Two of the Repubican presidential candidates, the alleged front-runner Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, are Mormons. Both addressed the Faith & Freedom Coalition, an organization of conservative Christian political activists:
“I came today not to give a political speech,” former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. told the crowd in a downtown Washington ballroom Friday, “but simply to introduce myself and my family.”
There was, however, nothing simple about it. The audience he was addressing consisted of hundreds of politically oriented Christian conservatives. Huntsman, who is expected to announce soon that he is running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is a Mormon.
The message that Huntsman, who is largely unknown nationally, seemed to be delivering to the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition was this: My values are no different from yours.
The other Mormon in the race — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is presumed to be the early front-runner — also addressed the group. But where Huntsman made overt references to God, Romney made none. Instead, he emphasized economic themes: unemployment, declining home prices, debt, foreclosures.
In principle, would you be bothered by having a Mormon president? Would you vote for a Mormon? Would you vote for either of these two Mormons?
Would refusing to vote against a candidate because he is a Mormon be an example of bigotry? An unconstitutional imposition of a religious test and an establishment of a religion? A violation of Luther’s doctrine of the Two Kingdoms?