Why We Can Ask Mitt Romney about His Mormonism

Jeff Weiss responds to the criticism he got last week in his proposed questions to Romney:

The reason I felt particularly justified in posing those questions is why the situations of Romney and Obama are not parallel.

For a decade, Romney was a member of the clergy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was ward bishop and stake president. … As such he was a recognized authority, expected to understand and agree with official church doctrine and to apply it while working with members of his congregations.

I would only ask these kinds of questions to someone for whom religion is a central part of their public persona. Dick Cheney, for instance, is Methodist but never much talked about it. So it isn’t politically relevant. His former boss, however, famously said that Jesus Christ was his favorite political philosopher.

I count it a signal failure of the national media that candidate George W. Bush was not queried sharply and repeatedly to explain how his understanding of the political philosophy of Jesus would inform his governance.

Read on to see why Weiss says that we can also ask Obama about his faith: RealClearReligion – Yes Obama Can! Talk About God.

What Would You Ask Mitt Romney?

Now that he’s the Republican candidate, Romney’s Mormonism is on the table. I’ve been critical of the LDS Church, and will continue to be. In fact, my response to Jake Tapper’s question wouldn’t have been much different from Rick Warren’s on Sunday. LDS teaching on the Trinity is more than a “sticking point” for me. Their Christology is also suspect.

At RealClearReligion, Jeff Weiss has seven questions that he, as a religion reporter, would like to ask Romney about LDS teaching. Here are the first two:

1) LDS teaching about gender: “All human beings — male and female — are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

Has this teaching informed Gov. Romney’s thinking about homosexual rights generally or gay marriage specifically?

2) LDS teaching about the role of men and women in families: “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”

Has this teaching informed his thinking about the rights of women, tax breaks for families, or other family-related legislation?

Read Questions 3-7 at RealClearReligion – 7 Questions for Mitt About Mormonism.