A mat­ter of faith

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

As Mitt Rom­ney scours the South for en­dorse­ments from evan­gel­i­cal lead­ers, he is get­ting dis­tinct ad­vice on how to ex­plain his Mor­mon faith: Don’t try to be one of us.

“I told him, you can­not equate Mor­monism with Chris­tian­ity; you can­not say, ‘I am a Chris­tian just like you,’ “ Rep. Bob Inglis, South Carolina Repub­li­can, told Bloomberg News. “If he does that, ev­ery Bap­tist preacher in the South is go­ing to have to go to the pul­pit on Sun­day and ex­plain the dif­fer­ences.”

This ad­vice, which re­flects the views of many South­ern Bap­tists and other evan­gel­i­cals, makes Mr. Rom­ney’s co-re­li­gion­ists bris­tle.

“The fact that we are Chris­tians is non­nego­tiable,” said Kim Farah, a spokes­woman for the Salt Lake City-based Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints.

In seek­ing the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, Mr. Rom­ney must court church­go­ing vot­ers, who make up al­most 30 per­cent of the party’s elec­torate.

His sup­port­ers ar­gue that he doesn’t need to ad­dress all of the tenets of Mor­monism to ap­peal to evan­gel­i­cals.

“Talk­ing about val­ues is a win­ner, talk­ing about the­o­log­i­cal stuff is a no-no,” said Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida, a Repub­li­can and Rom­ney fan.

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