Religion and the Presidential Race: Some Notes



The San Salvador El Salvador Temple
of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints


The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has just announced that, unless Congress and the Obama Administration change course quite soon, we’re headed for a second recession that will shortly cost many hundreds of thousands of American jobs.


But who cares, really?


The country’s most urgent political priority is to talk about Mitt Romney’s theology!


John Schroeder, an evangelical Protestant, chronicles and complains about such nonsense in a recent installment of the always valuable Article VI Blog.  I especially like the last link that he supplies, from the (happily) almost forgotten Tom Hayden, which attempts to link Mitt Romney to Big Love, Mexican drug cartels, violence, kidnappings, and, implicitly, Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church.


NBC’s Rock Center, with Brian Williams, will do an hour-long special this evening (10 PM/9 PM Central Time) on “What it means to be Mormon in America.”  While I’ve heard positive things about it in advance, we shall see.  (I don’t recall having heard of an hour-long special on NBC about Mr. Obama’s church affiliation in Chicago back in 2008, and certainly not just days before the Democratic National Convention, yet the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s politics were actually relevant to the campaign in a way that, say, Mormon beliefs about vicarious baptism for the dead don’t seem to be.)


A group of Catholics, by the way, have produced a visually and musically very striking three-minute video urging their fellow believers to consider religiously-signifcant issues in their decision this November.  It’s worth a watching.  And, to those who think me inconsistent for being serene about this three-minute film while unhappy about attempts to drag details of Mormon doctrine into a presidential race, the difference is this:  The Catholic video isn’t about Mary as mediatrix, or the primacy of the Chair of St. Peter, or the history of the Inquisition, or the concept of the Real Presence.  It’s about social and moral issues important to faithful Catholics.


Finally, I saw a comment yesterday claiming that Dinesh D’Souza’s film 2016: Obama’s America — which I badly want to see, but have not yet seen — is motivated by unhappiness at seeing a brown-skinned man in the Oval Office.  Here is a photo of Dinesh D’Souza:


Dinesh D’Souza



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New Testament 188
We didn't even make it through the weekend, and Round Two begins!
  • christine

    with 70 million catholics in the US maybe inquisition and pedophilia will not come up.

    • A reader

      I don’t begrudge modern Catholics with their past grievances. If anything, my respect for them has increased over the years because of their steadfast stances on some religious issues (e.g. Birth Control). I’d say that we as Mormons could even learn a thing or two from them.

      • danpeterson

        If you assume that I was being, in any way, critical of Catholics or Catholicism in this post, I’m afraid I must have been unclear. Nothing could have been further from my mind; I have enormous respect for the Roman Catholic Church.

        • A reader

          Sorry, it was I who was unclear. I was responding to christine.

  • Michael Towns

    My heavens! Dinesh is brown-skinned!

    • danpeterson

      That’s really a surprise in somebody from India, isn’t it?

  • Rozann

    I saw 2016: Obama’s America, here is Iowa. It is great! Not shrill, but calm, reasoned, lets the audience draw its own conclusion. Many of the theater goers applauded at the end. Very worth seeing.