July 5, 2011

Mormons Reminded About Separation of Church and State

Mormon magic underwearI know that several of you know far more about Mormonism than I do. Some of you are ex-Mormons, and you probably have much that you could teach the rest of us about this religion. I will defer to you to make sense out of this for those of us with less information about Mormonism, but I found it interesting to read that the Mormon church recently reminded its leaders not to endorse political candidates.

According to CNN's Belief Blog:
"General officers of the Church and their spouses and other ecclesiastical leaders serving full-time should not personally participate in political campaigns," read an excerpt from the letter posted on the LDS official website. The statement goes on to explain this applies to fundraising, financial contributions and endorsements.
That seems positive, especially considering that so many evangelical fundamentalists are openly bragging about their refusal to obey the law. I do wonder, however, how the church reconciles this policy with their widely publicized efforts to have the government ban same-sex marriage. It does not make much sense to me that the IRS would allow them to get away with one but not the other.

This will sound awfully cynical, but I suspect that the reminder issued by the LDS president may be less about separation of church and state and more about trying to convince voters that it is safe to elect a Mormon. The last time Mitt Romney ran for president, the media devoted considerable time to the question of whether America was ready for a Mormon president. I wonder if the Mormon leadership is anticipating another round of this type of concern now that both Romney and Huntsman are in the race.

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