With the increasing religious diversity in America, I suspect that more and more will be made of any particular political candidate’s personal religious convictions whenever there is a campaign afoot. Cæteris paribus, there is an important sense in which a candidate’s personal religious affiliation is irrelevant to whether that candidate is the best person for the job. Now, surely, there often is (and perhaps should be) a connection between the two, but sometimes people can be inconsistent. Thus, while an atheist running for office cannot philosophically justify his own moral convictions (i.e., he cannot philosophically justify objective morality itself), he may nevertheless be a very moral person, and may actually be a better person for a given position than his Christian opponent. But this is not what is bothering me about the Romney campaign and his detractors. Romney may be a good candidate. Indeed, he may be the best person for the job. I haven’t made up my mind yet. What bothers me is that some commentators, in their attempt to make the point I made above, invariably overstate the matter and imply (if not outright claim) that there are no important differences between Mormonism and Christianity. If a Mormon wants to say that Mormonism is true, fine. We can have that debate. But don’t try to push this bilge on everyone that Mormonism is Christian. It is not. If you are interested in some of the differences, see my “Some Theological Differences Between Evangelical Christianity and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism)” at http://www.richardghowe.com/Mormonism.pdf.
No doubt the more logically astute readers will notice the enthymeme here. It follows that differences between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity entail differences between Mormonism and Christianity only if Evangelical Christianity is Christianity. In the relevant sense, it is. But there is a lot of room for logical fallacies here. It is possible that some group could have differences with Evangelical Christianity without itself being non-Christian. Certainly there are Christian groups who may not hold as high a view of Scripture as Evangelical Christianity. But if you look at the differences I’ve outlined in my chart, I think it will be clear that many of those differences are sufficient conditions for Mormonism being non-Christian.