So just how Mormon is Mitt Romney?
Religion Dispatches blogger Joanna Brooks posed that question to her Twitter followers at @askmormongirl in response to Florida evangelical Christian leader John Stemberger's published statement that his issues with presidential candidate Romney are not "that he is a Mormon. The issue is that he wasn't Mormon enough. If he had been consistent with traditional Mormon values his whole career, that would make me feel a lot more comfortable about where he's coming from."
Brooks, for one, was not convinced.
"Mitt Romney. Not Mormon enough. Yeah, right," she wrote in her Religion Dispatches blog.
"Stemberger's ludicrous assessment of Mitt Romney's Mormonism inspired an 18-hour-stream of 'Mitt is so Mormon jokes' on Twitter," she wrote, crediting Matthew Workman and Jerilyn Pool for most of the best lines. She shared them with her Religion Dispatches readers, with the aside that "for some of these, you may have to be Mormon to understand." For example:
"Mitt is so Mormon he'd call 19-year-old boys to serve as U.S. ambassadors."
"Mitt is so Mormon he'll make the income tax a flat 10 percent and collect fast offerings to fund Medicaid."
"Mitt is so Mormon he doesn't do Pilates, he does golden Pilates."
"Mitt is so Mormon, he will actually hang the Constitution up by a thread, just so he can save it."
"Mitt Romney is so Mormon that he's afraid to join the Tea Party because of Doctrine & Covenants 89."
"Mitt is so Mormon he'd ask the Elders Quorum to move him into the White House."
"Mitt is so Mormon he thinks Harvard is the BYU of the east."
"Mitt is so Mormon that if he got elected all of the White House Pyrex 9x13 pans would have a piece of masking tape on them with his name written in Sharpie."
"Mitt is so Mormon that he's going to rename the 101st Airborne as 'The Stripling Warriors.'"
Brooks' post on Religion Dispatches even inspired a few additional one-liners from readers who commented on the post, including this one: "Mitt is so Mormon that his Green Government initiatives all involve Jell-O."
SPEAKING OF MITT ROMNEY AND MORMONISM, a recent Daily Caller column by Matt Lewis explores how Romney's political views on social issues – especially with regards to caring for the poor and needy – may have been shaped by his experiences serving as a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.39 comments on this story
"Despite Romney's protestations that he would keep his faith separate from his politics, we are all (to one degree or another) a product of our experiences," Lewis writes. "As such, it's probably fair to assume serving as a Mormon bishop for three years might well have impacted Romney's worldview, with respect to providing aid. This makes Romney unique."
The column outlines some of those "unique" experiences and suggests that "some conservatives might conclude that this background of dispensing church welfare encourages a kind of 'compassionate conservative' streak that went out of vogue after George W. Bush."