web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Fearing Anti-Mormon Prejudice, Romney Plays Down His Religion


Mitt-Romney-061512

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney’s Lacrosse moment awaits him.

The Democratic convention in Los Angeles was where Joe Lieberman made history as the first Jewish candidate on a major ticket on Aug. 17, 2000. But two days later, history came to life in Lacrosse, Wis., the little college town where Lieberman walked – and pointedly did not drive – to the local synagogue on his first post-nomination Shabbat.

Townspeople came out of their homes to shake the vice presidential candidate’s hand, congratulate him and express their admiration for his adherence to the traditional tenets of Sabbath observance. The Middle American scene affirmed for Lieberman the country’s openness to different faiths.

By contrast Romney, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, seems to prefer silence in handling his Mormonism in public. It’s a stark contrast to both Lieberman and Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic who in 1960 famously said he would not take political guidance from the Vatican.

“It’s clear his campaign made a decision that it is not interested in talking about his Mormonism, not its doctrines or theology, his experiences as a church leader, how it shaped his family,” said Patrick Mason, the chair of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif. “He’s always said ‘I’m not running to be pastor in chief.’ ”

In fact, Romney on the trail has even cut off questioners when they ask about his religious beliefs.

There was nary a hint of Mormonism during his one term governing Massachusetts, from 2003 to 2007, said Nancy Kaufman, then the director of the Boston-area Jewish Community Relations Council and now the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women.

“It was never an issue – it never even came up during the campaign,” Kaufman recalled of her many meetings with Romney and his staff on issues such as faith-based initiatives, health care, Israel and Iran divestment. “The only thing I ever heard about it was when we went to receptions and there was no wine.” Mormons abjure alcohol.

That lack of conversation about Romney’s religion is clearly no longer the case. In an e-mail complaint last year to the Washington Post about a story that detailed Romney’s leadership in the Boston-area Mormon community, his Jewish spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, substituted “Jew” and “Jewish” for Mormon in an attempt to underscore what she depicted as the complaint’s intrusiveness and offense. The New York Times has reported that the Romney campaign challenges reporters, “Would you have written this about a Jewish candidate?”

Some experts on Mormonism say the answer should be yes and add that Romney should welcome the scrutiny, especially because of his deep involvement in his church, as a young missionary in France and then as a bishop in Boston.

“His experience as a church leader provides some humanizing narrative of working with people who are unemployed, poor, immigrants,” Mason said. “People in America respect faith.”

Romney should be prepared to accept even greater scrutiny because Mormonism is less well known and much younger than Judaism, said Ryan Cragun, an expert in the sociology of religion at the University of Tampa and a former Mormon.

“Judaism has been around for thousands of years, many people have been familiar with it,” he said. “The same cannot be said of Mormonism. It’s a young religion, it has a number of quirks and oddities, and people want to know more of that.”

Mason agreed, but added that Romney should avoid the particulars of Mormon theology while focusing on broad principles of shared faith with other religious communities. Romney seemed to be doing that last month when he delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Va., founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Making common Christian cause against secular encroachment served Romney well, Mason said.

“It showed this common language of faith,” he said. “When he leaves [specific] theology out of it, he does well with the evangelicals.”

The approach could be critical for Romney with the GOP’s evangelical base, whose distaste for Mormonism may have been evidenced in Romney’s difficulties in winning primary states in the South this year.

The Anti-Defamation League in tracking anti-Mormon prejudice has found negative attitudes among about a quarter of the population, according to its national director, Abraham Foxman.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

2 Responses to “Fearing Anti-Mormon Prejudice, Romney Plays Down His Religion”

  1. I’m a Christian and what People ought to look for is His track record and how He is on the issue’s. As long as He is not a muslim than no prob.

  2. Eve Folley says:

    I am an ex Mormon n what they believe does not sit well with Evangelical Christians, so Americans don’t have much choice. Perhaps if an independent candidate ran 4 office that takes into account that America was founded on Judeo Christian principles, then the Evangelicals would have a better leader. Mormons are racist by nature, they only allowed blacks into the church in the 70′s. Their Book of Mormon is also suspect as it cannot be proven as The Holy Bible can be. If I was voting, I would not vote for Obama or Romney.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue
Latest News Stories
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.

While Israelis couldn’t sleep in Rishon Lezion, IDF pilots were busy making sure Gaza terrorists were awake Monday night as well.

Rami Levy in one of his supermarkets.

Without fanfare, supermarket magnate Rami Levy has been quietly unloading truckloads of food and basics at the homes of all the fallen soldiers…

05_04_51---Candle_web

After killing 5 IDF soldiers, Hamas terrorists tried to steal the soldier’s bodies.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, dining at the Prime Minister's residence, Jan. 4, 2014.

Kerry’s performance panned by Israeli public, media, and even the PA. Why fury directed only at the Israeli government?

Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Gantz announce Israel will not stop the war until all terror tunnels are destroyed.

This is probably the first time in my life I’ve seen an IDF barber. Who knew we even had them! (Notice he’s using an electric shaver!)

2:29am Multiple rocket sirens towards Tel Aviv-Yafo, Rishon l’Tzion, Bat Yam, Holon….

The IDF spokesman has released the names of the soldiers who were killed this evening.

Bibi said: “Death from above, death from below,” will not continue to threaten the people of Israel.

IDF soldiers killed five terrorists who attempted to infiltrate from Gaza Monday evening near Nahal Oz in Sha’ar HaNegev, foiling another attack.

Intelligence minister meets journalists in Jerusalem, compares Gaza to Judea and Samaria as proof that quiet begets quiet.

Another massive missile barrage made it clear Monday night Hamas has no interest in a cease fire.

Moslem Brotherhood considered enemy number one in Cairo; Gaza branch responds to slight by firing at Israel.

Hamas terrorists attacked their own people Monday, with short-fall rocket fire exploding at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

A Hamas rocket attack on the Eshkol region has murdered numerous Israelis…

Is MK Zoabi planning to copy her “rebbe”, former Balad MK Azmi Bishara, by skipping the country?

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/local/fearing-anti-mormon-prejudice-romney-plays-down-his-religion/2012/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: