Wall Street Journal columnist reminds readers: 'No religious test'

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  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    als Atheist | 7:14 a.m. Oct. 11, 2011
    Provo, UT
    "I encourage all LDS to ask this question, with sincerity and real intent: Would yuou vote for a candidate who is openly an atheist? If not, then you are hypocritically applying a religious test for public office."

    I don't have a religious test for office. My rational for supporting any candidate is the following:

    First, does the candidate have a history of supporting something higher than oneself, and how do they demonstrate it? It can be religious action, community service, or some other way of serving others. If the individual shows no desire to serve or is out for themselves, they don't make the cut.

    Second, is the individual fairly close to my political views or at least closer than the competition?

    Third, If all things are created equal and there is an imbalance of political power (Republicans vs Democrats), I vote for the political entity that is not in power. If one political party holds all power, we get stupid legislation. There is no counter-balance for stupidity.

    I like the political process to involve fighting like cats-and-dogs. It is the sound of democracy.

  • Dee J Portland, OR
    Oct. 12, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    I agree with those posters who advocate that a candidate's religious beliefs and views are every bit as relevant to an individual's decision as whether or not to vote for that candidate as any other qualification or personal attribute.

    What bothers me is that evangelical leaders consistently and systematically misrepresent the LDS church's beliefs. The true test of whether one is Christian rests on whether they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and redeemer, and the extent to which they follow his teachings of "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you;" and "Come, follow me." I see no distinction between how a devout Southern Baptist or a devout LDS person would put these beliefs effectively into practice.

    Regarding the "cult" allegation, it's ridiculous on its face. Members of the LDS church are found in every aspect of public life in America, from sports to academia to business to politics, from conservative to liberal, from BYU to Harvard. Our involvement in the public square belies a "cult" label.

    We've come a long way from the days of BH Roberts, Reed Smoot and Frank Cannon.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    Evengelicals who can't vote for someone because of their religion should recluse themselves from voting. The constitution forbids a religious test for the holding of public office.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    A Guy With A Brain | 12:02 p.m. Oct. 11, 2011
    Enid, OK
    The article mentioned research showing that liberals are not likely to vote for an LDS Presidential candidate.

    Gee, like that would never happen, would it?....


    Senator Harry Reid is the highest and most politically powerful Mormon is America.

    Liberals and Democrats voted into office.

    Conservatives, Republicans and fellow Mormons have threated his very life.

    BTW - If a Mormon is ever elected President of the United States, he would most likely be a Democrat. [ala, JFK the Catholic or almost Joe Lieberman the Jew. - Democrats don't make religion a litmus test for President, that stictly a GOP thing, and watching the Republicans rip Mitt Romney apart is seriously breaking my bleeding heart.]

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    @ J-TX: Your "proof" consists of a blog mentioning a blog that mentions a blog where a poster made a comment about taking violent action - no context, no indication what the responses to the comment were, just a string of she said he said they said....

    I find it very interesting that there are all these claims of attacks and violence but there is not a single primary (i.e. direct news) source that has any information about such an event taking place -

    just 3rd and 4th and 5th hand accounts.

    Provide information about a news source - even one that is only semi-reputable - otherwise, it is all just fear-mongering and upsupported hearsay.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    So, it is okay to vote issues based on your religious beliefs, but it is not okay to vote for a candidate based on your - or their - religious beliefs?

    And this is supposed to make sense?

    As other posters have pointed out, the Constitution is about what the Government can or cannot do - it in no way prohibits citizens from voting for or against someone based on religious beliefs.

    As for Liberals not voting for a Mormon - supposedly Conservatives won't vote for Mormons because they are "not Christian," but what is it that Liberals take issue with? Is it a general "their Mormon so they're bad" thing like the Conservatives, or is it a more specific thing like, "Utah has really wacky liquor laws and if the President is Mormon the entire country will have wacky liquor laws"? In other words, is it a general "They're Mormon" or a specific "They're Mormon so ..." type of thing?

    I realize expecting full details from the Wall Street Journal may be a stretch, but in this case I really think the vague mention and lack of details is hiding something....

