The Evangelical War on Mormonism That Wasn’t

Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past inactive to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.

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123 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    “…Romney for an Obama, whose own Christianity hasn’t much in common with theirs when it comes to this here planet. ”
    So are you saying that O’s Christianity is somehow way out there but Jews and Mormons are an easy fit with “real” Christianity???Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    I think saying that there exist no or few Evangelicals who will take issue with Romney’s Mormonism is just as simplistic and generalizing as saying all or most will have issue.

    People are going to have issues with Romney’s Mormonism. Some atheists will be bothered by the fact that he has any religious affiliation. Some religious folks, be they evangelical or Jewish or Muslim or Pastafarian, will take issue with the fact that his religious affiliation is different than their own. Some folks who wouldn’t otherwise care about his Mormonism will take issue with it because of philosophical/political differences (mostly Team Blue/Team Red silliness).

    For me, I care only insofar as his religion interacts on his views on governance. Which I would say of any candidate regardless of the specifics of his faith and which I would say about any other informative aspect of his worldview, faith based or otherwise.

    I am interested in the broader conversation here about what qualifies one to be in the “values” club, though will probably do more listening/reading on that than talking…Report

  3. Shannon's Mouse says:

    In other words… We all hate the queers and abortion. Let’s not quibble on the details.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Shannon's Mouse says:

      I am far from Tom’s biggest defender, but I find that to be the least charitable reading of what I think is one of his more sincere pieces.

      As stated, there is an interesting conversation as to who gets to be in the shared values club, and likely room for ripe criticism. This is not that.Report

      • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        Well, to be fair, those are the shared values, but I get your point.

        I personally have no problem with Mormons and Evangelicals being in the “shared values club,” because not belonging to either group, I have no say in the matter. Nor do I particularly care which way those who do have a say in it ultimately decide.Report

        • greginak in reply to Chris says:

          I think the problem is “values” is a huge term which Tom hasn’t defined at all. Saying all Jews and Christians have the same values is such a broad statement that I’m not sure there is much meaning to it. And that is leaving aside why Muslims wouldn’t share some or all of those values. Or for that matter Hindu’s, Sikh’s, etc.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to greginak says:

            Let’s call this Conservative Values argument what it truly is: a list of what they hate, starting with Queers and Welfare Mamas and Baby-Killers and Officious Bureaucrats Tryin’ to Take Our Free Markets and Guns Away and Hatin’ on Our Soljers and Taxin’ Us to Deff.

            The only things which motivates these jackasses are wrapped up in fear of progress.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Golly! I’m sure glad that we aren’t like them!Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jaybird, don’t you think it’s just awful, how America’s Morals are Declinin’? It just fills me with the Urge to Defecate, the way some of these sinners carry on and start demanding their rights to go on Sinning agin’ God’s Laws.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

                We used to have conservatives that we could be proud of. If only we could have conservatives like that again.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, Jaybird, you sentimental olde fool. Pining for the days of yore, when Conservatives were about limited government. Eet eez to larf. The lunaticks now rule the asylum and the Conservatives have lapsed into Pharisees.Report

          • Chris in reply to greginak says:

            I suspect, when Tom says something like that, he has in mind the base values that he sees as the foundational values of our nation, things like religious tolerance and freedom of conscience. Of course, this makes his assertion that Obama’s religious values are different more difficult to defend (impossible, I’d say)

            I got the impression that Tom was trying to conflate, for rhetorical purposes, the values that he sees as the foundational values of our nation, things like religious tolerance and freedom of conscience, with the values that many (not all) Evangelicals and Mormons along with some Jewish people like Medved share that Obama does not, which would be much more concrete: anti-reproductive freedom, anti-gay marriage (or anti-gay period), and other generally culturally conservative values. As I find this sort of thing both uninteresting and unhelpful, I see no reason to really engage Tom on the substance of the post. It seems equally productive (which is to say, not the least bit productive), but infinitely more honest and satisfying, to just reiterate what those concrete values are.Report

            • Chris in reply to Chris says:

              Oops, I thought the first part of that comment had been lost (stupid browser). Sorry for the repetition there. And I’d forgotten about the impossible to defend part. Again, stupid browser!Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

        Who gets to be in the club? Do American Muslims? It seems like a closed loop to me. All and only American Judeo-Christian religions (??Mormons??) get to be in the club because those people are Americans in their hearts.

        That’s the argument here. It’s an epidemiology of the heart.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

          As I said in the other thread, in 2000, Dubya was doing a decent job making inroads to American Muslims on the whole “Values” thing.

          (A lot of things happened the following year, of course.)Report

          • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

            It seems to me that when a lot of things happened the following year, that was the most important time yet to start working in earnest to make inroads to American and non-American Muslims.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

              Dubya continued to do so, you may recall. His followers, of course, were reluctant to get with the program… but you know all of that mockery of “Islam is a Religion of Peace!” that was going on? There was a chunk of that that was directed at the Republican Leadership that just did not understand how the Muslim Threat Is Going To Be The End Of Us All.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yeah, I saw him do it. I was glad that he said it. I wish he hadn’t decided to use the fact that Americans hated Muslims to make it easy to justify invading another Muslim country, though. You know, words vs. actions.

                I actually remember sitting in front of my television on September 11, 2001 after the second plane had hit and thinking to myself, “This will mean war with Iraq,” not because I thought Iraq had anything to do with the attacks, but because I knew that wouldn’t matter.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

            Good stuff on that other thread. I think you’re right that Muslim American’s coulda been brought into the GOP fold. Still might, I guess. But Tom makes it pretty clear that they won’t be courted.Report

            • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Stillwater says:

              Tom makes it pretty clear that they won’t be courted.

              Nothing in the post supports that inference. For good reason: I didn’t imply it because that’s not my view.Report

              • M.A. in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                This detente has been vitiated by the rise of secular-progressivism and/or libertarianism-libertinism, both of which largely reject any notion of natural law, that there exist objective and universal standards of morality that a society should govern itself by. The “Judeo-Christian” thing.

