The Corner

A Mormon in the White House

Damon Linker raises the alarm (TNR again, sub. req’d). He makes the point that under some circumstances, a citizen might have to weigh the theological beliefs of a political candidate against him. As an abstract point, that is correct. Linker may also be correct in warning that the beliefs associated with Mormonism could, under certain circumstances, pose a particular danger. But as he also points out, to debate these matters at a high level of abstraction obscures more than it reveals. And when we come down from those heights, we can see that Linker’s article is just more secularist hysteria. E.g.:

Does Romney believe that the president of the Mormon Church is a genuine prophet of God? If so, how would he respond to a command from this prophet on matters of public policy? And, if his faith would require him to follow this hypothetical command, would it not be accurate to say that, under a President Romney, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would truly be in charge of the country–with its leadership having final say on matters of right and wrong?

Well, no, it wouldn’t be accurate. For one thing–and it’s no small thing, either–no U.S. president, whatever his beliefs, is “in charge of the country.” Did Linker have no editor?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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