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    The article mentioned research showing that liberals are not likely to vote for an LDS Presidential candidate.

    Gee, like that would never happen, would it?....

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    People on all sides need to be informed about their candidates' political views, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, or any other reason. To vote AGAINST a candidate based solely on faith, is the equivalent of voting FOR a candidate based solely on the basis of gender or ethnicity.

    The reason why government is such a mess today is because of this one reason-- people have voted on appearances and associations for years, not on the hard facts of what those individuals represent.

    Get informed people! and vote for or against Mitt (or any other individual) based on their ideology, not the group they belong to.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    'Google this headline. Plenty of Evidence for you in this article and the associated reads at the bottom.' - J-TX | 10:00 a.m. Oct. 11, 2011

    Then you should be able to present some of them.


    If you have to rely on a Google search to make your argument...

    you don't have one.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    als Atheist
    maybe we have. there is no test.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    What the Constitution says is largely irrelevant, because the Constitution places limits on what GOVERNMENT can do, not what people actually do. Obama was slammed for his beliefs, Kennedy for his. It remains for the candidate to convince the electorate that his/her religious beliefs, religiosity or lack thereof should or should not be a factor in each voter's decision.

    And if religion isn't a factor, please explain why so many conservatives in Utah support Romney, who is actually quite moderate.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    @ Ranch Hand:

    According to DN rules, I cannot give you links, but you asked for evidence. Google this headline. Plenty of Evidence for you in this article and the associated reads at the bottom.

    "Unhinged losers: Prop. 8 opponents threaten Mormons and Catholics"

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    And yet many mormons really know nothing about Romney; they will vote for him simply because he is a mormon. That is all they need to know when it comes to making voting decisions. Just look at how they vote in Utah State and local elections! Mormon good; anything else not so good.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    I'm quite shocked at the level of constitutional ignorance among experienced politicos and journalists, such as the Chief Editorial Writer of the Wall Street Journal who authored this piece.

    According to the Constitution, there can be no religious test for legal entry into the field of Presidential candidates. Such a test has not been made, and not a single person has suggested that anyone be legally excluded from running based on religion. Not even Jeffress, despite an incredibly bizarre belief that 1st Amendment rights only apply those he deems as "true Christians."

    After entering the field, every candidate must compete with their experience, ideas, and values. Every voter certainly has full constitutional rights to give ANY proportion of weight to ANY aspect of a candidate, including economic philosophy, foreign affairs expertise, height, good looks, athletic loyalties, right or left-handedness, or RELIGION.

    I'd never vote for an atheist, even if politically aligned, because to me it's tremendously important that our President invokes the blessings of divine providence for our country. Still, I believe atheists should be legally allowed to run for the office, because it's clearly unconstitutional to exclude them.

    Some voting motivations are ridiculous, but not unconstitutional.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    'Wall Street Journal columnist reminds readers: 'No religious test' - Title

    Excuse me?

    Not 7 months ago...

    *'Trump on Obama's Birth Certificate: 'Maybe It Says He's a Muslim' - Fox Nation - 03/30/11

    People were making an issue of President Obama, who was born in Hawaii and Christian...

    being a Muslim.

    And now, suddenly, making an issue of Romney's faith is now 'bad?'

    *'Fox News host: Romney not Christian' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 07/17/11

    To be clear, I agree that making the faith of a presidental canidate is a shame.

    I just find the Double Standard to conservative thinking offensive. As:

    *'President Obama's purported 'weird'-Mormon strategy against Mitt Romney will backfire, pundits say' - By Hal Boyd, Deseret News - 08/10/11

    *'Michele Bachmann's pastor on Mormonism' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar - DSNews - 09/06/11

    Michelle Bachmann and President Obama have said ZERO about Mitt Romney's religion.

    But the DSNews posted artcicles claiming they were 'going too.'

    Then, when Rick Perry's pastor makes an issue of it, suddenly, it is?

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again.

