Perspective

Freedom From Religion

As the presidential campaign came to a close, religious questions sneaked surreptitiously into the national debate.  The Democrats had an easy target: Governor Romney’s unusual religious affiliation, though since few Democrats know anything about any religion, particularly Christianity, they found it difficult to distinguish Mormonism from other not-quite-so-strange semi-Christian sects.  Watching national commentators fumbling for words, I was reminded of the media reaction to Jimmy Carter’s declaration that he was a born-again Christian.  The national dailies and weeklies actually had to run major stories explaining what the phrase meant.

Some evangelicals responded by changing their position on the LDS.  The people who run Billy Graham’s website gave a good indication of their real priorities when they removed a page that placed Mormonism on a list of cults.  Like too many American believers, they are more Christianist than Christian—that is, they adhere to an ideology that equates the Christian Faith with a political agenda, in this case the GOP platform.  Democratic Christianists, by contrast, have made Marx the greatest doctor of their church.

Since the best defense is a good offense, Republican Christianists have gone on the attack, excoriating President Obama and his party for shifting the terms of the Church/state debate from...

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