Yes, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was one of those young men in a suit who knock on your door to try to get you to become a Mormon. This story from the Washington Post tells about his time as a missionary, and he was a very good one. He served in Paris, France. After barely surviving a car crash in which the leader of the mission was killed, young elder Romney took over. Before, hardly any Parisians listened to the Mormons, but once he took the helm, the mission won over 200 converts.
David Broder, in another sympathetic piece, recalls how Mitt’s father, who also ran for president, handled the Mormon issue:
We quoted George Romney’s 1966 Lincoln Day speech in Boston: “I believe that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are divinely inspired documents, written by men especially raised up by their Creator for that purpose. I believe that God has made and presented to us a nation for a purpose — to bring freedom to all the people of the world.”
We commented that this is “purest Mormon teaching. . . . Thus a paradox in Romney turns out to be a paradox in Mormonism itself. These people, whose beliefs and practices are so idiosyncratic, and who actually took arms against the United States government, are also as hyper-American as a rodeo or county fair.”
Right. But this is exactly what worries me about a Mormon President. To say that America’s founding documents are on a par with the Bible goes way too far. Mormonism exalts civil religion into, well, a regular religion.