By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Most readers posting comments agreed with me that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was right in asserting that the GOP base rejected Mitt Romney partly because he's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But unlike Steele, a lot of them say they're troubled by that apparent bias.
I'm surprised that Steele hasn't taken the opportunity to denounce anti-Mormon bias, even in the sort-of-apology he issued about his Romney remarks yesterday.
I was particularly struck by comments from Republican readers, many of them Mormon, who chided conservative Christians for rejecting Romney over his religious beliefs.
From "Libertarian Mormon" of New York:
...the evangelical base doesn't know a friend when they see one. Nothing bothers me more than having conservative Christians cry because they don't want their candidate to believe in "a different Jesus". They would rather have a candidate that professed ideological purity, but raised tariffs, regulation, and non-military socialistic spending like George Bush.
From Jon of Utah:
Put me on the list of Mormons that the Evangelical-fundy wing of the Republican party drove away from the GOP. I was as conservative republican as they come, but couldn't stand the thought of voting with a bloc that so rabidly hates my religious beliefs. While I can't say I agree with 100% of what the Democratic party puts forth, over time I've come to realize that it is much more in line with my religious beliefs than the Republican party ever was.
From ShellyGirl of AZ
As long as the Christian Taliban is hijacking the party, the GOP will never win again. If they keep alienating a segment of their base (Mormons) they will never win again. The religious bigotry is toxic and people are leaving the party in droves to avoid being the next target.
Mitt is honorable. He shares the same values as other Christians. Many Evangelicals do not have a problem with Mitt. It is the rabid, hate-driven pastors afraid of losing their own members (money) that keep religious bigotry alive and well.
If we learn nothing in this century, let us learn to be accepting and loving towards all races, religions, and groups not like ourselves. We don't have to pass laws to support sins, but we need to be inclusive and respectful with our dialog. The GOP is so damaged by religious extremists, it may take several presidential cycles to reform the party. By then, it will be too late. America will have lost her soul.
Anyone else surprised that Steele has identified anti-Mormon bias but hasn't denounced it?