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Frederick Mark Gedicks

2009

Public Law and Legal Theory

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Truth And Consequences: Mitt Romney, Proposition 8, And Public Reason, Frederick Mark Gedicks Mar 2009

Truth And Consequences: Mitt Romney, Proposition 8, And Public Reason, Frederick Mark Gedicks

Frederick Mark Gedicks

Although formal religious tests for federal office are constitutionally prohibited, they have long been fact of political life in presidential elections. John Kennedy remains the only nonProtestant ever elected President. The “Judeo-Christian tradition” notwithstanding, no major party has ever nominated a Jew for president—let alone a Buddhist, Hindu, Mormon, Muslim, or unbeliever. Against this electoral history, it was perhaps predictable that mainstream Christian commentators would feel free to legitimate religious attacks on Mitt Romney during the Republican presidential primaries on the ground that Mormonism is a “false” religion. Ironically, however, the Mormon church periodically intervenes in initiative and ratification campaigns …