In some ways, I guess I was naive. I thought that Americans had gotten over religion as a barrier to the Presidency. That was arguably a question settled by John F. Kennedy.
I was wrong.
The New Republic seems to have hit the nail on the head:
Southern states have GOP primary electorates dominated by evangelical Christians, specifically by Southern Baptists. And many of those Southern Baptists are committed to blocking the ascension of a Mormon to the presidency.This is not to say all of them are. Nancy French at Evangelicals for Mitt and John Schroeder at Article 6 Blog backed Romney. So did MacRanger, who I had the pleasure of talking with in a number of shows (albeit after a flirtation with Fred Thompson).
But there is just too much evidence that they are a minority among evangelicals:
* James Dobson's maneuvering, discussed earlier in this blog.
* The admission from Huckabee's research director that many evangelicals would grab on to an issue like "flip flop", but would really be voting against Romney because he was Mormon.
* The Vanderbilt study contains statistical backup of the anecdotal evidence.
* The increase in anti-Mormon sermons in the run-up to the South Carolina primary.
* The comments on Huckabee's official campaign blog.
The preponderance of the evidence points to anti-Mormon bias among evangelicals as a primary factor in the failure of Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign.
Sorry, but I feel like I've been given the finger by values voters. Never mind that I have a lot of agreement with them on a number of issues, they simply have decided that a Mormon should not be president, and have made it clear that any Mormon who is too uppity will be taken down.
To quote Mase from "Will They Die 4 You" on the South Park Chef Aid soundtrack:
[Someone] smack me, I'ma smack 'em backSo, I sent them a finger and a hearty "fuck you" in return. Spiteful? Yeah, to a degree, it was. And I think, given the evidence, I'm entitled to take a shot or two. But there's also a cold, rational way of thinking about this situation.
If it lead to the guns, then that be that
Quite frankly, I trust religious conservatives about as far as I can throw a Nimitz-class carrier. I'd rather have a moderate like McCain than a religious bigot like Huckabee. In the future, an endorsement from James Dobson and others of his stripe will be a negative in the primary - and I will keep options open, including sitting out a general election if I do not like the choices.
That's pretty much where I am now.