This piece was originally published on the site Technorati.com.
Guest post by Darin Hammond -
Interest in Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith is in decline, a shift from the U.S. News and World Report earlier this month, which claimed otherwise. Romney’s Mormonism was at a high point around the 9th of September, but research I performed on the 16th seems to indicate a significant decline.
Using the same sources, Google search trends, I found that the media have shifted the focus away from Mormonism. Try a simple Google news search, and you’ll find that the Mormon issue is receiving little attention. Perhaps a better indicator is the graph from Google Trends showing the peak in early September, followed by a rapid drop.
As a Mormon, I had mixed feelings about this drop because I will vote again for President Obama, and if the religion issue helps him win, so be it. I have written on this site about the political beliefs of Mormons, ones that might affect Mr. Romney’s approach to national governance. I feared, I must confess, to have our nation run by a member of my own faith.
My thinking has changed. I was refreshed to find yesterday the website Mormons for Obama, easing my angst over the Mormon issue because the site demonstrates that our faith can be open-minded, something I doubted. Mormons for Obama state that “we are Mormons and we are for President Barack Obama. We created this website in order to represent the unique perspective of Mormons who are voting for Obama.” My faith in the ability of church members to be open-minded was strengthened.
Obama Mormons believe that neither religion nor race define individuals, that Romney is not better because he is a Mormon. My thinking has shifted about the way members of my faith think critically, principally that they can. The Mormon issue is not so important to me now because I realize that Mormons can have open, inquiring minds in politics. This made me think less of religion and more about President Obama as an amazing leader.
Obama Mormons believe that Christian and family values are not owned by the Republican party and that President Obama can be the better person for the job, whatever his faith. We believe that, while abortion and gay marriage may cause moral problems for us, education, poverty, equality, and the environment are powerful moral issues as well. We take seriously the statement of LDS leaders that we are politically diverse and are free to vote our mind and heart.
Obama Mormons believe in the hope the President inspires, for a future that is blind to color and religion and a country vigilantly united in the struggle against oppression, ignorance, and hatred. I now believe that the shift away from religion is positive. I have more faith that Mormons can be open and tolerant. Mormons are not heretics for believing in President Obama’s plan for the future of our country.