Praising Righteous Gentiles

February 8, 2008 | 20 comments
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Now would be a good time to publicly recognize the folks at Evangelicals for Mitt, Jay Sekulow, Hugh Hewitt, John Schroeder at the Article VI blog, Kathryn Lopez, Glendon, and many, many others who went very far towards damping sectarian strife and saving Mormons from lapsing into a kind of counter-prejudice against evangelicals and Catholics.

P.S. Yes, I know, ‘righteous gentile’ is passe’ and Not Done and all the rest. Too bad. It makes me laugh.

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20 Responses to Praising Righteous Gentiles

  1. David H. Sundwall on February 8, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Great point.

    There was a lot more good will shown towards Romney and the Church than ill.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

  2. pj on February 8, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I’m more interested in praising the Mormons who saw through a lot of Mitt’s pandering and self-interested maneuvering, and rejected him for this — and for his distasteful positions (as staked out during the campaign) on immigration, torture, and Gitmo.

    Mitt didn’t lose because he was Mormon. That’s a lame, self-pitying meme that ought to be dispensed with. He lost because he didn’t run as the business-savvy, moderate technocrat from MA; instead, he tried to run as the hardcore right-wing successor to GWB. People didn’t like him — not because he was Mormon, but because they perceived him as a phony and a liar.

    Whether he was actually these things is beside the point. His campaign allowed and often enabled these perceptions.

    It is certainly good to praise the non-Mormons who refused to reject Mitt simply because he’s a Mormon. But there really weren’t that many who did reject him for that reason.

    I’m far prouder of the Mormons who refused to support him simply because he’s a Mormon — far too many Mormons stuck with him out of blind tribal loyalty, which is just as bad as blind tribal hatred, in my opinion.

  3. mlu on February 8, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks, Adam–lots of friends out there.

  4. Jacob F on February 8, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    #2 – I liked him despite the fact that he was a Mormon and am not personally aware of anyone who “stuck with him out of blind tribal loyalty.”

    Also, I think you could make a strong argument (with no self pity involved!) that Romney did in fact lose one or more southern states because he is a Mormon.

    I admit, though, that every time I see a shot of Huckabee I think “1998 Southern Baptist Convention” and unkind feelings “well up” inside me. However, level-headed comments from the likes of Hewitt and Evangelicals for Mitt have helped to cool my own prejudices.

  5. Chris Laurence on February 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Hear hear! Lots of love to those friends.

  6. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    You’re out of line in this thread, PJ. Further comments will be removed.

  7. Jonathan Green on February 8, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Mitt Romney was the Republican candidate most consistently favored by A-list liberal bloggers, and not because they thought he would be the easiest candidate to beat. They thought he would be the best potential president (admittedly, out of what for them was a bad lot). For Josh Marshall and others, Romney’s religion didn’t disqualify him from the presidency because, you know, in America everybody has different religious views and stuff, so who cares if Mitt’s a Mormon? There is a strain of liberal religious tolerance that can work out quite well for Mormons.

  8. tona on February 8, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Don’t forget Get Religion, a perennial voice of sanity in a maelstrom of lousy coverage of people of faith – ours, and everyone else’s too.

  9. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I’m glad of tolerance wherever I find it, J. Green. There was quite a bit of nastiness towards Mormons on the left this campaign season so I was glad to see it being bucked.

  10. Peter LLC on February 8, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Would it be Inappropriate to suggest planting a tree for them?

  11. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Eccentrics are never inappropriate.

  12. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Tona, my impression was that at least one of the GetReligion bloggers, I think TMatt, was more or less opposed to Romney on religious grounds.

  13. Dave on February 8, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Yes, it is heartening how many influential voices, whether supporting Romney or some other candidate, urged voters to support or reject Romney on the basis of his record, policies, and persona, rather than on his religion. The saddest aspect of the primary season is that Huckabee would likely have received widespread support from Evangelicals even without the calculated swipes at Mormonism.

    So the effect of his rhetoric wasn’t to split votes that otherwise might have gone mostly to Romney — that would have happened anyway given his candidacy. His real effect was to legitimize conservative Republican and media badmouthing of Mormonism (for those who choose that approach). Which also opens the door to secular or sectarian badmouthing of any denomination or belief, including Evangelicals, in the general election and in future elections. Huckabee’s short-sighted tactic may boomerang back against Evangelicals sooner than they think.

  14. Ray on February 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Ditto, David’s #1.

  15. Ivan Wolfe on February 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    #12 – Adam Greenwood:

    tmatt tried very, very hard to be fair, though it was clear he was very, very opposed to Romney on religious grounds and resented any Mormon attempt to claim the label Christian and reject the label “cult.”

    However, he tried hard to be fair, and mostly succeeded. I think, in that, tmatt should be given credit.

  16. Seth R. on February 9, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Most of the Mormon coverage on GetReligion comes from Molly anyway Adam.

  17. kurt on February 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I think Hugh Hewitt did a better job of confronting anti-Mormonism head on than Mormons themselves did.

  18. Adam on February 11, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Yes, thank you to those who stood up against intolerance with little or nothing to gain from such actions. Thank you!

  19. Adam Greenwood on February 11, 2008 at 12:40 pm
  20. John Buffington on February 11, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Did I miss something?

    I visit this site occasionally and find it mostly uplifting, amusing, and enlightening.

    I find comment #6 to be puzzling.

    What exactly did PJ say that was so out of line and merited banishment?

    Was there a follow-up post that was more caustic?

    If not, I think that we need to acknowledge the right to disasgree in fairly strong terms. Anything I see in this post #2 strikes me as one person\’s opinion, which does not get remotely close to ad hominem attacks, insult, slander or whatever other reason you might have to censor further comment. He was a bit off topic, but not so much that I would banish him.

    I think Romney is ok; as a right-leaning economist he struck me as competent but he never frankly convinced me that he was the person I would support. I always felt that he was a bit too soft in his defense of some positions.

    For example, I wish he would have said: \”I believe that abortion, although repugnant, is sometimes necessary and accordingly, I cannot uniquely align with the \”no-abortion-under-any-circumstances crowd\” that calls themselves pro-life nor can I strictly align myself with the \”no-responsibility-ever-for-anything-we-might-do crowd\” that calls themsleves pro-choice.\” I think this would have created more support (inside and outside the Chuch)

    During his campaign, I saw a teeny bit of anti-LDS sentiment from the usual kooks abd cranks, but nothing out of the ordinary. No co-workers asked if I thought \”Jesus and Satan were brothers\”; none of my neighbors asked to see my \”magic underwear\”

    In short, life pretty much went on as it did before Romney was a candidate. I am not sure how much of this I would attribute to the Evangelicals for Mitt et al, or how much I would attribute to a growing maturity on the part of the electorate who view any anti-rantings as silly and off-base.

    [Ed.- If you want meta-discussion of editorial decisions, email adam at times and seasons dot org The comments threads is not the place]

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