Ralph Kostant's latest submission, on the Mitt Romney Atlantic article, follows below. I will be posting myself on that subject a little later. In fact, I've been meaning to post about the Atlantic article for several days, but as Steve Alen used to say, I had a suden attack of employment.
Here are Ralph's thoughts:
The current issue of the Atlantic Monthly has an article on Mitt Romney, called "The Holy Cow Candidate," which provoked a great deal of discussion on the Hugh Hewitt Show this afternoon. I thought that the article was quite informative, but did a double-take when the author asks Mitt Romney whether he wears temple garments. Why is that of any more legitimate interest to the voting public than whether Senator Joseph Lieberman wears ritual fringes? To his credit, Governor Romney refused to respond.As a fifth-generation Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake City and has been very active in politics there (although I've been gone for 24 years) I have some thoughts. Check back later for more on that, and on Mitt Romney.
Given my personal experience with members of the Mormon faith from childhood on, I find the assumption that membership in the Mormon Church would affect one's political positions to be very questionable. While today many people may associate Mormon politicians with Republican conservatism, growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, in a New Deal Democratic Jewish family, my Mormon friends and acquaintaces generally were also liberal Democrats in what then was largely a conservative Republican city.
The leading family of Mormon politicians in Arizona were the Udalls, all Democrats, including Stewart Udall, who served as JFK's Secretary of the Interior, and Congressman Morris "Mo" Udall. Today two Udall cousins serve in Congress, Mark Udall (CO), the son of Mo, and Tom Udall (NM), the son of Stewart. Biographical information available online on Mark Udall identifies him as a Mormon. They are both liberal Democrats.
My father was a party-loyal Democrat, but he greatly respected Michigan Governor George Romney, who was a liberal Republican, and a champion of Civil Rights laws. In the early 60's, George Romney was the arch-enemy to Goldwater Conservatives.
In short, in my view, the fact of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a poor predictor of political positions.