                I think that was pretty clear that the Republican Club is limited to Jews and Christians; other religions or atheists need not apply.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to M.A. says:

                Well, Islam does have its origins in Judaism, in a kinda-sort kind of way, so maybe that will just get folded into the whole Judeo part of the Judeo-Christian thingy.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to James Hanley says:

                nah, they gotta hate someone. devil’s bargain, siding with those christians.
                and may the orthodox jews what did it, burn in a nonexistent hell for eternity.

                Never Again.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                The post is less explicit about it, but in comments you wrote:

                As for Muslims entering the equation, a “one size fits all” lumping of theologies and metaphysics is exactly what I think is wrong about the “conventional wisdom” of all this. As an expert on Islam, I’d hope that Dr. Feldman would agree with at least that much, that a) Muslim ideas aren’t necessarily as congenial to the Jewish-Christian axis as we might hope and b) “Judeo-Christianity” is firmly [definitively!] “Western,” whereas Muslim culture is Arab, African, Asian, European, Persian, Turkish, and so on.

                They’re … not like us.Report

              • I’m sorry you don’t get it, Mr. Still. At least one look at Europe is necessary grounding for you to enter this phase of the discussion, that of Islam’s compatibility with the West.

                And strangely enough, “Western” values lean more to the secular than to the evangelical.

                Although it’s tangential to the OP, I’ll continue. First of all, I—and I don’t think anyone—knows what a “liberal” American Islam might look like. Reform Judaism has women rabbis, liberal Christianity has gay bishops. Islam still forbids lending money at interest, so that squeezes capitalism. And of course, there’s the question of Israel.

                IIRC, the Muslim vote in the US trends 70% Dem, but that could be temporary. OTOH, American Islam has a significant African-American convert component, and we also have the GOP—per the evangelicals—as likely the more pro-Israel party in the long term. That yr average evangelical might be less critical of the government of Israel than yr average reform Jew is one of those funky ironies and strange bedfellows of politics.

                So, a surface reading of Islam might just look at their antipathy toward homosexuality [see the Pew polls] and put them in the GOP box with the evangelicals, but that’s way too facile.

                As to Islam’s relation to the OP, I rather compared it to Mormonism: both claim to subsume the Judeo-Christian tradition, that is to say, be its full realization and perfection. Thus my observation that theologically, Christianity can no sooner accept Mormonism as “Christian” than it can Islam.

                I hope this clears a few things up. I’ll add here Prager’s very interesting observation from the original link about the theological chafing that goes on when one religion claims to subsume another:

                Observation No. 2: I may be mistaken, but I believe that what most annoys evangelicals (and some other Christians) about Mormonism is that Mormons call themselves Christian. In order for Jews to better understand evangelicals — and for evangelicals to better understand Jews — I think there is a parallel here.

                The vast majority of Jews understand that in a free society, people convert to other religions. Therefore, some Christians convert to Judaism and some Jews convert to Christianity. What particularly annoys Jews is not the existence of converts but the existence of “Jews for Jesus.” To most Jews, this is a misleading label because people who come to believe in Christ should call themselves Christian, not Jews.

                So, too, in the view of most evangelicals, if people wish to believe in the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the prophecy of Joseph Smith, that is their business, but to call these and other distinctive Mormon beliefs “Christian” bothers many evangelicals.

                Of course, Mormons respond that a religion that calls itself The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can hardly be dismissed as non-Christian. But it is not my interest here to adjudicate this debate. I only wish to offer one reason that evangelicals might be disturbed by Mormonism calling itself Christian.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Tom, I’m not disagreeing that what you wrote above is what you think. I’m just concluding from what you think that there will be no GOP outreach to Muslims in general, and Muslim Americans in particular.

                So, I think we agree about what you think, no?Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Stillwater says:

                Not atall, Mr. Still. I’m pointing out that I don’t know what such an
                “outreach” would or should look like, and I doubt anyone else does either. There are too many factors flying about.


                Obama’s Tricky Muslim Courtship
                May 17, 2011 6:49 PM EDT
                President Obama delivers a second speech to the Muslim world this week, but less than three years after they overwhelmingly voted for him, American Muslims are disappointed with his administration—and some are even nostalgic for George W. Bush. David A. Graham reports.

                The GOP accuses the other party of being the home of group politics and likely can’t get to the left of the Dems on Israel, so all I can think of is for the GOP to keep doing what it’s doing—that it’s the party of Salt Lake City and that Muslims will be more comfortable there than with the party of Amsterdam.

                [Which rather closes the circle on my previous re Muslims in Europe, come to think of it.]Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                I—and I don’t think anyone—knows what a “liberal” American Islam might look like.

                It might look like this this.

                The first step toward knowing what a liberal American Islam might look like is to spend time getting to know liberal American Muslims. Crazy idea, I know, when we could be starting with first principles, but it just might be worth a try.Report

              • greginak in reply to James Hanley says:

                It could also look like the Islam practiced in the non-arabic countries around the world.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                It could, although that’s not always particularly liberal. My base assumption, though, would be that a liberal American Islam would at minimum be, you know, liberal.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

                How many folks here have spent time in a predominantly Muslim part of the world?Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                What’s your parameter for “spent time”? I’ve taken two trips to the Middle East, totaling just under a month’s time. I know I know more than most people who’ve never been there, but I don’t think it’s long enough to make any substantive claims about “really” knowing Islam/Muslims, whatever.

                I do have a number of Muslim friends, though, in academic circles, so of course they’re pretty standard liberal-secularists, just like many of my Christian friends.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to James Hanley says:

                I’m very familiar with your friend Dr. Muqtedar Khan’s work, James. [I believe you yourself have some personal disclosures in order about your relationship.] I do not know if it’s helpful in this context. I found his debate with Daniel Pipes less than revealing or helpful.


