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LDS public affairs rep responds to evangelical writer's claim that voting for Mormons promotes 'dangerous religion'

Published: Tuesday, June 7 2011 1:00 p.m. MDT

In a new Washington Post column published on the paper's website this morning, the head of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Michael Otterson, responded to evangelical writer Warren Cole Smith's recent article, which claimed that voting for Mitt Romney, or any Mormon, "promotes a false and dangerous religion."

In response, Otterson composed an open letter to the evangelical writer. The letter's tone was cordial, and Otterson invited Smith to visit with him in Salt Lake City.

"I admit," Otterson wrote, "I'm struggling just a tad with your logic that the very fact of being a Mormon disqualifies a person from high public office. That would be news to Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has served his country and constituents for 34 years. And to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader — one of the most powerful positions in government."

Otterson repeatedly pointed to strong relationships between evangelicals and Mormons.

"Mormons across the country live side by side with evangelicals as neighbors, work associates and friends," he wrote. "There is much that they share. And by the way, despite my clear disagreement with some of your theology, I would have absolutely no problem voting for an evangelical who was in every way qualified to be president of the United States. ...

"It's time to overcome unfounded fears, to stop propounding them, and to start trying to understand each other better," Otterson wrote.

Read Otterson's full post here.

Email: hboyd@desnews.com

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