No Way to Pick a Nominee

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Regarding Harold Meyerson's Dec. 19 op-ed column, "Hard-Liners for Jesus":

Lost amid the hype about Mitt Romney's religion speech and Mike Huckabee's surge is a story about a church that, unlike most contemporary Christian organizations, does not participate in partisan politics. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church, has stated for years that it does not "endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms." The Mormon Church also does not allow its church buildings to be used for partisan political purposes; nor does it tell its members whom to vote for.

When many evangelical leaders are eager to blur the line between church and state by endorsing candidates and tacitly (and sometimes explicitly) telling their followers whom to vote for, and when many churches allow candidates to use their pulpits, it is refreshing to know that at least one church is honoring a principle established by the Founding Fathers by keeping religion out of politics. As a practicing Mormon, I am a product of this political neutrality. (By the way, I will not be voting for Mr. Romney.)




In her Dec. 19 op-ed column, Ruth Marcus asked "Who Elected Iowa?" in the course of explaining the bizarre caucus procedure there. For the answer, she quite properly looked in the mirror. Well, peeked into it, anyway. The media, by focusing on Iowa and New Hampshire and drawing life-or-death conclusions from the results, have turned candidate selection into a virtual TV game show, featuring candidates (for example, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama) who are colorful if not necessarily qualified.

Once the parties gave us such politicians as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson -- men larger than life. For the past 40 years, we've had -- well, candidates of somewhat lesser stature. Is there another way?


Nantucket, Mass.

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