One intriguing, even unexpected, aspect of the race for the Republican nomination has been the emergence—perhaps we should say the reemergence—of the religious issue in presidential politics. Anyone who thinks that John F. Kennedy put it definitively to rest in 1960 in his famous address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association should be aware that the passage of 51 years seems not to have done the trick. As everybody knows, Mitt Romney is a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and while he is hardly the first Mormon to run for president (Morris Udall, Orrin Hatch, his own father George Romney), he is the first member of his denomination to have what appears to be a plausible chance of being elected. This has awakened some disquieting ghosts.
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