U.S. News and World Report is reporting that a group called “Catholics for Obama” has been calling voters, asking such questions as “How can you vote for a Mormon who does not believe in Jesus Christ?” (Evidently, the calls also claim that President Obama does not support abortion and that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions and lobbyist for the abortion license, “helps children to get healthcare and prenatal care and does not promote abortion.” But lay those misrepresentations aside for present purposes.)
The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights has condemned the anti-Mormon bigotry of these calls in the strongest possible terms. All Catholics should join in the condemnation. I don’t know who is behind these calls, but the Obama campaign should, in all decency, immediately try to figure it out and shut them down. This is only the most egregious of many nauseating examples of the anti-Mormon bigotry that has crawled out of the swamp in relation to Governor Romney’s nomination as the Republican candidate for president. Most examples are more subtle and “sophisticated”; but they are no less appalling. Of course, bigotry of any kind is appalling. But for those who recognize, as we all should, the extraordinary decency, generosity, and patriotism of the vast majority of our LDS fellow citizens, and their many (mainly unsung) contributions to the common good of our society, the defamation of Mormons and their faith is particularly grotesque. Whether or not we happen to support Governor Romney in this campaign, we Catholics should be united in our friendship with, and high regard for, the Latter-Day Saints.