The EFM Feature

…according to Frank Cagle, the editor of Knoxville Magazine, that “not all evangelicals have a problem with the Mormon candidate.” Absolutely right! Here’s more:

Mormons are conservative in their beliefs, strong on family values and would seem to be compatible for evangelicals. But there are evangelical Christians, especially in the South, who aren’t sure Mormons are even Christians.
We are in the 21st century, 46 years beyond the anti-Catholic rhetoric leveled at Kennedy, so it may seem hard to believe a person’s faith can be a disqualifier for public office. Perhaps Romney will do for Mormonism what Kennedy did for Catholics. The Times poll was a generic question about a Mormon candidate. The results might be different if you were polling about Romney specifically after he has been exposed to the electorate in a political campaign.
Earlier this year the Republicans had a gathering in Memphis of potential presidential candidates and a straw poll was conducted. Bill Frist, with home court advantage, won the poll. But the almost unknown Romney, from Massachusetts, finished second. John McCain finished fifth.
There has been very little reporting on the significance of Romney’s second place finish in a straw poll in the South. There has also been little mention he accomplished it by organizing West Tennessee evangelicals. Evangelicals supporting Romney brought busloads of students from Union College to attend the event. They gave Romney his good showing.
So it is obvious not all evangelicals have a problem with the Mormon candidate. Romney is the X factor in the 2008 Republican primary. It may be Republicans will have more trouble overcoming their innate prejudice against a candidate from Massachusetts than one who’s a Mormon.

Read the whole thing.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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