                So too when one peels the onion of “liberal” Tariq Ramadan back a little, there remains a core that’s not what the Western “liberal” thinks or hopes is there.


                It’s from the level of theology and theory that my greatest reservations come from: I don’t detect a genuine compatibility with Western liberality [esp of the secular sort] atall.

                Actually, I have a much softer—or hopeful—view of what an American [or Americanized] Islam might look like on the level of its millions, not its intellectuals.

                In fact, it would look a helluva lot like Mormonism.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                Islam has never distinguished itself from politics, with a few rare exceptions. There’s a school of Shi’a Islam in Iran and southern Iraq which believes in a separation of church and state.

                There was a moment, just after the American troops had just finished driving Saddam’s troops out of Baghdad, the cleric Ali al-Sistani advised his followers and subordinate clerics to become involved in politics, not as candidates but as advisors. He issued a fatwa, ordering women to vote even if their husbands did not want them to vote.

                It’s important to note Sistani isn’t an Arab. He’s Persian. He limps along in Arabic, his native language is Farsi. Yet he strongly advocated for fairness on behalf of the Sunni minority which had oppressed him and his followers over the years.

                The Shi’a philosophy reminds me of the mindset of the Jews in some respects. They’ve been persecuted forever. Arabs despise them for the most part. Most of their leadership was murdered over the years: that’s how they began, with the senseless murder of Ali. Every time the Shi’a clerics have tried to take power, they always get murdered or something goes hideously awry. These days, even in Iran, the Shiite clerics try to avoid looking like they’re in charge of the situation. They know what happens when absolutist religion meets the squirming mass of compromise called politics.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:


                I’m sorry. Are you suggesting that I’m trying to hide my friendship with Muqtedar? My friendship with him is how I know about him.

                What you consistently miss about Muqtedar Kahn is not that he proves American Islam “will” be consistent with our western democratic traditions, but that it “can” be. It’s a very simple distinction. A single person cannot be proof of what will be, but a single person holding a particular position is proof of what can be.

                And…Daniel Pipes? The man is on a mission to show all Islam as radical. He engages wholly in proof-texting and confirmation bias. He is exactly the type of person one should avoid like the plague when engaged in an honest search for truth.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:


                I just get the hunch that some people speak about Islam without really knowing the various people, cultures, or places that make up the Muslim world. I spent 5 days in Istanbul during Ramadan… a mere smidge of my life, but it was a transformative experience in terms of my understanding of another culture, another faith, another people as well as myself, my own culture, faith, etc. And I’ve known several Muslims very well. I feel far from equipped to speak as an expert on Islam, but until you’ve seen folks as people going about their lives, it is a bit disingenuous to speak the way some folks do.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                Daniel Pipes is an intolerant zealot, a paranoid lunatic whose fear and hatred of Muslims has stunk up American foreign policy for long enough. He’s directly responsible for fanning the flames under the Obama the Mawzlum trope. If there were laws against hate speech in this country, Daniel Pipes would be doing a life sentence. The harm he has done to America’s image cannot be overstated.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                until you’ve seen folks as people going about their lives, it is a bit disingenuous to speak the way some folks do.

                Kazzy, I am in total agreement. That dovetails perfectly with what I am trying to say, which is that I know liberal American Muslims going about their lives, from which I conclude that a liberal American Islam is not only possible, but that we can at lest kinda-sort guess what it might (only might, not necessarily will) look like. Our OP author writes as though liberal American Islam is some great mystery, currently not discernable in any of its possible facets at all. From which it appears that he’s not watching any liberal American Muslims going about their lives.

                That he ignores an actual liberal American Muslim in favor of a guy who essentially argues that that actual liberal American Muslim is an impossibility, I think says something about his evidentiary biases.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to James Hanley says:

                James, full disclosure is important because it lets us know how far gone you are. Whether you’re a sympathizer, an appeaser, or have full blown friendships with the enemy Muslims.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to James Hanley says:

                I think says something about his evidentiary biases.

                Once again I regret replying to you, James. I shall not make that mistake again. The Daniel Pipes debate is from Dr. Khan’s own website that you linked, and it’s quite fair for me to post it for people to judge for themselves. You go and discuss me with your pals and occupy and ruin this thread. I’m done with it, and with you.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:


                I don’t understand you. I made no objection to you posting those links, and I agree that others will judge for themselves. But given my confidence that Pipes is a terrible person, what could possibly be wrong with me critiquing him and your tendency to favor him?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:


                Do me a favor and Google the Village of Kiryas Joel. Tell me how that is consistent with American values.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to James Hanley says:

                TVD, I hope you don’t take offense to this but I think you’re overreacting. Instead of viewing James’ as critiquing you, think of him as critiquing an argument which prioritizes Pipe’s views over Khan’s. On the face of it, both sides are equally justified in espousing their views. But we all know a little bit about Pipes, and he seems slightly less than impartial. So if the topic is ‘could there be a liberal Islam practiced in America?’, the discussion ought to include more than merely Pipes’ views.Report

              • Yes, Kazzy, had the discussion continued, I certainly would have got to the part of the Pew survey where a significant minority of American Muslims appear to want to live semi-separately, a culture within a culture. And yes, I would have allowed we have Hasidim and Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses as well. And there are certainly accusations that other groups like Mormons are clannish and insular. But to you and Mr. Still, all I can say is this discussion has lost his enjoyment for me. It really has nothing to do with the point of the OP, which has been made and stands largely unmolested, that the evangelical war on Mormonism hasn’t happened.