    The Deseret News has made more of an issue about Romney's faith than ANY of his opponents.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    It's a good thing all the haters and radicals are in the middle east...not in our America, where we have objective, thoughtful political discourse and where character, as well as ideology, elects our leaders.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    als Atheist,

    Great question. As your question concerns the appointment to a political office, it all depends on the person's political positions. I'm not opposed to voting for an atheist who represents my political views. If someone doesn't represent my political views, then I'm not inclined to vote for them, regardless of their religious preference.

    I find it interesting that people would ever look beyond political qualifications when making political decisions.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    If ones Religion shouldn't matter, why was there such a push to paint Obama as a Muslim?

    Obviously, many, probably MOST people consider religion before voting. Of course it matters.

    It's Human nature. And Religion does, in part, define a person.

    Seriously, would you vote for an Atheist, Jehovahs Witness, Muslim or a Scientologist?

    Be honest now.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    I'm convinced many "devout" politicians are really athiests anyway. We have no proof that these people are doing anything but taking advantage of truly religious people in with group identity.

    It's each americans reponsibility to uphold the constitution. If you are voting for someone simply because they say they are of your religion or voting against someone because they arn't then you are failing the constitution.

  • buttercup Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Mitt Romney will never win California or the south. His only base is other Mormons and the Eastern Establishment Money. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is the only GOP who could give a serious challenge to Obama. Think about it. Romney has the same political agenda as Obama, so it would be more of the same disaster.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    I encourage all LDS to ask this question, with sincerity and real intent:

    Would yuou vote for a candidate who is openly an atheist?

    If not, then you are hypocritically applying a religious test for public office.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    Nice in theory, but there is in fact a de facto religious test, particularly within the GOP. The Republicans make religion an issue. Candidates purport to represent that they know God's will (Mitt Romney just did it). In Utah, the underlying theme for 40 years has been that you can't be a good member of the Church and be a Democrat. So, if Republicans play with fire, then get burned by that same fire, well, too bad. You reap what you sow.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    "At the heart of the First Amendment is the freedom to participate in the political process regardless of faith. "

    "...the attacks on the property and livelihoods of LDS Church members during the 2008 campaign over California's Proposition 8 as examples of similar intolerance from the left."


    Isn't this just a bit hypocritical? First, that you CAN participate in the political process regardless of your faith, but you CAN'T participate in the political process if you are anti-Prop-8 and LDS involvement?

    Boycotts (attacks on the livelihood) are part of the Political Process. They are every bit as valid as Faith.

    And - please provide EVIDENCE that any "attacks on church property" were the work of the anti-Prop-8 crowd? (Note to writer: Protests in front of LDS temples are not "attacks").

  • David King Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    "If you were a Mormon, which would you consider the real threat to your liberty: what some Dallas Baptist says about your faith or organized attacks intended to intimidate and drive you off the public square?"

    As a Mormon, what I consider a real threat to my liberties are things like insurance mandates, taxpayer funded bailouts going to big banks, the Patriot Act, a "kill" list of Americans that the president decides can be targeted without due process, the possibility that I could be drafted to fight in a war that Congress never declares, the secret workings of the Federal Reserve, national ID cards, my voice being drowned out by corporations and billionaires, and higher taxes to pay for it all.

    It's great that we have just discovered the Constitution to defend Mitt Romney's right to run for office, but a look at Romney's positions on the things I mentioned doesn't exactly reveal a Constitutional devotee.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 5:19 a.m.

    Compare how Anderson Cooper treated this "Mormonism is a cult" guy compared to how Fox News did. Cooper attacked him; Fox News enabled him. The liberal media is treating Mormons a lot better than the conservative media here.

    Of course Jon Huntsman gave the best response, calling this guy point-blank "a moron." "The fact that some moron can stand up and make a comment like that first of all, its outrageous."

    If only the media (and especially the conservative media) were that upfront and direct.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 4:26 a.m.

    I have noticed that extremes on both ends of conservatives and liberals tend to be ignorant on what the Constitution actually says. The more extreme the more ignorant.

    You have to read and accept the whole thing, you cannot pick and chose the parts you like. If there are parts that you want to change then there is.riverbed for it. Don't stop recognizing an amendment just because you disagree.