Are Mormons “Christian?”

Sen. Fred Thompson’s campaign chair in South Carolina says, “NO!”

THE PALMETTO SCOOP: Gov. Romney is giving a very significant speech Thursday to try to reassure Republicans that his Mormon faith shouldn’t be a factor in his presidential bid. Do you think that a speech like this will help him or hurt him in South Carolina?

CYNDI MOSTELLER: As a person who’s been to seminary and studied somewhat the Mormon doctrine, I think that the more people scrutinize, look at and become aware of that doctrine, they will have more questions rather than less. I think particularly the Church’s history, and almost theology, on the issue of race – particularly the black race – will be a very difficult issue to defend and to move forward with; especially when we look at the theology of the Church and what the Church founders and prophets and presidents have said throughout the history of the Church until 1978 when they first allowed membership to anyone in the black race. […] There are some issues there and I don’t quite see how you resolve them and seek out and obtain anywhere near the same level of African American support that President Bush obtained both in 2000 and 2004.

TPS: Why do you think it is that Republicans, the previous issue aside, might be reluctant to support a Mormon president, such that Romney feels he needs to give a speech addressing just this issue?

MOSTELLER: I think the doctrines of Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism are so vastly different from the Mormon doctrine; from the concept of polygamy being the order of Heaven, to human man’s progression to godhead of other worlds, to the idea that Jesus had multiple wives, to the idea that, after the death of the last apostle, all of Christendom was in apostasy – with a capital “A” as the Church refers to it – until Joseph Smith discovered the golden plates in the 1830s. So I think it’s inconsistent with so many basic Christian doctrines and it’s very unusual to the point that it’s almost unbelievable. These concepts are things that are theologically beyond our orthodox imagination.

TPS: But to many people, it seems that Mormonism is a part of the Christian faith. You’re arguing that assertion is incorrect?

MOSTELLER: Yes. I would say that the Southern Baptist Convention considers Mormonism not a part of the Christian faith – they’ve stated that on their Website – and most Evangelicals would not consider it part of the Christian faith. And the Mormon Church would consider us an apostasy, in all of Christian history, since the death of the last apostle. From their perspective, the Gospel that we preach on Sunday would be considered an apostasy to them. source

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

The Fred Thompson campaign is already sensitive to charges of racism and bigotry on immigration. Now, Mosteller opens the door for anti-Mormon bigotry charges.

I wonder if how fast Fred Thompson will back away from Ms. Mosteller’s comments.

Huckabee’s Willie Horton?

The question among many in the Huckabee camp centers around the recent media attention to an old case from Arkansas, and the governor’s involvement in the parole of a convicted rapist named Wayne Dumond.

While there is a great amount of anxiety over the fairness of pinning the blame for Dumond’s post-parole behavior on Huckabee, it really isn’t a great surprise that it should emerge as an issue in the Republican primary season. It is better, I think, for it to be completely hashed out now, rather than later. Certainly, it is included in the stack of opposition research that has already been compiled by the Clinton campaign.

Further, it is an issue that Huckabee must address, all by himself.

But, that doesn’t mean that the mud-framed-slinging that has emanated from political enemies should go unchallenged. It won’t.

Nor does it mean that Wayne Dumond will become the 2008 version of Willie Horton.

When I think about it, I’m of the opinion that the impact of the Willie Horton ads in the ’88 election are a little over-stated. Sure, it was a negative for the Dukakis campaign. But it wasn’t what made my mind up for me to vote Republican for the very first time.

dukakis_tank.jpgNo, the straw that broke it for me was the ridiculous video clip of Dukakis riding around in a tank. That did it for a lot of folks, not just me. And, if you ask Dukakis himself, he’ll tell you that it was his debate peformance, when Bernie Shaw asked him the hypothetical rape question….and Dukakis’ response, which left many of us just shaking our heads.

Bernard Shaw, the moderator of the debate, asked Dukakis, “Governor, if Kitty Dukakis [his wife] were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?” Dukakis replied coolly, “No, I don’t, and I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life,” and explained his stance. During debate preparations, Dukakis’s campaign manager Susan Estrich had prepared an answer highlighting the candidate’s empathy for victims of crime, noting the beating of his father in a robbery and the death of his brother in a hit-and-run car accident. Many observers felt Dukakis’ answer lacked the passion one would expect of a person discussing a loved one’s rape and death. Many — including the candidate himself — believe that this, in part, cost Dukakis the election, as his poll numbers dropped from 49% to 42% nationally that night. source

In my opinion, it is going to take more than this decade-old bad decision by Huckabee to sink his candidacy in 2008. At the time, he thought he was making the right decision, and many people, on both the left and the right believed that Dumond was not guilty. Not having the benefit of hindsight, Huck made a decision that if he could change, he most certainly would.

Update: Huckabee lays out the details

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, Adam’s Blog, Right Truth, The Pet Haven Blog, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Chuck Adkins, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Celebrity Smack, The Pink Flamingo, CommonSenseAmerica, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.


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