Romney’s Religion. No, Really.

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Newsweek’s story on Mitt Romney looks at his entire life through the prism of his religion. Other news organizations have shied away from such an explicit approach. (No one wants to be accused of being a bigot or a boor.) His campaign has (successfully) deflected most questions about Mormonism with bromides that either downplay its importance in Romney’s life or focus on the areas where LDS teachings overlap those of evangelical Christians. The piece, however, makes a convincing case that the LDS church was a powerful force in shaping Romney’s career and approach to politics, intertwined inseparably with his relationship with his father. We look closely at such signature, formative experiences in the lives of other candidates, after all; to varying degrees, that’s the point of talking about Rudy and 9/11, Hillary and health care, Huckabee and dieting. Along those lines, one wonders if NEWSWEEK wanted to use this jab to draw an explicit, and not very complementary, parallel between Romney and another candidate’s personal journey:

The life of a Mormon missionary is relentless, but to be in France during the Vietnam War was especially grueling.

UPDATE: MikeM said it, not me:

Comparing Mitt Romney’s Mormonism to Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 experiences is just unfair. For Romney, Mormonism is just a way of life. Giuliani treats 9/11 like a religion.

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