                I am somewhat knowledgable on the doings, thinkings, and writings on “those people.” As for Muslims in America, I hope and I trust that their intellectuals are not representative of them. I read them in their own words and carefully, and do not depend on Daniel Pipes to translate for me, as they speak English just fine for themselves.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:


                I have engaged you genuinely and sincerely. It s a bit frustrating that you’ll abandon our exchange because you are unhapy with another commenter. You didn’t even respond to my first comment, way up at number 2, instead opting to come into the weeds down here. Which is your right. But you then complain about being in the weeds and insist your point remains unchallenged, despite my challenege above. Perhaps you disagree with the strength of my challenge, but lets at least hash that out.Report

              • M.A. in reply to James Hanley says:

                I remain hopeful that a liberal American Islam may evolve that is precisely that – liberal, American in character at least in connection to the concept of separation of church or mosque and state, and adherent to those parts of Islam that are consistent with modern and enlightened views of equal rights regardless of gender, sexuality or race.

                There are also some reasons to worry about the concept. As BlaiseP notes, Islam has not kept itself separated from politics well. For every Muqtedar Khan showing a theory of how Islam can become compatible with western views, there’s an Omar Ahmad saying “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant” or an Ibrahim Hooper insisting that he wants the government of the USA to be “Islamic sometime in the future.” Worldwide reactions to cartoons and articles criticizing the current state of the Islamic faith give reason to worry as well. It’s not at that point about whether or not individual muslims may live a relatively peaceful and liberal life, but whether the Islamic world, en masse, can be converted to such a philosophy without severe bloodshed and chaos.

                The other worrisome sign is what happens when relatively liberal Muslim regimes are overthrown. Iran, 1979 – the descent from an incredibly westernized, liberal “Islamic Persian” culture into the violent, repressive, horrible theocracy of today is a cautionary tale against letting anyone with any claim to a title of mullah-hood or clericdom get political power.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                You’re just kidding yourself, Tom. There won’t be a war over this. I count myself as an Evangelical and I attend an ordinary run-of-the-mill Assemblies of God church these days. People do talk and they’re disgusted with the GOP for allowing Romney to get out in front of the pack.

                Choosing a political candidate is like falling in love. We look around for someone, hardly knowing why we choose the lovers we do. Even if it was explained to us, those explanations don’t really encompass the totality of what Robert Frost describes:

                And yet for all this help of head and brain
                How happily instinctive we remain,
                Our best guide upward further to the light,
                Passionate preference such as love at sight.

                The Evangelicals don’t love Romney. I’m sure some might vote for him, preferring him to Obama, who they like even less. And there is that business where lovers pair off, settling for what life offers, unwilling to wait for the perfect soul mate. Lord knows we’ve all seen a bit of that.

                Romney’s a fake, the Republican version of Bill Clinton, a ruthlessly political man who would say anything to anyone at any time. Nobody ever truly knew Bill Clinton. Maybe Hillary did, she’s stuck it out with him, they’re quite a pair. Obama said what was needed to get elected. He’s broken his share of promises, too. But Romney’s a panderer and the Evangelicals know who he was in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He’s backed away from all those positions now that he wants the salt of the earth types to vote for him.

                But Evangelicals know who this guy is. He’s LDS, he’s a glad-hander and believe you me, in the hypocritical world of Evangelical Protestantism, an aquarium I’ve swum in all my life, we know from fakers and fast talkers and we do not like them.

                We’re deeply suspicious of folks who come around to tell us they’re Christians, too. We’d prefer someone who didn’t pander and carry on. Word gets back to me from someone bolted into Liberty University to tell me Romney’s speech went over like a lead balloon there.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

                TVD, There’s no reason the discussion can’t continue. You chose unilaterally to end it, so you have the power to restore it.

                For my part, in considering the question of what liberal American Islam might look like, I don’t see the relevance of a significant minority of Muslims wanting to be separatists. You’ll get no denial from me about them, just a confirmation that they’re not going to be the liberal Muslims. Certainly in talking about the prospects of liberal Muslims, there is not the slightest indication that all American Muslims will become liberal, anymore than a discussion of conservative Christians indicates that all American Christians are conservative. So what would be the relevant point in bringing up separatist Muslims? What bearing would that have on the issue of what a liberal Islam would look like?Report

              • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:


                Christianity in America is still largely more conservative than liberal, so the issue is not whether American Islan as a whole becomes liberal. That would be to hold it to a higher standard than Christianity is held to. The issue is whether there can actually be a distinct strain of more liberal Islam, for which the evidence says yes.Report

              • Kaz, it’s my own fault. It always ends up in the same misery, and I have friends who think I’m nuts to keep subjecting myself to it.

                As to your initial “challenge” back at Comment #2, the OP is a distillation of what I’ve been reading and hearing about the issue from the evangelical quarter. If I may share something from my studies of religion and the Founding, unitarianism [non-Trinitarianism] was the bogeyman in that day. But mostly if you came across somebody squawking about it, it was clergy, and stirring up theological trouble is how they make their living.

                As for the “values” thing, I don’t think there’s much mystery to it. Basically it comes down to not just Leviticus, but modernity as well. I edited for space in the OP that

                “I always find curious these opinionations on the evangelical milieu that ignore leftism’s [for lack of a better term] place in the equation, and that religious right-evangelicalism-fundamentalism is a reaction to it.

                Perhaps too many of us have watched the “Inherit the Wind” movie and take it for the truth. Yes, that the Biblical account of creation was threatened by Darwinism was part of it, but William Jennings Bryan was strongly motivated against the mechanistic view of man that reduced the meaning of life itself to no more than the sum of our atoms and genes.”

                It’s philosophical as well as theological, even if the fundies don’t or can’t articulate it as such.

                As for the Islam thing, I’m sorry some people freak out when they see “Daniel Pipes.” I read mostly Muqtedar Khan’s part—Pipes is irrelevant. But Pipes’ rebuttal is short in every case, simply that Dr. Khan is arguing a “liberal” Islam that simply doesn’t exist. That’s the point. It could, and some of its intellectuals like Abdolkarim Soroush argue with great hope


                what a Western-style Islam would look like, but it does not as yet exist.

                I remain skeptical that it ever will, but out of understanding and respect for Islam, not disdain, that to Westernize would be to lose what is unique—what is essential—about it!

