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Romney's Dilemma

As for Mormons being uniformly right-wing, consider the existence of the Mormon Democratic Congressional Caucus, whose members include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Tom Udall of New Mexico, and Eni Faleomavaega, the delegate from American Samoa.

Perhaps because I am Catholic and liberal, I find myself drawn to a defense of Romney's faith. Mormons are facing prejudices similar to those that Catholics and Jews have confronted, and it is, if I may use the term, anti-American to have religious tests of any kind for public office.

The odd thing is that Romney may find that the liberals he routinely bashes on the campaign trail are his best allies when it comes to combating religious prejudice -- and liberals should feel obligated to stand up for the political rights of Mormons, including Romney.

To this end, Romney should give not "the Kennedy speech" but his own account of the religious question. He needs to explain how he can fairly ask that we not hold his faith against him, even as he insists that religious people should vote for him because of the values his faith has taught him. Mormonism should not be an issue. Consistency is another matter.

postchat@aol.com


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