Where's the Outrage, Evangelicals?

the candidates (original) plus their
USVA denominational emblems
I don't understand why more conservative evangelicals aren't outraged by this presidential election. Out of the four men on the two major party tickets, only one of them is a Protestant - Barack Obama! Romney is a Mormon and Ryan and Biden are Catholics: The President whose faith and origins so many on the religious right have questioned is actually the only candidate in their theological corner! Look, I've freely admitted I'm an atheist, but having been raised a Protestant, even I am a little outraged by the lack of representation in this election. Over half of American adults are Protestants, and I'm sure it's an even larger proportion among Republicans. If conservative evangelicals are so deeply defined by their religion, why haven't I heard of more of them up in arms over the Republican nominees?

Mormon Temple in SLC (source)
If forced to make an assessment of the theology and dogma the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I would have to call the LDS pretty heretical. I know heresy isn't a common word these days, but it fits. Just read this article, (from a website whose purpose is to defend Mormonism), or watch this cartoon, which is very entertaining. No serious Protestant American, whether Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, or non-denominational, could see in Mormonism a religion identical to theirs. Just think if Mitt Romney were homosexual: Sure, some Republicans would be fine with that, but I can only imagine the furor that others would create. Where does this sudden tolerance of Mormons come from? Is it ignorance, cognitive dissonance, or just political convenience?

WASPs, long the ruling class of the U.S., (though you can argue about which presidents qualify), have really fallen from power in a lot of ways. NPR had an article on this a few weeks ago, and that taught me that we now have a Supreme Court entirely without Protestants - six Catholics and three Jews! I mean, sure that's cool, but it is totally unrepresentative of the U.S. population. And now there isn't a single WASP on the major party presidential tickets - truly an unpresidented situation (pardon the pun). [Image: Martin Van Buren, arguably the first non-WASP president, since he was Dutch, but the dude was still a white Protestant.]

In any case, I'm not going to belabor these issues, since as I mentioned, I'm not religious, nor am I a defender of WASP culture. I value diversity and I want more of it. All I want to point out with this post, though, is that the groups in American politics who are generally most intolerant of difference (especially where it intersects with their religion) seem to have suddenly gone quiet, despite the massive theological differences of the Latter Day Saints. Can someone out there please explain why gay Romney wouldn't be ok, while Mormon Romney is?

Update (10/19): I think I spoke too soon. Be outraged, evangelicals! - especially during the first week of November.

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