                What I also clipped for space was the end of Feldman’s essay, which was spot on—that in moving toward “mainsteam” Christianity, Mormonism might lose what’s essentially Mormon about it.

                I have a great interest in theology, regardless of my own positions on what’s what in the cosmos. And so I strongly resist the “one size fits all” approach, that you can pull this one or that one out of the box marked Religion and plug them into these socio-political equations like they’re all the Kiwanis Club except with varying rituals.

                There’s a reason East is East and West is West, and for the latter, “Judeo-Christianity” [and a heaping helping of Aristotle] are why.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

            Dubya cared about Africa. Not many people know how much good he did for AIDS work there. It’s an ill wind which blows no good and Dubyah was sincerely interested in doing what he could in Africa, an area where the USA has been grossly negligent over the years. Bush43 was amazingly well informed on the subject. People, including me, have said he was an incurious man but somewhere along the line he came in contact with the issues surrounding AIDS and education in the third world, especially in north Africa and the Middle East.

            Bush43 was, after all, a compassionate conservative. He wasn’t as bright as his dad or as politically astute as his brother Jeb, but he recognised virtue when he saw it and he was no bigot.

            James Glassman was Bush43’s delegate to American Muslims, another guy who gets none of the credit he deserves. Even after 9/11, Bush43 made the case his war was not with Islam. It was, to this observer, as if Bush43 clearly drew the line between “Our” Muslims and the 9/11 maniacs.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP says:

              But wasn’t President W. Bush at the front of preventing federal funding to go to groups that encouraged condom use because it was against his faith? Or was that someone else?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                “In 2003, President Bush declared he would spend $15bn on his emergency plan for Aids relief, but receiving aid under the programme has moral strings attached.

                Recipient countries have to emphasise abstinence over condoms, and – under a congressional amendment – they must condemn prostitution.”


                I’m sure there is more to the story and I am in no position to judge the sum total of Bush’s efforts. But I do remember that being a huge criticism of him at the time.Report

              • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

                Yeah, that was a really, really shitty thing to do. By and large the program was good, because it called attention an issue that, for the most part, Americans had ignored up to that point, and it gave aid to address the issue, but the strings attached were seriously fished up.Report

              • wardsmith in reply to Chris says:

                Yeah, Bush shouldn’t have pushed abstinence but encouraged condom wearing for the virgin rape cures.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to wardsmith says:

                Yep, better to be a rape victim with AIDS than merely a rape victim. It’s like, “bonus!”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to wardsmith says:


              • Chris in reply to wardsmith says:

                Dude, I’m like totally for that, obviously!
                Of course, I might have meant something else, something much more obvious, but why would you talk about that when you can score rhetorical points with… really, I don’t know who, but I’m sure it made you feel better.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy says:

                Pretty sure that was someone else. Bush tripled aid to Africa. I think there was some messing around with that aid in the 109th Congress, attaching those riders.Report

      • Shannon's Mouse in reply to Kazzy says:

        I don’t doubt Tom’s sincerity. I agree there’s a significant overlap of values that could crowd out what would otherwise be irreconcilable differences of theology and doctrine. I don’t know enough about LDSers and evangelicals to say how much weight those communities would give to values vs theology. However, let’s not play dumb about what those values are.

        Or, alternately: what Chris ( and greginak) said…Report

  4. BlaiseP says:

    You grossly underestimate the antipathy for LDS in the Evangelical community. The Evangelicals wanted Rick Santorum and they will not accept a Mormon substitute. The Evangelicals are not going to vote for Romney. They’ll sit on their hands and let Obama win again before they pull the lever for anyone but a Christian.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to BlaiseP says:

      I think the vast, vast, vast majority of them will vote for Romney because thegaysabortionmuslimsocialism that is Obama, but I think Santorum’s rise is evidence of how desperate the Evangelical Right was for a Romney alternative.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Not from what I’m hearing in my church. Romney is seen as a Manchurian Candidate. Granted, the plural of anecdote is not data but these Republican folks who love Gov. Walker absolutely fear and despise Romney.Report

        • Chris in reply to BlaiseP says:

          the plural of anecdote is not data

          This is just me being a pedantic pain in the ass, but you know, since an anecdote can reasonably be described as a datum, the plural of “anecdote” is, in a sense, “data.”Report

        • M.A. in reply to BlaiseP says:

          I highly suspect this to be a major causal factor for the recent zombie birtherism infestation within the right wing. Birtherism is stupid but it allows any candidate to drop mention of Obama’s father’s religion, the fact that he is biracial which quite offends many in a certain area of the USA, the fact that he spent some of his childhood educated out of the USA, the fact that he attended schools in majority-muslim nations, and a number of other arguments that lead towards a conclusion that Obama is “not a christian.” Once this thought is established it redirects the Evangelicals to a conclusion that they must hold their noses and vote for the lesser christian Romney over the nonchristian Obama.

          The renewed arguing over Rev. Wright seems to be based on similar reasoning. Most Evangelicals do not look favorably on black churches either. Too much singin’ and hoopin’ and hollerin’, celebratin’ as if they were actually happy to be in church – didn’t they know church is a somber, calm, quiet place? And have you seen those gaudy decorated fans “those people” carry to church?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to M.A. says:

            Too much singin’ and hoopin’ and hollerin’, celebratin’ as if they were actually happy to be in church

            The “New Life” School of Evangelicalism is quite fond of such things as bass guitars and drum sets up on the stage. Make a joyful noise. Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care. There is a dearth of funk, mind.

            In any case, not all of the new Evangelicals are Presbyterians.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to M.A. says:

            I’m not sure where you’re getting your Most Evangelicals line. I am one. Evangelicals went through a serious upheaval with the rise of Billy Graham, who put black people on stage with him at his rallies, especially Ethel Waters whose signature song His Eye is on the Sparrow came to be a much-loved favourite in our family.

            Now this was in my father’s time. Most mainline evangelicals sided with Graham but not all. Billy Graham was the final push which shamed the Evangelicals into finally accepting black people as fellow Christians.

