Tuesday, October 11, 2011

William McGurn:blockquote>Here's some advice for Republican candidates appearing at Tuesday's presidential debate at Dartmouth College. When you are asked, as you will be asked, what you make of the Christian pastor who called the Mormon faith a "cult," there's only one appropriate answer. It comes from the last sentence of Article VI of the Constitution, and it reads as follows: "[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." It doesn't get any clearer than that.I don't mind people disagreeing with my faith or thinking it's hard to believe. What I do mind is being relegated to cult status, which is what the Romans said about early Christians to justify murdering them. As an American, I object to this underhanded way of ignoring the Constitution. If Mormons had declared a holy war and were inciting violence, I wouldn't be part of it. But so-called Christians have declared Jihad against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from before its founding. Driving members from their homes time after time until they left the United States and set up their own society in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Then the U.S. won a war with Mexico and claimed the lands where they had settled and made it a territory, sending governors and judges selected by Washington, who falsely claimed that the Latter-day Saints were in rebellion against the federal government. This persecution was kept bubbling by continued attacks from protestant ministers, until an army was sent west to put down the supposed rebellion. Practically from the time it became a territory, Utah applied for statehood but was not accepted until it passed laws against polygamy or plural marriage. The practice had by then accomplished its purpose of raising a generation of leaders who would assure the survival of the young church. The LDS faith frightens other churches because it proselytes among Christians as well as non-Christians and thus poses a threat to those who see their "ministries" as business enterprises. That's not what bothers me. It continues to grow, particularly outside the U.S. But this kind of bigotry has no place in politics because it deprives the nation of the service of good men and women.

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