This is not a religious diary, its not intended to get you to be sympathetic to Mormons from a religious or political perspective. Pay attention though, you may learn something from this Perry Supporter.
You may or may not have had personal associations with a Mormon in your life... I have, I am one. I was raised in Utah (there's a lot of Mormons there), I have lived in several states in my 31 years on earth and have had associations with people of all faiths, with a myriad of diverse backgrounds in both religion and politics. Pushing aside arguments of bias, I have no problems telling others that when a Mormon lives by the tenets of their faith they are good citizens, good neighbors, dedicated servants of Jesus Christ(as our doctrine instructs), and a morally virtuous people. I also find that to be true of most people who live by the peaceful tenets of their faith. I make the "peaceful" distinction as throughout history religious zealots of many faiths have utilized religious dogma for their politics and when politics are exhausted, they have utilized their dogma for justifying unjust warfare, tyranny, and/or terrorism.
I am a conservative. I believe in Liberty. I believe that God founded this nation, and through the chosen vessels of our founding fathers, this nation was formed to be a shining city on a hill. I believe that the Constitution of our nation is an inspired rule of law debated, written, and signed, majorly, by virtuous men of God. I believe this specific rule of law has the single most unifying and liberating effect for freedom than any other nation organized on earth and under God. For all my ideology in American Politics, whether popular or unpopular, my personal faith shapes my views, and helps me to make decisions in my life. Judge or Judge not... I know where I stand by what I know.
You may have heard that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr are also Mormons. I can confirm, they are, by everything I've ever been taught to identify an "Active" Mormon. Media memes aside... They're Mormon. Not all Mormons are aligned with every doctrine, thought, revelation, speculation or assumption... for the same reason that general Christianity has well over 1000 identified sectarian interpretive distinct denominations in the U.S. alone. I assume there are distinctions because everybody is learning and experiencing life at their own pace and in their own way. It is clear to me though, that both Romney and Huntsman are aligned with the culture and distinguished doctrines of the religion that I myself practice, and yet... If you put me in the room with either of them, I think I would be in vehement disagreement with them on several issues when it comes to politics, which may or may not raise my blood pressure and cause me to say unpleasant things to them.
It's not an indictment of their personal character, and I don't condemn them in any degree of a religious nature. I don't think of them as "bad Mormons"* because I may disagree with their politics on some issues or with their record or their explanation of their records. I don't feel that I need to question their integrity solely because I disagree with their purview, or interpretation of the cause and effect of events, ideas, or policies that they have driven as governors or in the private sector. Ideas have merit when they are implemented and sustained with a desired result. I don't have to question their integrity simply because I disagree with their desired results. I do reserve the right to criticize the idea, and dissent by more than conscience by my vote, and every degree of influence I may have on the votes of others.
I have been a member of Redstate since January/February 2008.** I came here as a Romney supporter back then (give me a break, I was 27 at the time, and was naive enough to assume Romney was a conservative, because he said so). Redstate is a wonderful community. I know of no other website on the web that provides a respectful conservative atmosphere where the members are able to contribute to the content and the discussion and are able to freely debate without bullying from site moderators (in spite of what the many of the banned may tell you, they were all banned for crossing the line too many times). I enjoy this community and all of its benefits, and I hope to continue my association with it.
If you're still reading this please allow me to elaborate on the title.
With each GOP debate this year, and really ever since I've been on this site, comments have been made about the "Mormonism" factor for Romney, and sometimes Huntsman. It doesn't really bother me if their Mormonism(or mine for that matter) bothers you enough for you to not vote for them. That is YOUR liberty in this great nation. I would defend anyone's right to make decisions by the dictates of their own conscience. In my view, we all have to live by the consequences of our decisions, and sometimes we all may have to live by the consequences of others decisions. Which is why we have a rule of law, and we should always respect it, even if we don't respect the common fool's inability to choose the right.
So what is the Giant "Mormon" Elephant in the room for me?
I am calling upon Romney and Huntsman supporters that are whining about whether or not the "Mormon" factor may hurt them, to cease and desist with these types of diatribes. It is what it is folks... deal with it. As a Mormon I deal with it (and I'm not a politician), and I do it precisely because I'm a Mormon, and I believe what I believe.
As for those who care to bastardize my religious views with sweeping generalizations, I will continue to call you out for your ignorance. Seriously, is it so hard to just ask a Mormon to clarify something for you rather than nullify anything relevant you have to say by the nature of your embarrassingly erroneous statements about our beliefs? Just Sayin'.
*I don't even think that about Harry Reid, although I think his politics are sorely misguided, and I'm curious if he plans to repent in this life for his role in Obamacare.
**I'm not sure ever since Management had Neil remove the "member since" feature to prevent dogpiling of new members that don't get the culture of this site, and step into "it" with the wrong comment.