Mormons and mainstream America

Of all the commentary on Mitt’s ‘religion’ speech today, I like this one from Patrick Buchanan. He called it “a splendid and moving defense of his faith and beliefs.” While declaring, “I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest,” he did not back away an inch from his Mormon faith.

He also said, “Each religion has it own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.” As Pat Buchanan commented, “Surely that is right.”

Another article I liked was one in which Elder Ballard responded to the charge of the church influencing public policy in this AP article. I don’t know why this is such a big concern of the evangelical crowd out there. It seems ludicrous that a Mormon who may become elected president would take policy direction from the leaders of the church.

Jennifer Dobner from the Deseret News, whose article I commented on yesterday wrote, “Evangelical concerns that the Mormon belief in continuing revelation could somehow threaten the country by influencing public policies are overblown, Ballard said. Revelation, he said, is most often experienced as a simple answer to a prayer.”

Saying that we’re going to have to agree to disagree on theological questions about God, Elder Ballard said, “They’re locked into the Nicene Creed . . . We’re locked into the restoration and the experiences of Joseph Smith, and that will undoubtedly be an issue until God himself comes.” We will keep talking about our faith, hoping to bridge the gap by sharing our beliefs.

For all their differences, Mormons have a lot in common with other churches, Elder Ballard said. He said he’d like to see all faiths work together to preserve shared values and grow in mutual understanding. Some of those shared values are a love of truth, of peace, family, education, freedom, honesty, service, faith, healthy lifestyles and many, many more.

What do you think? Do Mormons have a lot in common with most of Americans today?