            Here’s the way modern, post-Graham evangelicals view the historically black church. We’ve done a lot of outreach to inner-city churches, especially National Baptist Convention and AME churches. Many prosperous largely-white churches run summer camps and those inner city kids are sponsored to attend, along with their own kids. Martin Luther King said something which deeply shamed us “America is never more segregated than it is on Sunday morning.” We made sure our kids and the AME church kids did meet.

            Trouble is, the black church is in serious trouble. It no longer has the moral gravitas it once commanded back in the day. Attendance is dropping off. Its median age is rising. Where black churches are doing reasonably well, attendance wise, they’re out in the burbs. The truly African church, there are a surprisingly large number of Africans who didn’t descend from slaves, is often Anglican or Methodist, not NBC or AME.

            COGIC is a different story. They’re Pentecostal aka Holiness Churches and they’ve formed up alliances with other Pentecostal congregations. Martin Luther King preached in COGIC churches, though his own father’s church was Baptist. I know less about them but I’m given to understand the white Pentecostal churches find more in common with them than they do with us Evangelicals.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    There was a minor Focus on the Family scandal back in the early 90’s. Mormonism, for some reason, was left off of Focus’s list of cults (and googling for such a list now doesn’t seem to give me anything useful)…

    Anyway, there were a large number of folks who were upset that it was left off… and, I suspect, a larger number of folks who would have been upset had it been included.Report

  6. Jeff says:

    Another piece of anecdata:

    My brother-in-law is a pastor at a black Baptist church and he considers Mormonism a “cult”, so much so that he might vote for Obama (in spite of the reasons listed by Shannon’s Mouse). I think he’s far more represntative that TVD’s hypotheticals.

    But, considering the source, that doesn’t surprise me. What does is how this drivel made it to the front page.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Jeff says:

      On the other hand, my mom’s an 82 year old white evangelical Tea Party conservative, and while she doesn’t love Romney, she’ll definitely be voting for him. The idea of not voting is anathema to her–failure to vote is almost a sin, and of course she can’t vote for that Kenyan-born socialist. There’s essentially nothing about my mom that leads me to think she’s an outlier in her group. I could be wrong, of course, but I think TVD’s likely correct on this.

      And, by the way, as one of TVD’s most long-standing critics, I have to say that I can’t see how the OP qualifies as drivel, unless the appellation is being applied by liberals who just can’t stand any remotely conservative posts on the front page. TVD’s criticism of Feldman is on-target.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to James Hanley says:

        But is your mom even among those who disposed to be politically cool toward Romney because of his religion?

        I, mean, I don’t think there is any legitimate doubt that there are at least some religious people who would by all means be voting for the GOP nominee if he were a member of a recognized protestant denomination or even a Catholic, who are going to have a significantly harder time voting for Romney because of his religion, is there? Additionally, is it anything less than clear that, in the normal coure of things, the size of the evangelical vote does ebb and flow with the enthusiasm of its membership either for or against a candidate, or because of the issues that have come to be at stake in a given race?

        Tom’s right that a wholesale evangelical political crackup over Romney’s religion was never a danger, but I think the extent to which that has been predicted has been overstated. What people have wondered is whether, other things being equal, Romney’s religion would depress evangelical turnout (not inspire an impassioned uprising, though it did inspire two mini-versions thereof, whose names were Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum) to any significant degree, and then, if so, whether elevated antipathy to this incumbent would overcome that effect. I don’t think we can actually know the answer to that until the election.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I think you’re right about all that. Romney’s religion won’t help him with the conservative base – it can only hurt. Also too, the threat of Mormon-gate, as Tom highlights, hasn’t materialized. But I think it hasn’t occurred for reasons independent of his Mormonism. And the problem with the OP is that Tom tries to argue that Romney-gate’s absence is because Romney has the right ‘values’ to fit in with the conservative crowd. Personally, I don’t agree with that explanation. My explanation would be rather simpler: conservatives don’t like liberals. But … people disagree about stuff.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Michael Drew says:


          Yes, she is.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to James Hanley says:

            Okay, right on. You offered other elements in the description you provided that could be co-factors (i.e. Tea Party could mean being cool toward Romney, or in fact rather enthusiastic about him, depending). The point is well-taken that she’s a data point to balance BP’s anecdata. But that only demonstrates that sectarian opposition to him is not universal among evangelicals, not that it isn’t extensive and intense enough enough to be a factor of some size or other in the voting when it comes to it. We don’t know, but to me it seems clear there’s testimony enough on the record from people with such reservations and from those directly in contact with them for us not to dismiss the question entirely at this stage. Tom’s right that the extent of it will be limited and not what perhaps some (who?) have suggested it might be, but IMO he’s implicitly advancing that conclusion as being equivalent to a conclusion that the entire question of a voting effect of any size (as opposed to a “War”) among evangelicals (or others) was a red herring, and perhaps even some form of bad faith or bias on the part of “those who oppose the Religious Right” (though perhaps I overread him to perceive that suggestion here).Report

            • James Hanley in reply to Michael Drew says:

              Mike, Agreed–we don’t know. My mom’s just a datum, like all the other examples given. But if I were wagering, I’d side with TVD that any depression of turnout will be minimal. I think his unlikableness and his non-conservatism are more likely to depress conservative turnout, if there is any reduction in it, than his religion. The issue of values really does have some power here. Christians may not like the LDS, but they do like its moral conservatism and it’s family orientation.

