Q&A Friday #20: Why Would Being A Mormon Hurt Romney At The Polls In 2008?

by John Hawkins | August 5, 2005 7:17 am

Question: “My other question is in response to a post last week when I was out of town I think. There was a post about Mitt Romney and how he won’t have a chance to be president. You said that because he was a mormon people wouldn’t vote for him. You said: Some things Mormons believe in come off as very strange to most Americans. What is it that you think mormons believe that is so strange? (Just a note pretty much every mormon is conservative) You also said Romney is pretending to be pro-life; I can tell you that if he’s a mormon there’s absolutely no way he’s pro-choice. Abortion is definitely against what the mormon church stands for.” — the_sacrificer

Answer: First things first, Romney has recently veered to the right on abortion[1] because conventional wisdom is that if you’re not pro-life, you can’t win the Republican nomination for President.

“In various interviews of the last several months, Romney has said that he no longer supports legal abortion and he has called himself “pro-life.” Romney also vetoed a bill promoting embryonic stem cell research and said the measure forced him to take a new look at the beginning of human life.”

But, not that long ago, Mitt was singing a very different tune[2]:

“When Romney ran for governor in 2002, he said he supported the “substance” of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and signed a pro-abortion pledge sponsored by Planned Parenthood.”

In my opinion, Romney is making a purely political conversion on pro-life issues which means that if he were elected in 2008, it’s entirely possible he might revert to form.

As far as the strange Mormon beliefs go, I was referring to some of the religious beliefs they have. For example, here’s the how Book of Mormon came to be written[3]:

“I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.”

Then there’s the fact that blacks couldn’t join the priesthood until 1978 & the Mormon belief that some Native Americans are actually members of the Lost Tribe of Israel, among other things.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not putting down the Mormon religion & I would personally have no problem whatsoever voting for a Mormon candidate. However, I am saying that there would be a significant number of Christian voters who would find Mormon beliefs to be strange or might even look at them as members of a cult. My guess is that alone would probably cost Romney a few points at the polls.

Personally, I don’t think it’s going to matter because Romney is going to be viewed as a RINO in conservative clothing and he’ll have a lot of trouble getting traction in the first place, but to be totally honest, I do think his religion will be a negative for him on the whole.

  1. veered to the right on abortion: http://www.lifenews.com/nat1488.html
  2. very different tune: http://www.lifenews.com/nat1488.html
  3. came to be written: http://www.irr.org/mit/divination.html

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