I thought I had encountered most of the reasons people articulate not to elect someone who is a member of a particular religion. "He'll be in thrall to the Pope in Rome," they said of Kennedy. (The divided loyalties argument.) "He doesn't share our values as a Muslim," they said of Ellis. (The lacking American values argument.)
But this is new to me. Via a commenter at Professor Bainbridge's blog, in a thread about Robert Redford's rather odd comments that Romney is "methodic" and not easily fazed, I saw this essay by Richard John Neuhaus, a rather prominent Catholic writer. Says he of the danger of Mitt Romney:
The question is not whether, as president, Mr. Romney would take orders from Salt Lake City. I doubt whether many people think he would. The questions are: Would a Mormon as president of the United States give greater credibility and prestige to Mormonism? The answer is almost certainly yes. Would it therefore help advance the missionary goals of what many view as a false religion? The answer is almost certainly yes. Is it legitimate for those Americans to take these questions into account in voting for a presidential nominee or candidate? The answer is certainly yes.
So it's not that a Mormon would take orders from Salt Lake City. The problem is that electing Romney would suggest that it is acceptable to be a Mormon.
Well, that's much better. I was worried it was about prejudice or something.
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