With both former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gearing up for presidential runs, the 2012 election cycle has the potential to mark the mainstreaming of Mormonism in conservative politics. If so, these adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be following a trail blazed by Catholics. …In the 1980s, the founding of the Moral Majority by Jerry Falwell, a Baptist minister, in collaboration with Catholic Paul Weyrich, marked the birth of a new pragmatism that set theological differences aside for the sake of political goals. In an interview with Catholic News Service, Weyrich recalled Falwell saying the following:
“If you and I were discussing theology we’d probably come to bloody blows. But we were not; we were discussing politics and so we were blood brothers.”
…A look at the data shows that the case for Mormons and evangelicals being political “blood brothers” is fairly strong. Seven-in-ten Mormons and nearly two-thirds of white evangelicals say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases (although evangelicals are more likely to say it should be illegal in all cases). Two-thirds of Mormons and white evangelicals say that homosexuality should be discouraged by society, and roughly three-quarters of both groups disagree that evolution is the best explanation for life on earth. Politically, a solid majority of both groups identify as conservative and identify/lean Republican. …
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