Democrats, Mainstream Media Turn to Religion in Election Homestretch

Mainstream media outlets, possibly spurred by Democratic rhetoric on social issues, have begun to focus on religion in the GOP, including Mormonism.

During the Republican primary, some of those challenging former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (or loosely associated with their campaigns) attacked his Mormon faith by drawing distinctions between it and Christianity, even making the case that a Mormon could not be elected to the nation's highest office.

And as others have predicted, networks such as NBC are starting to air documentaries and specials that focus on Mormonism with a particular focus on racism and polygamy. Some conservatives maintain there remains a double standard in covering the faith of other national leaders.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada ran for reelection in 2010, those same networks rarely if ever mentioned his faith, much less profiled it in 60-minute time slots.

In 2008, then Sen. Barack Obama disavowed his association with his own pastor when he made disparaging and embarrassing comments. Many conservatives argued that Obama's relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright was not thoroughly vetted when compared to the scrutiny Sarah Palin endured after being named Sen. John McCain's running mate that same year.

"The media claims it vetted the Wright connection, when in reality it did not," founder Erick Erickson wrote on Monday. "Either Barack Obama was using Jeremiah Wright to claim some grounding in faith when he did not have what he claimed, or Barack Obama was cool with Jeremiah Wright's theology, which as you'll recall was important enough to Obama to use in the title of Obama's second autobiography, published when he was gearing up for his first presidential run."

In May of this year, The Christian Post interviewed author Edward Klein on his new bestseller, The Amateur, which features comments taken in a three-hour interview with Wright. When Klein was asked by CP if he felt the "mainstream media" gave Obama a free pass when he was running for president, he was unencumbered in his response.

"The mainstream media drank the kool-aid and was rooting for Obama to become the next president in a fashion we have never seen before in American history," noted Klein. "Instead of covering the election as professional journalists, many reporters and news sources were simply participants who were trying to elect Obama. That is not the role of a professional journalist."

Yet now that the primary is over, Republicans are rallying around their nominee, touting Romney's values and work in helping others – often when no one else is looking.

But according to some evangelicals who have been backing Romney since the beginning of his candidacy, conservative Christians are not simply holding their nose to vote for him over President Obama; they are also enthusiastically throwing their support behind him because of their respect and admiration for his values and lifestyle.

Nancy French, co-author of Why Evangelicals Should Support Mitt Romney (and Be Happy About It), told Fox News in January 2012 that Romney was just "on the cusp" of gaining substantial support from evangelicals.

"After all, the economy is a moral issue and Gov. Romney has all the attributes necessary that evangelicals hold close," said French, who was initially hesitant to support Romney.

French also said that most people vote for those who best express their own values, and used the example of Carter vs. Reagan in the 1980 election, explaining that Carter was a Sunday School teacher and Reagan, a divorced Hollywood actor.

"Carter would have been more aligned with me theologically, but Reagan promoted those values which I hold dear," she explained.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In Politics