              Now if Romney was a Moonie or a Scientologist, that might be another story.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley says:

                I dunno. Do any conservatives refuse to read or quote the Moonie Times?Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I did think about that, but in truth I think few religious conservatives in flyover country know that Moon owns the WT, and if they do or did they could more easily justify to themselves reading it than voting for a Moonie.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Shame you haven’t noticed: In mixed company, righties don’t quote Limbaugh, Fox, WashTimes and the 60K other news and opinion sources that leftpersons abjure. It’s a convention, a custom, and a rule. Righties have learned to make their case using only the left’s approved sources. Mostly, if the mainstream media put their minds to ignoring something, the right gives up on it in fora such as this. You only hear the half of it, or less.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                … says the guy who drags that asshole Dennis Prager in here. There’s a sure-fire unbiased source of information. I remember him shovelling the excrement on that horrible Keith Ellison and the Qu’ran some while back.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I’ll drag Dennis Prager anywhere, sir. He is smarter than you and better looking than me.

                This post really isn’t about Dennis Prager, of course, since he isn’t running for anything. When push comes to shove—and it always does, eh?—if I must stand behind either Dennis Prager’s canon or BlaiseP’s collected works, with all due respect and affection, I sincerely wish the choice were more difficult. I have great affection for you.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Many people are smarter than me. Most of the world is better looking. But Dennis Prager prattles on about Keith Ellison, a Muslim, taking his oath on the Qu’ran. I wouldn’t say such a thing, because in this one area, perhaps only this one, guess what, Tom, Dennis Prager stepped on his putz and I wouldn’t have.

                Perhaps I should be more forgiving of Dennis Prager, but I don’t see why. With Dennis Prager, it’s all so much harum-scarum, loathsome Secular Leftists hiding in the weeds. Sounds like a tinfoil hat ranter to me, if not to you. Even the Anti-Defamation League said he was un-American.

                My collected works are my children, who I did not raise to be bigots. Your opinion is of no consequence.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

                If you’re to fulminate on Dennis Prager. Link: Prager 24/7 [free]. Go for it. I tire of foggy second-hand fulminations and foolishnesses. I prefer the genuine article. 😉Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                That guy didn’t say harrumph! I know who Dennis Prager is and find him to be a fearful little sap. When even B’nai Brith says you’re un-American, you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Debating persons instead of ideas is a fool’s game. I’d hoped to have people listen to Dennis Prager’s ideas rather than debate his intelligence or humanity or second-hand accounts of his position on one issue. Perhaps some will.


                Worse than anything is debating organizations [B’nai B’rith] rather than individuals or ideas. Organizations are where both go to die. Include me out.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Move to strike as irrelevant. The question is whether the Moonie-owned Times is treated differently from other organs with a similar editorial policy.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Mr. Schilling, you begged your own question with “Moonie Times” and have no higher authority to appeal to, since you are it. A rightperson like meself knows better than to use anything that smells of “right” as a news source in a putatively neutral forum such as the LoOG.

                The Moonie-owned WashTimes is kinjiru. Not that it’s big enough to majorly break stories. I think Byron York is the only guy over there.

                BTW, I did some professional work with the Moonie press, as a headhunter. Moon owns what’s left of the grand and glorious United Press International as well. I ran into only newsmen, not hacks. Most seemed to lean a bit left, but in that old-fashioned good-spirited FDR-JFK way, more amiably Democrat than Mother Jones left.

                Those was the good old days. Now all we have is J-School drones who spend half their time as reporters and the other half burying the truth in paragraph 14.


                The press doesn’t lie, you see. Anybody can lie. You have to go to J-School to learn the proper way to tell the truth.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                and have no higher authority to appeal to, since you are it

                In that case, I rule in my favor. Case dismissed, and you can pay the bailiff on the way out.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                MikeS, since I didn’t offer Moonie-news as evidence in the first place, you just dismissed your own case. Pay yourself on the way out. [The bailiff will close the door behind you.]Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I’m not in the habit of making threats, but there’ll be a letter about this in the Moonie Times tomorrow.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                NOW we’re talkin’, Mike. I apologize for thinking of these discussions as unproductive. You get it, brother. Cheers. I just bought you a beer.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to James Hanley says:

                I actually agree, but that’s because I think in this election antipathy to Obama is plenty to make up for it. I’ve heard too many people with no particular axe to grind against Romney and no reason to prefer Obama corroborate the suggestion based on personal experience with religious voters that Romney would have real if manageable challenge due to his religion (and rank within it) with a nontrivial part of his party base if all other things were equal in this election (i.e. if the candidate he was up against had not been made as personally radioactive as Obama has been).

                But now I’m a bit confused where you are saying someone like your mom stands on the religious question. You say she’s in fact less inclined to vote for Romney because he’s Mormon (I think), but on the other hand, the association of Mormonism with conservatism makes up for that. Isn’t that a wash, such that the preference against voting for Mormons actually ends up not existing? Perhaps the conservatism is more important than average for your mom, so that someone like her is in fact less likely than an average Christian conservative to be repelled by a candidate’s Mormonism. Or perhaps the perception of Mormons as particularly conservative is not widespread. Or perhaps you were saying that she simply thinks Romney is particularly conservative – would she be more likely to decide not to vote for Jon Huntsman because of his Mormonism?

                In other words, do you think that anything is going on with your mom that is unlike the considerations that a more or less average conservative voter is making this election? Because if not, then from the beginning she didn’t fit the profile of who we were speculating about here. What we’re talking about is whether there exists a small but potentially electorally significant part of the religious conservative base whose voting considerations with a Mormon on the ballot represent a significant departure from those of the more-or-less-typical conservative voter (whose considerations will typically and almost universally lead them to vote for Romney) such that they are given serious pause in voting for him – and whether those outlying considerations will lead some of them to in fact not turn out for Romney. Obviously I can’t say one way or the other, but to me your description of your mom’s voting considerations doesn’t make them sound like outlying ones, but rather like those of a fairly typical, well-balanced conservative. Christian conservatives who would usually vote for the GOP nominee who don’t turn out for Romney because of his religion were in all instances going to have atypical, quite far-outlying voting considerations as compared to the average conservative’s (even extreme conservatives’).Report

        • Romney’s religion would depress evangelical turnout

          On the left, hope springs infernal.


