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Monday, May 7, 2007

Hi! I'm Mitt Romney - Mormon!

Mitt Romney is a Republican who wants to be President. Mitt Romney is also a Mormon. So, of course, there's a certain amount of speculation as to whether or not the American people are willing to put a Mormon in the White House. Are people afraid that he'll take his marching orders from Salt Lake City or are they willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this question?

The last time that religion played a major part in a campaign was in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was campaigning to become the country's first Catholic president. That worked out fine for JFK, after he assured everyone that he wouldn't take his marching orders from Rome.

But I think there's a big difference between being a Catholic running for president and being a Mormon running for the highest office in the land. Catholicism is a mainstream religion, and Mormonism is, well, kinda nutty. Romney probably didn't help his cause recently when he stated that his favorite book was Battlefield Earth, a sci-fi novel written by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, the only so-called religion higher up on my nut-o-meter than Mormonism.

But Romney's real problem is that he's a George Bush clone, a Dubya wannabe. Now why in God's name (or Joseph Smith's name) would anyone wannabe George W. Bush? But Romney has done whiplash-inducing 180's on key social issues like abortion and gay rights in order to appeal to the 28%ers. This, of course, has opened him up to charges of being a flip-flopper, willing to change positions on a dime in the name of political expediency.

Romney found himself down at Pat Robertson's so-called law school, Regent University, a couple of days ago, pandering to Rev. Pat, even though Robertson has declared that Mormonism is a cult (a rare point of agreement between myself and Pat). On Robertson's website, he states, "The Mormon church is a prosperous, growing organization that has produced many people of exemplary character, but when it comes to spiritual matters, the Mormons are far from the truth." Apparently Pat Robertson has a monopoly on the truth.

I think this is the core problem for Romney. He needs Robertson's zealous base to win, but in the end, fundamentalist Christians will turn away from him because he's a Mormon.

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