Mitt Romney’s religion is becoming an issue

This issue concerning Mitt Romney’s religion is heating up.

Baptist pastor taken to task

Russ Jones and Chad Groening – OneNewsNow – 10/10/2011 11:05:00 am

Popular radio and television commentator Glenn Beck wrapped up the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, Sunday in a wave of anti-Mormonism comments lodged towards GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

 

 

The weekend gathering of conservatives provided GOP presidential candidates a platform to present their ideas. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas, was asked by Summit sponsor Family Research Council to introduce Texas Governor Rick Perry. But the Texas pastor captured more headlines than the candidates themselves when, during an interview after the introduction, described Mormonism is a “cult” and said presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is “not a Christian.” (See related story)
 
Glenn BeckBeck, founder of Glenn Beck TV, delivered a 39-minute speech at the conclusion of the event. In a tearful moment, he defended his Mormon faith as he referred to Pastor Jeffress’ remarks.
 
“People have come onto this stage and been for and against, I guess, members of my faith,” Beck stated. “I celebrate their right to say those things in America. I am a proud member of the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior — he redeemed me.”
 
In earlier remarks, William Bennett, who served as Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan, also responded to Jeffress’ comments, saying the pastor had overshadowed the speeches of Rick Perry and all the GOP candidates who spoke at the conference.
 
“Do not give voice to bigotry,” said Bennett. “And I would say to Pastor Jeffress, you stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and [Rick] Santorum and [Herman] Cain and [Michele] Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good, sir, in what you had to say.”

 

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Dr. Robert Jeffress (First Baptist Church, Dallas)Speaking Monday on the Fox News Channel, Jeffress did not back away from his comments over the weekend.
 
“It was John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who said, ‘We have the duty and privilege as Christians to select and prefer Christians as our leaders,'” he said. “If I’m a bigot, then the first chief justice of the Supreme Court is also a bigot.”
 
Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann declined to answers questions about Jeffress’ comment; Rick Santorum and Rick Perry both say they do not consider Mormonism a cult.

 

Texas Congressman Ron Paul easily won the Summit’s annual straw poll, but Values Voter straw poll organizers suggested there was ballot-stuffing, making the results virtually irrelevant.

 

On Jeffress’ side
An author who grew up in the LDS Church says she agrees with Pastor Jeffress’ statements. Tricia Erickson is the daughter of a Mormon bishop who left the movement, and is the author of Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America. (Listen to audio report)

“The Mormon Church fits the definition of a cult,” she tells OneNewsNow. “They have secret rituals, they have charismatic leaders, they have false prophets, they believe things that are so irrational — but they cover it. [They] know it amongst themselves, but they understand enough to know that their beliefs, if they really came out …would be ridiculed more because they’re so outrageous.”

Erickson says she is thankful that Jeffress had the courage to tell the truth about Mormonism.

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