Re: Hugh's Column

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jan 16, 2007 7:29 AM

I just read Hugh's Human Events column, and found myself generally agreeing with him.  Specifically, I agree that condoning an attack on one religion opens the door to an attack on all religion.  However, for the sake of argument, I wanted to make three points that, in my estimation, weren't given the attention they deserve (maybe they will be in the book?):

1.  While Jacob Weisberg's column stepped over the line, it is certainly possible for an unbiased political analyst to predict that "the voters" won't accept a Mormon President.  For example, one might argue that South Carolina voters will reject Romney.  Making this argument doesn't make a political prognosticator a bigot any more than predicting Geraldine Ferarro would lose her debate to George H.W. Bush would make one a misogynist.  While predictions may or may not come true, predictions should be philosophically neutral. 

2.  When an American steps into the voting booth, he or she can (and will) cast their ballot based on any criteria they choose.  Some decisions are made wisely.  A voter , for example, might decide to vote on candidate A because she has more experience than candidate B.  But some votes are cast for ridiculous reasons, too (a  voter, for example, might vote for Mitt Romney merely because he is "handsome").  My point is that voters have the right to vote for -- or against a candidate -- for any reason they choose (even if it is a reason that you and I might find unsettling).

3.  Generally speaking, a persons' theology -- if they are devout -- will naturally influence their political philosophy.   And most conservatives would agree that a candidate's political philosophy is the primary criteria for which voters should judge them.  Now, it just so happens that the Mormon religion tends to (in my estimation, at least) lead one to adopt a conservative political philosophy.  But not all religions are the same.  So my question is: Is it always wrong for the voters to consider religion when deciding for whom to vote?  Isn't that just one of many factors that an educated voter would consider?

Again, I generally agree with Hugh's column, but raise these points for the sake of argument and discussion ...