On the Other Hand


Focus on the Family’s new online candidate guide is must-see for anyone following religion and the campaign. As Michael Scherer points out on Time Magazine’s Swampcast blog, the thing amounts to a kick in the rear for Mike Huckabee and a covert endorsement of Mitt Romney. (McCain gets serious criticism on campaign finance, though moderated by praise on abortion.) Apparently, Focus added some praise for Huckabee after catching hell for stinting on it–and that’s what you’ll see. In any event, this is pure three-legged-stool analysis, with Romney anointed as the only candidate on three legs. To me, however, the most interesting statement comes at the end of the Romney clip, where Tom Minnery, Focus Action’s senior vice president of government and public policy, says, “Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith, and I appreciate his acknowledging that.” I know of no such acknowledgment, and I can’t imagine Romney making it. This can only be some fancy extrapolation from some Romney concession that Mormons do not believe the same things in the same way that traditional Christians do. Just as with Richard Land’s suggestion that Mormonism be considered the fourth Abrahamic religion, this represents an effort to persuade evangelicals that Romney is acceptable because he is not flying under false (i.e. Christian) colors. Unlike the Landian proposal, however, this is, so far as I can see, dishonest. But who knows what kind of effect this will have on its target audience?