MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell was recently cross examined by syndicated radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt regarding statements O’Donnell made about Mormonism as a panelist on The McLaughlin Group. Here’s part of what O’Donnell said on McLaughlin:
On “Big Love” the HBO series, that has been a real headache for Romney. Here’s the problem. He dare not discuss his religion. And he fools people like Pat Buchanan who should know better. This was the worst speech, the worst political speech of my lifetime, because this man stood there and said to you, “this is the faith of my fathers.” And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech, realize that the faith of his father is a racist faith. As of 1978, it was an officially racist faith. And for political convenience, in 1978, it switched, and it said okay, black people can be in this Church. He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black, because in Heaven, they turned away from God in this demented, scientology-like notion of what was going on in Heaven before the Creation of the Earth.
Hugh Hewitt accuses O’Donnell of anti-Mormon bigotry for those words. Hewitt defended Romney’s allegiance to the “faith of [his] fathers” on the grounds that just because Romney is a Mormon doesn’t necessarily imply an endorsement on his part of everything his church teaches, in the same way Ted Kennedy or Rudy Giuliani are Catholics yet don’t abide by everything their church teaches.
There is however, a major difference, between the way in which Kennedy or Giuliani are Catholic and the way in which Mitt Romney is Mormon. The Catholic Church is on record as opposing politicians who profess to be Catholic while disregarding the Church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality. Show me one instance where the Mormon Church has ever declared Mitt Romney or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outside the bounds of its teachings on any issue.