Inquiry and Sensitivity
I've posted here several times on Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. Being a left of center Democrat I'm not planning to vote for Mitt, but that being said I don't find anything in his LDS faith that precludes him from being President of the United States. He will listen to his conscience, just like everyone else. It is difficult to check one's faith at the White House door, but at the same time I would hope any candidate would recognize (and I think Mr. Romney has) that this a diverse nation and that he or she must represent the whole of the nation. Remember that George W. Bush is a United Methodist!
Because we base so much of our viewpoints on stereotype, its not surprising that the LDS practice of sacred undergarments would come to the fore. I must confess I've always wondered about them. And yet, even though growing up I had good friends who were Mormons, I've never pursued it with them. But while many of us would find this an oddity, why? Is a Sikh practice of carrying a ceremonial dagger any different? Or a wearing a cross or a hijab or, you name it.
The recent debate about such things has sprung from somewhat insensitive statements on the God's Politics blog by Tony Jones, a key leader among the Emergent community. Ryan Beiler of Sojourners has attempted to put this into context, which is helpful. There are links as well to some critiques of Tony Jones' post, especially that from the Faithful Progressive.
I think we can all stand to consider how we view the other. I'm not at all convinced by LDS doctrine, but as people I've found them generous and gracious people (and good friends)!