          What we—as a nation, or the GOP as a party—haven't barely got to is that the Mormon belief that the United States of America is a result of Divine Providence.

          That is plenty for "providential history" evangelicals to ally with, just as the Biblical morality of a conservative Jew such as Dennis Prager is not merely tolerated, but admired—and the Mormons got that too.

          This is enough American Exceptionalism to give that Chris Hayes bloke a stroke.

          [Did you know that mega-deist Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" includes the argument that God set up America as a refuge for the "true religion," i.e., Protestantism? True story.]Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            Yes, daring to hope that the candidate one prefers to win wins, or that people whose values drive them to cast votes you think bring about harmful outcomes voluntarily choose not to cast such votes for whatever reason. Infernal.Report

            • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Michael Drew says:

              It was a pun, MichaelD. And not a bad one. The hope that evangelicals stay home on Romney because of doctrinal differences is a bit infernal, though, and you seem to be copping to it here. So thanks. That’s one datum in the bag. If we can round up a few more, it might make for an anecdote.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Of course I hope evangelicals stay home. I don’t care why they do.

                And you’re either saying it’s infernal to hope it happens out of preference against a Mormon president or you’re not – it doesn’t make any difference if it made for a catchy sentence. And you’re saying you were (and again that it is). So I don’t see what the problem with responding was. And no, it’s not infernal to have that hope.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Michael Drew says:

                Sure it is.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                No, it isn’t.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                …You’re welcome to tell me why it is, though. But to do that you’ll have to tell me why it’s infernal for me to reserve the right to vote against someone because they hold a religious belief I find abhorrent. It’s the exact same question.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Michael Drew says:

                To quote Michael Drew to Michael Drew—no, it isn’t. We need a Pee Wee Herman rule around here.

                But to do that you’ll have to tell me why it’s infernal for me to reserve the right to vote against someone because they hold a religious belief I find abhorrent.

                What ever the heck are you talking about, Willis? That was not about what I wrote. Not only do I agree that you reserve that right, I urge you strongly to exercise that right. In fact, I’ll come pick you up at your house and drive you to the polls just so you can vote against Mitt Romney and his abhorrent religious beliefs.

                That’s the American way, isn’t it?

                Pls reread the “Hope springs infernal,” that the left hopes the Religious Right stays home instead of coming out to vote for Mitt Romney.

                Baseball fans and many other normal people knew that “hope springs infernal” is a play on the Hot Stove League and Spring Training saying that “Hope springs eternal,” that this is OUR year. I was not accusing the left of Satanism, except in…oh, Jesus Christ, never mind. You people take the fun out of everything.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                I realize it’s not obvious, but I’m making the contention to make a point. It is the same question. If there would be nothing wrong with them earnestly concluding that his religion is wrong is such a way that they can’t vote for him, then there is nothing wrong in my hoping that they do that. Fro my perspective, I both take them seriously that they make such determinations in earnest, and at the same time they are inscrutable to me. They might make one determination or another; I’ve no reason not to hope they earnestly make one that suits my electoral druthers. (No illusions that that was never likely at any large scale.)

                My highest hope is (but doesn’t have to be) that their vote ends up being guided by values on whose metaphysical basis I can agree with them on. But, in a large mass of cases, I can be assured that is not in the offing. Their votes are going to be determined by sectarian considerations I would prefer they not be (my preferences as to that are, incidentally, without import or relevance, but I can still have them). Given that if I were in charge of them, I’d already be having them make considerations other than the ones they are going to make (secular ones), and that they are going to make significantly sectarian-value-oriented ones in any case, there is no reason that it is particularly infernal for me to hope that those sectarian considerations in the event prevent them from making a vote I’d prefer they not make. I have no obligation to hope that their largely sectarian-values-determined voting considerations in the event allow them to coalesce around a particular candidate because he shares many of those sectarian-values-determined policy positions, or because they share a set of economic or foreign policy preferences (themselves largely informed by sectarian value considerations), rather than hoping that doctrinal or other differences lead them to conclude in earnest that they can’t vote for that candidate. I already generally think that they make their voting decision for the wrong reasons, because they are sectarian reasons – and it doesn’t matter a whit that I do. I can certainly hope (unrealistically) that those sectarian considerations lead toward outcomes I like. It’s not infernal in the least.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                I should note too, though, that even if I am wrong that these are at bottom the same question, and you could have said why having that hope is infernal without saying why I shouldn’t reserve the right to vote against someone because I think his religion is wrong, nevertheless you still didn’t do so in this comment.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                …So the invitation still stands, Tom. Irrespective of what I think the question is equivalent to, I’d be obliged if you’d relate whatever your reasoning is as to why having that hope is infernal.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                It was a joke. Say good night, Gracie.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Cool, so it’s not infernal.

                ‘Night gracie.Report

  7. Anderson says:

    I recently saw this 1999 Gallup poll (dated, I realize):

    “What characteristic would make you refuse to vote for an otherwise well-qualified candidate for President?’

    Catholic: 4% (1937: 30%)
    Black: 5% (1958: 63%, 1987: 21%)
    Jewish: 6% (1937: 47%)
    Baptist: 6%
    Woman: 8%
    Mormon: 17%
    Muslim: 38%
    Gay: 37% (1978: 74%)
    Atheist: 48% (1958: 75%)

    None of this strikes me as too stunning, given the political makeup of the country, but the takeaway point for Mormons is that, while they have been disfavored, they are nonetheless twice as electable as another American-minority religion. For reference, about 1.5 % of the population is Mormon and .6% is Muslim.

    Thus I would contend Tom’s point that, “Many Christian sects remain kissin’ cousins, and accept each others’ legitimacy as authentic Christianity. But Mormonism with its additional book of revelation [like Islam]? No can do. Never. But that’s theology. All that stuff will be settled on Judgment Day and not one day before.”

    Something seems to cause separate connotations for these two minority religions beyond different theology, or else their numbers would be a lot closer. (Plus poll was before 9/11)Report