I’ve been struck by how little Romney’s Mormon faith has entered into pundit opining on the general election campaign. Liberals in general think someone’s religion is their own business, take the separation of church and state pretty much for granted, and thus despite a very few exceptions have left Romeny largely alone about this. I entirely agree that’s been the good and right thing to do and only bring it up now because it’s far too late in the race for any discussion of Romney’s religion to have any impact.
But does anyone for a moment think the same would have held true if a Mormon had been running as the Democratic nominee and the rightwing noise machine had to decide whether to be nasty or nice?
Not a chance of it. Look at how the hard right has treated their persistent fable that Obama is a secret Muslim. We’d have been treated to endless questions about how Romney’s faith impacts his politics and about whether his status as an ordained Bishop meant he’d be trying to serve two masters if elected. There’s no way Billy Graham would have cut Mormonism from his list of “false prophet” cults – instead he and every other rightwing evangelist would be asking loudly if membership in such a cult meant the nominee was unfit for the office.
In this, as in so many thing, liberals may be too nice but they’re also on the moral high ground.