The Mormon Question

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If any of you guys are up for it, I'd be interested in your take on voting for a Mormon for president. Here's how Jacob Weisburg makes his case in Slate:

I wouldn't vote for someone who truly believed in the founding whoppers of Mormonism. The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni, unearthed a book of golden plates buried in a hillside in Western New York in 1827. The plates were inscribed in "reformed" Egyptian hieroglyphics—a nonexistent version of the ancient language that had yet to be decoded. If you don't know the story, it's worth spending some time with Fawn Brodie's wonderful biography No Man Knows My History. Smith was able to dictate his "translation" of the Book of Mormon first by looking through diamond-encrusted decoder glasses and then by burying his face in a hat with a brown rock at the bottom of it. He was an obvious con man. Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don't want him running the country.

Someone like Hugh Hewitt would argue that if evangelicals reject Mitt Romney on the sole ground of his religion, we've thrown out any consistent defense when the same is done against evangelicals. But this seems overly pragmatic. Leaving pragmatism and even political positions to the side, does Weisburg make a legitimate point?
Posted December 31, 2006 @ 10:50 PM by Justin Taylor

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