Hugh Hewitt has taken the position that it is somehow a violation of American values and the spirit of Article VI of the Constitution to take a healthy interest in Governor Romney’s Mormon beliefs. In essence, he wants to treat it as an irrelevancy for purposes of getting to know Romney the candidate and then treat it as a political boon in terms of activism from LDS members.
He interviewed Redstate’s Erick Erickson on the topic and tried to roast him (not in the fun way) for saying religion is relevant. I was so irritated by Hewitt’s attitude, I decided to respond with care.
The result is a bit long for a TAS post, so I put it on the front page at Redstate.com. Here’s the link.
And here’s a money quote:
The point Erick made repeatedly in the interview that Hewitt treated as though it were no point at all is that there is very little public knowledge about the Church of Latter Day Saints. As a Ph.D. candidate in religion and politics, I know a great deal about some of the ways Mormons have been terribly mistreated in American history, but I know very little about their actual theology. I’m an evangelical Christian with great sympathies toward the Catholic Church. My theology certainly affects my view of politics and I think I would be a cad to take the position that if I were running for office no one would have a right to ask me about it and wait to hear what I would say. I would assume that equal respect for a Mormon would be to assume that his religious beliefs are not purely private but actually have some impact on what he thinks, believes, and does.
To hold otherwise is to become a secularist who says that religion is only private and doesn’t matter in the public square. I don’t think Hugh Hewitt has come out in favor of secularism before, but maybe that’s his new position. Religion is private and doesn’t matter a whit to politics. Is that what you think, Mr. Hewitt?