The truth of the matter is that if you don’t believe that a Mormon would make a good president because he is trying to push a Mormon agenda, you don’t have to. There is no secret Mormon mafia forcing you to make that choice. However, if that is the primary reason for your decision, you are a bigot. Do not claim otherwise.
As an example, take a look at these three essays. In all cases, the authors are attacking a caricature of Mormonism. My thought is that they recently had a screening of Trapped By the Mormons and these three bigots took it a little too seriously. Actually, they are all three Christian pastors with radio shows and blog privileges at a conservative blog site, whining about the fact that they are not allowed to be bigots about Mormons.
I’m going to keep using the ugly term, because that describes these men. I am sure that they are great fathers and kindly neighbors. They may even, to turn a O’Donnell phrase, have ‘many Mormon friends.’ Even bigots have to be nice to someone sometime.
They may object to being called a bigot (in fact, all three do). They may simply say that they are objecting to the conflict in theology between Evangelical Protestant Christianity and Mormonism. If that was what they were doing, I wouldn’t necessarily be happy, but I would be fine with it. Instead, they are portraying us as conspiring cultists, looking to dominate the politics of the world. This is not the first time I’ve heard the Protocols of the Elders of Zion applied to Mormons, but it is among the ugliest.
What irks me most about this sort of snide innuendo and is that it is being published in relatively reputable arenas. I would expect this sort of nonsense on anti-Mormon websites, what is it doing on a mainstream political site? Why is one of the finer Republican candidates subject to this sort of smear by conservatives?
The appeals to common conservative Christian common sense they make are deeply insulting. They are calling on a kind of populist bigotry. “If we can’t look down on the Mormons anymore, who will we look down on? If we can’t call them a cult, who’s next? The Christian Scientists? The Jehovah’s Witnesses?” Why can’t they acknowledge the differences without making us into an “Anti-Christian religion.” Why do they have to pretend we are monsters? I’d ask, “if you prick us, do we not bleed?” but I don’t want to give these fellows ideas.
Ken Jennings has come out and said that if it takes Romney losing to quiet all the mainstream anti-Mormonism, he’s fine with that. I am not. I am tired of smiling politely while people make jokes about multiple wives or angels. I am tired of making strudel. I’m going to call bigots bigots when I meet them, online or otherwise, and, if necessary, I’ll explain why it applies using small words and charts.
If someone asks if a Mormon could be president, the only appropriate is “why not?” and a withering stare.