I was wondering when stuff like this would come up. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who happens to be running for President of the United States asked of Mitt Romney’s religion, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Mitt also happens to be campaigning for the office of the President of the United States.
The AP writer, Libby Quaid did a good job of elaborating on the question and offering an explanation. She both quoted from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and got a quote from a church spokesperson in public affairs. I guess the Encyclopedia of Mormonism has become a semi-authoritative source, since it was published by BYU and Macmillan under contract. Apostles quote from it in General Conference.
Of course the best authoritative source for explaining Mormon doctrine is the conference report, which contains the words of the prophets and apostles, when they are speaking in an official capacity. It is certainly not from ‘Mormon Doctrine’ originally written by Elder Bruce R McConkie back in the 1950’s. It is also not the Journal of Discourses, which did not always contain accurate quotes.
“We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all,” said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. “That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.” I like that explanation.
When another reporter asked Mitt Romney to answer the question he refused saying that Church leaders had already done a good job of doing so. He said, “Attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that. I don’t believe that the people of this country are going to choose a person based on their faith and what church they go to.”
I believe Mike Huckabee’s question shows the basic tactic of a dishonest attack. It has all the elements of FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. If one has never considered the question before and does not understand the underlying doctrine that God created everything then it can be a shocking thing to consider. Mitt is right. The question does not belong in a presidential campaign.
What do you think? Was it a fair question? What do you think was the intent of the question?