Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tony Perkins Of The Family Research Council Indicates Mitt Romney's Conservatism May Supersede His Mormonism Among Evangelicals

On June 2nd, 2011, I discussed a Pew Research Center survey of 1,509 adults 18 years of age or older living in the continental United States taken from May 25-30, 2011, which not only showed that one out of four respondents would still be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate if he or she was Mormon, but also showed that 34 percent of white Evangelicals would be less likely to vote for a Mormon presidential candidate.

However, it appears that Evangelical opposition to Romney's religion continues to soften as more Evangelicals decide that Romney's conservatism may supersede his Mormonism. On August 23rd, 2011, Tony Perkins of the highly-influential Family Research Council appeared on Fox Business and discussed the current field of Republicans running for president in 2012. Perkins suggested that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum could all harness the support of the evangelical community, pronouncing all of them to be social conservatives.

Yes, ALL of them......including Mitt Romney. Perkins’ validation of Romney mitigates earlier media perceptions that he could have trouble winning over the evangelical base. Fox video embedded below:

This means that Evangelicals now realize that Barack Obama poses a greater danger to America's future than Romney's Mormonism. A new Gallup poll also shows that Romney is more likely to beat Obama than other Republicans, although the others are showing improvement. Both Romney and the LDS Church have sought to reassure Americans that a vote for Mitt Romney is not a vote for Thomas S. Monson or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The inclusion of another LDS member, Jon Huntsman Jr., in the Republican race also shows the political diversity existing within the LDS community.

The Family Research Council is more than just another money-raising enterprise. Its effectiveness is further validated by the fact that it has been targeted as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC claims that the FRC "denigrates LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy", and by doing so, maligns gay people simply because they're gay. The FRC, along with 22 members of Congress, disputed the SPLC's characterization of their group.

Of course, that analysis by the SPLC could also be used to show that the SPLC could consider itself a hate group as well, since it maligns pro-family activists, nativists, patriots, and white nationalists simply because of who they are. Further compromising the SPLC's integrity is their bias in favor of the political left; the blogroll on their Hatewatch blog consists exclusively of hard-left progressive websites. And finally, even though official FBI statistics show a 30 percent drop in hate crimes from 2000 to 2009, the SPLC claims the number of “hate groups” increased by 66.4 percent from 2000 to 2010. Since we know the FBI is more objective than the SPLC, we must consider the possibility that the SPLC has adjusted their definition of hate groups to cast a wider net -- and keep the donation spigot cranked wide open.

Thus the SPLC seems more interested in self-perpetuation than in justice.

As for the other Mormon in the race, Jon Huntsman Jr, despite the fact that he is probably the classiest person in the race, he can't break out of the two-percent mode. Consequently, he's now beginning to market himself as a prospective running mate for the eventual winner, setting his sights on Michele Bachmann. That would definitely be a bottom-heavy ticket; Huntsman would possess two-thirds of the brains and talent in that combination. But better yet, Huntsman would make a great Secretary of State in a future administration.

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