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Neuhaus on Political Bigotry

December 9th, 2007 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Joe Carter's post tonight reminded me of this quote by Father Richard Neuhaus, one of the smartest men in America, on the question of whether a person who won't vote for a Mormon is a bigot:

I was earlier taken to task for writing that someone who declines to vote for Mr. Romney because he is a Mormon is not necessarily guilty of the civic sin of intolerance. I then explained that, in making that argument, I was not agreeing with those who oppose him because he is a Mormon. Rather, I would simply note the undeniable fact that a substantial number of Americans, mainly evangelical Christians, believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a false religion, and that a Mormon in the White House would give a substantial boost to that religion, with the consequence of imperiling the salvation of souls. We may not agree with that view, but to deride it as bigotry is itself a form of bigotry. Those who condemn that view are saying, in effect, that politics trumps religion. For the very reasons that Mr. Romney affirms in his speech, most Americans reject that claim.

Indeed, except I still wonder whether Mitt Romney himself adheres to the view that "politics trumps religion."
(HT:  Justin Taylor, where I first saw it)

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.