion in America. "I got to know the Mormon faith and history. I found it astonishing how much discrimination had happened, and how much had been tolerated," he said.
The article adds:
"Romney's religion is only one of 10 things that Hewitt writes that people should know about him. Hewitt said much more important to him personally is how highly intelligent Romney seems, and his problem-solving approaches learned in business."
For anyone who doubts Mitt for his religion--take the Mormon Challenge before you vote. Which simply is to actually have a conversation wtih one of your neighbors, colleagues, friends whom you know is Mormon and see if they are as weird as you might think. You may be surprised by how human they really are.
-David M. McEntire