We knew it was going to get ugly

From Politico: “In an apparent push poll, a research firm has called Iowa Republicans this week praising John McCain and criticizing Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. …there were “lots of negatives on Romney, including mentions of his “flip-flops,” hiring illegal immigrants as landscapers and extensive discussion of Mormonism.

“Statements were on baptizing the dead, the Book of Mormon being on the level of the Bible, and one about equating it to a cult,” said the Iowan, deeming them “common criticisms of Mormonism.” “I think they asked twice if being a Mormon would be an issue,” this person added. Let’s see, “Book of Mormon replacing the Bible, Baptizing the dead, Mormonism being a cult.” What do these subjects have to do with a man’s capability to lead a nation?

Romney communications director Matt Rhoades offers the following statement: “Whatever campaign is engaging in this type of awful religious bigotry as a line of political attack, it is repulsive and, to put it bluntly, un-American. There is no excuse for these attacks. Governor Romney is campaigning as an optimist who wants to lead the nation. These attacks are just the opposite. It’s ugly and divisive.”

I predict we will see more and more of this as Mitt Romney continues to grow in popularity as the most trustworthy candidate. I also predict it will do a tremendous amount of good as everyday members of the church get asked about stuff like this. How would you respond when asked about Baptism for the Dead? “What, you actually dig up dead people and baptize them?” What a great opportunity to discuss the things of eternity and ordinances of salvation.

Update: Mitt comments on the attacks and is attacked for his ‘attack’ on the attackers.

What do you think? Will criticism of Mormonism get more intense in the year to come?