A pro-Obama voter guide being circulated to black church members in Virginia before Election Day compares Christianity to Mormonism in what appears to be an effort to dissuade voters from considering Mitt Romney because of his faith.
A group of black pastors representing the Greater Hampton Roads Christian Leadership Conference produced the brochure in an effort to persuade voters to compare the differences between Christianity and Mormonism and in turn, vote for President Obama.
But one reason the brochure was produced is to slow down the fallout in the black community over President Obama's support for same-sex marriage.
"You've got a president who may be what we call a back-slidden Christian at worst, but he is one who has accepted Christ as Lord and savior," the Rev. Lin Hill, associate minister of the 2,500-member Bethany Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Va., just outside Norfolk told The Washington Post. "So if folks are measuring the president by the standard that says he's a fallen Christian, well the other guy isn't even in the ballpark playing the same game, and they have to be aware of that."
After Obama publicly expressed his support for homosexual marriage in late May, groups such as the Coalition of African American Pastors, led by the Rev. Bill Owens, were formed to speak out against the president's decision.
Owens has repeatedly demanded a meeting with President Obama to discuss the issue but has never received an answer from the White House for his request.
Dr. Richard Land who leads the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission says the fact that the pastors felt inclined to produce the brochure is the bigger story.
"I think the production of the piece speaks volumes about the concern the black ministers have about President Obama's same-sex marriage stance," Land told The Christian Post. "But in the end, I believe most African Americans are going to vote for President Obama regardless of what he says his religious beliefs are."
On the second page of the brochure under the heading of "Religion," it lists the beliefs that Obama and Romney's religions subscribe to. For example, under Obama's name, the definition of God reads:
"The one God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods)."
Under Romney's name God is defined as "God, the father, was once a man but progressed to godhood."
The brochure goes on to define Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Around 100,000 brochures were printed and circulated to approximately 50 churches in the Norfolk area.
In addition to his duties as a pastor, Hill is also a member of the Chesapeake Democratic Committee, but said he has kept the Obama campaign "at arm's length," as not to break election law.
Romney's faith has been the subject of several attacks during both the primary and general election. During the 2011 Values Voter conference, Texas pastor Robert Jeffress called Mormonism a "cult," but went on to say if Romney was to secure the GOP nomination he would vote for him over President Obama.
Recent polls show the race between Romney and Obama deadlocked as voters go to the polls on Election Day.