I recount this simply to remind us that religious liberty depends on religious tolerance, and injecting sectarianism into politics has an ugly history. There are certain civic wounds that one doesn’t want to reopen.
This is a popular sentiment. It sounds better in the abstract. But to take one counterexample, suppose a zealous Muslim ran for POTUS. Should American voters not take his religious outlook into consideration?
One of the basic problems which this article ignores is a suppressed premise. For tolerance is, or ought to be, a two-way street. It’s counterproductive for American voters to be tolerant of other religions if other religious don’t reciprocate their tolerance. It’s silly to say a voter shouldn’t allow his religious outlook to affect his politics if the candidate’s religious outlook will affect his politics.
Of course, Mormonism isn’t Islam. But that’s the point. We need to be able to draw reasonable distinction where there really are significant differences, rather than treating all religious alike even though different religious are unalike in various ways.
We also have Romney attempting to quash legitimate discussion over the nature of Mormonism, as if that’s simply off-limits. This is the same rhetoric of intimidation that the homosexual lobby uses, as well as the Muslim lobby. That, itself, is one less reason to vote for Romney.